Friday, 28 March 2008

St. Anthony's Church 聖安多尼教堂 (圣安多尼教堂)

Saint Anthony Church is one of the oldest churches in Macau. The church was named after St Anthony of Padua, near Venice in Italy. St. Anthony is the patron saint of seafarers in Macau. His statue would be carried by a regiment of soldiers on his feast days.

The church stands on the site of a chapel that was built in 1558. It was then rebuilt in stone 1638, but burnt down in 1809. The church was then rebuilt the next year in 1810 and once again in 1875. The present St Anthony's Church was built at 1930 with Neoclassical style. Another fire necessitated restoration to be carried out again in 1930 and further work was done on the facade and tower in 1940.

The Portuguese liked to hold weddings here in the past, hence the name of "Church of Flowers".

聖安多尼教堂位於白鴿巢前地南面, 是澳門三大古老教堂之一。 教堂創建於1558至1560年間, 初為茅草覆蓋的簡陋小教堂, 直至1638年方改以石頭重新興建, 其后在1810年和1874年進行過兩次重修, 1930年才形成今日的外觀和規模。 教堂內供奉的是聖安多尼(St Anthony of Padua) - 葡萄牙人熟識的聖徒, 他被視為掌管人間的婚姻, 故很多居澳葡人也選擇在此舉行婚禮。 因此,華人稱之為「花王堂」。 教堂室內採用磚木結構, 橢圓形木構拱頂, 長方形中廳無柱廊阻隔, 木拱頂, 從天花之上垂下華麗的枝型大吊燈。 堂內祭壇為建於1875年的巴羅克式聖壇, 採用斷山花和雙柱的形式, 中間有耶穌釘在十字架上的塑像, 上面有耶穌會標志 HIS。 教堂的中廳內部還有小祭壇以及其它小祈禱室。

澳門早期的教堂大多經歷烈火洗禮, 聖安多尼教堂也不例外。 有關這座教堂的近代歷史, 特別是1874年9月22日的大火令人難以忘懷, 以后每年的9月22日這一天被澳門人稱作“天災節", 市民扛著聖安多尼像上街游行以示紀念。

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