HISTORY OF ST. ANTHONY CHURCH SIOLIM
The Old Church
A Church with Saint Anthony as its patron was built to the west of Marna village in the year 1600. The construction work of this Church was executed by First Vicar, Rev. Fr. Bras Do Anjos. After serving the people for 300 years it had to be demolished in 1900.
This Church Is Dedicated to St. Anthony
The Franciscans were the first to bring the love of Christ to the village of Siolim, built the first church in 1568, in Gaunsavaddo. the village of Siolim is situated to the north-west of Bardez Taluka (old conquest), on the left bank of river Chapora.
In 1600, the Franciscans planned to build a centrally located church for the Christians of Siolim but lacked sufficient funds. incidentally at that time, two Portuguese merchants, sailing to goa with a statue of St. Anthony, were caught up in a life- threatening storm in the Arabian sea. They implored St. Anthony’s intervention vowing to build a church in his honour at the closest point wherever they touched land, if they survived the storm. The abated and they safely entered river Chapora’s Tributary, Fenduem. And in fulfilment of their vows they contributed towards the construction of the church in honour of St. Anthony. the church was rebuilt after 300 years. The foundation stone was laid in 1902 and was completed in 1907.
THE UNIQUE IMAGE OF ST. ANTHONY
The image of St. Anthony holding a serpent tied with cord in his right hand is reflection of the miracle witnessed by the troubled Franciscan friars when the Siolim church was under construction. A huge serpent
of a strange from and of a frightful dimensions used to harass the scared masons and disturb the Rector directing the construction, to such an extent that they were on the verge of abandoning the site.
Inspired by Divine Providences, they prayed ardently to St. Anthony and placing his statue in the hall-built ‘Capela-Mer’ et the church seeking his protection. To their great astonishment, the next day the snake was found hanging from the cord in the hand of the Saint The feast of St. Anthony Patren at this church, iscelebrated every year a Sunday following 13th June.
This church is constructed in the neo-gothic style which is as rare architectural style for Goan churches.
In plan, the churches has a narthex (lobby), bread nave andchancel (Sanctuary), with an attached residence and open courtyard.
The façade , composed of a frontispiece comprising two towers and patch , is divided into three levels with horizontal ribs and pointed arches at all three levels .the top level of frontispiece displays the statue of St. Anthony and above is the A-M(Ave maria) logo.it is surmounted by a cross and four finials.
The two towers have circular windows in the middle level, and each is surmounted by pointed dome, balustrades and finials.
This porch, at the centre of the façade, is a square in a plan with three pointed arches surmounted by a balustrade and a statue of Christ the king. the corner pilasters have half round fluted shafts with composite capitals.
Milestone of St. Anthony's Church
The Blessing of the foundation stone of this Church took place on 15th November, 1901 on the same site of the Old Church built in 1600, and was completed in April, 1906 – The cost then was 68 thousand rupees.
The Blessing of the New Church was held on 28th December 1907.
The Golden Jubilee was celebrated on 28th December, 1957 when the Vicar was Rev. Fr. Adriano de Souza from Moira.
The Platinum Jubilee was celebrated on 28th December, 1982 during the tenure of Parish Priest (Vicar) Rev. Fr. Adolfo Crasto Viegas from Taleigao.
Praise the Lord! Hail to the Miracle Worker St. Anthony! We celebrated not only a Centenary but also quadruple Centuries, 1600-2007.