Located in Kochchikade, Kotahena within the Archdiocese of Colombo, St. Anthony’s church is known as a miraculous shrine among devotees. At the entrance of the church there is a statue of St. Anthony along with a tiny preserved piece of the saint’s tongue. Devotees light up yellow candles and touch the glass panes seeking help, forgiveness from the saint.
The church has an interesting history which dates back to the early Dutch Colonial Period, during the 18th-century when Catholicism was banned in Portugese held Sri Lanka, when Catholic priests had to carry out their sermons from hiding places. In 1806 the church was refurbished and expanded, the St. Anthony’s status which resides on one of the altars was brought down from Goa, India in 1822 by one of the members of the Congregation. The construction of the new Neoclassical church began in 1828 and consecrated on the 1st of June 1834.
In 2010 the Sri Lankan government issued postal stamps worth 5 rupees to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the church.