The Church of St. Anne at Talaulim
The Church of St. Anne, at Talaulin Iltias, affectionately called Santana by the people, is dedicated to the Mother of Mary. It is situated on the right bank of the Siridao River. The Rachol Seminary in South Goa has a chequered past. Originally a Muslim fortress, it was first converted by the Portuguese into a church and later into a prison. In the late 16th century, it acquired respectability as a seminary for Theological Studies, with the Jesuits re-christening it from College of All Saints to the College of St. Ignatius Loyola, the name of their founder.
While these Catholic institutions have survived the ravages of time, travel in Goa to see the ruins of lost churches, of which there are many. This would help to discover further the truths of a remarkable period of religious activity on the shores of our country, during your travel in Goa.
There is a belief that the main altar is pledged to this beloved Saint due to certain reasons as narrated By Fr F de Souza in his 'Oriente Conquistado' - In the island of Goa (Tiswadi) in the year 1577 some devotees purchased the site which came to be known as 'Quinta de Sant Ana' where every week the students of 'Colegio de S Paulo' used to indulge themselves in some leisure activities.
The priest who was residing at the local was entrusted for the conversions of the villagers of Moula and Talaulim decided to
construct a small hermitage though he failed to consecrate the same in
honor of any known saint.
However a 'Gaokar' Bartalomeu Marchon said that he saw an old woman coming down the hill with a walking cane and a hat and claimed that the hermitage was her abode and wanted to set her residence therein.
Not knowing the name of this lady the priest propagated in the village this reported instance. On hearing about this incident, an old Brahmin lady, claimed that when she was seriously ill the same old lady appeared to her in her dreams and held her hand to rise from her stricken bed and said that her name was Anne and
wanted a house in the village.
The result of this dream was her miraculous cure and subsequent conversion which precipitated the priest to avow that the glorious St Anne had to be revered in theta village as such the Church was consecreated to St Anne.
The 'Touchachem Fest' is a well attended festival by people of all walks of life and communities who beseech the venerable saint with various offerings to comply with their most ardent wishes. The most common ones bing: 'Senhora, Tomai Colher, dai me mulher' - pertinent to the bachelors who pledge with a wooden spoon to appeal for a wife; the females intone - 'Senhora, tomai urido
(Dhal type - phaseolus max) dai me marido'; the newly weds supplicate - 'Senhora, tomai pepino (cucumber) dai me menino'. Devotees say that the boons in most of the cases are granted.
It is notable to mention that the Church of St Anne follows the Indian architecture amalgamated with Western propensities to adopt the 5x5 scheme appropriate the Indian way to a grand temple but modifies the proportions of the pilasters according to the native
flavor, forsaking the European fixedness, while molding the shafts in
consonance to the rural needs.