Not many Catholics in the island are unaware of the whereabouts of the iconic St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade. This legendary church has been a venerated site of worship for many centuries. To this day, the numbers of devotees that flock to the church have by not dwindled. In fact, the numbers only continue to grow. In this number are people of all walks of life. It is a sacred site that welcomes all, believers as well as non –believers.
Every Tuesday of the year many people from all over the country gather in the church to pray to St. Anthony. They ask for help and they also thank the Saint for the help received. Some even come to fulfill the promises that they made. This mass is a beautiful sight to behold for sure, as ardent believers and skeptics gather to pray like one to St. Anthony. Many claim that miracles have happened in their lives after praying in this holy site.
A statue of St. Anthony that was brought to the church back in the year 1822 can still be found in it. There is a small piece of the incorrupt tongue of St. Anthony of Padua enshrined in the church too. It is kept in a glass case along with a statue of the Saint and is placed at the entrance of the church.
During the 18th century, when the Dutch invaded the island, Catholic devotees were heavily persecuted. While some fell, many stood their ground, professing their faith in spite of the impending threats and discrimination. This majestic church is one of the few churches that shone like beacons of hope for the Catholics of the land, during the difficult times of the past.
If you are travelling in Colombo with Green Holiday Centre, you will be able to easily have a tour arranged to this enchanting old church. You can marvel at the splendor of this magnificent place of worship that brings together people of different faiths, castes and creeds upon visiting it.