Legend of Church of St. Anne
Legend has it that in 1577 few devotees purchased the site which came to be known as 'Quinta de Sant Ana'. This site was used by the students of the 'Colegio de S Paulo' who spent their leisure hours here. The priest residing in the locality was assigned the task of converting the villagers of Moula and Talaulim. Hence to accomplish the task, he decided to construct a small hermitage but failed to do so. Then one day, an elderly villager by the name Bartalomeu Marchon had a vision of an old lady coming down the hill donning a hat with a staff in hand. She claimed that the hermitage was her residence. The priest propagated this news throughout the village. On hearing the news, an old Brahmin lady, claimed that when she was gravely ill the same old lady appeared in her dreams and miraculously cured her. The old Brahmin lady said that this lady called herself Anne and said that she wanted a house in the village. These marvelous incidents percolated down to the village priest who instantly interpreted it as a sign of divine intervention, and hence consecrated the church in honour of St. Anne.
Architecture of Church of St. Anne
The church of St. Anne of Goa is noted for its remarkable architecture in India. It is an example of baroque architecture. The construction of the church is magnificent with the blend of Indian and European architectural styles. The main altar is consecrated to St Anne - the Mother of Mary. High up in the transept facing the sanctuary a relief picture depicting the scene of St. Anne with a staff in hand and wearing a hat as seen in the apparitions.
Feast in Church of St. Anne
The feast of St Anne is celebrated on July 26th throughout Goa with much fervour and gaiety. The festival is also celebrated with greater aplomb in the Church of St Anne at Talaulim where it is known as 'Touceachem Fest' or the Cucumber Feast. The 'Touchachem Fest' is generally performed by bachelors and spinsters. So while the bachelor men who pledge with a wooden spoon to appeal for a wife, the women beseech - 'Senhora, tomai urido (a kind of pulse) dai me marido'. Newly wedded couples also make pledges by saying - 'Senhora, tomai pepino (cucumber) dai me menino'.
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