St. Francis Xavier Church, Malacca

9:40 29/4/2012 A kiss goodbye to bright morning sun in our big window facing the Melaka river, was the last thing we did before exchanging goodbyes to Abang, the very accommodating staff of L’Armada Guest House. Not more than 5 minutes drive after we left our temporary abode we reached the twin spired Gothic church along Jalan Laksamana. The Church of St. Francis Xavier, once hailed us the tallest structure in Malacca. This will be our third catholic church we visited in Malaysia after St. John Cathedral and St. Anthony Church both in Kuala Lumpur. 

Looking it from distance, one could tell it was patterned to that of Neo Gothic architecture. The pointed style of spire and arch were indication  of that flamboyant French inspired architecture.  The style much resembles of St. Anthony Church in KL with an additional spires.  
We can’t just stared it’s charm from a far and relied to our poor vision.  We crossed the street look up the religious edifice from the low vantage and marvelled it’s pulchritude. We imagine Quasimodo ringing the bell just like in Notre Dame Cathedral in France and hear the angelic voice from the children’s choir. 
Standing still, hands on the waist, uttered the word WOW several times. You may thought we’re over appreciating, but can’t help it, just see for your self.  The more you look into it the more it became splendid especially when tilting your heads up.  The dirty smudge and blots on the exterior made the church’s appearance decrepit but doesn’t matter any more. 
It’s a magnificent view for people who appreciate Gothic ecclesiastical architecture. And when we did our research about it’s patterned and similarity it come up it was modelled after the Basilica of St. Peter of Montpelier in Southern France. No wonder, since the church was built by Paris Foreign Missionary headed by Father Farve.

The church was built around 1849 as inscribed on the facade. And you might wondering now why is it named after the great missionary of East, St. Francis Xavier? During 16th century Francis Xavier, the famous Portuguese Missionary frequently visited Malacca on several occasions and noteworthy for serving its people. That’s why the parish name it after him.

St. Francis Xavier, patron Saint of Roman Catholic missionaries in foreign lands.
His fame sweep across Asia and one of his famous disciple Anjiro who traveled from Kagoshiro, Japan to Malacca just to met him. Francis Xavier was escorted by Anjiro during their missionary works in Japan, and made him as the first Japanese catholic.
I will not more elaborate about St. Francis Life’s and Works as you might find detailed info here. The picture shown above are the memorial statues of St. Francis Xavier and his Japanese disciple Anjiro. 
Then we came nearer to portico and bow our head as the mass was still on going. Most of the church goers were local Tamil Indians who solemnly knelt down on the pew. We said our prayers at the chapel and asked guidance from St. Francis Xavier for a safe travel back home to KL. Then we got reunited with our travel buddy who had been waiting for us more than half an hour in the parking area. 
If you ever visit Malacca, include the St. Francis Xavier Church on your itinerary. The church doesn’t only have historical value but significant especially for Catholic believers.

Sunday Mass Goers,

Sky and Summer

This is part of our Melaka Trip Series

01 Restrospecting Melaka an Overview

What to Do
02 Finding road to Melaka
03 Historical Sites and Museums
04 St. Paul Hill and Church
05 A Famosa
06 Melaka Sultanate Palace
07 Jonker Walk
08 Vibrant Night of Historical Melaka
09 Flor de la Mar
10 St. Francis Xavier Church
11 Bukit Cina and Poh San Teng Temple
12 Melaka Zoo
13 Melaka River Cruise

Where to Eat
14 Foodie Trail
15  Jonker 88

Where to Stay
16 Temporary Abode: L’Armada Guesthouse

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58 Replies to “St. Francis Xavier Church, Malacca”

  1. Seems to be a really nice place. I envy you two because you both travels a lot. Haha! I hope my buudget would allow me to do this too.

  2. I had been reading your Malacca series and it's giving me a desire to visit the place. It's good to know that there's a Catholic church in Malacca. And you were able to see and prayed before your travel =)

  3. The exterior has the similar design as the Notre Dame in Paris and Saigon.

  4. You should Ricky, and I'm replying now from Malacca. 🙂 Another stories to be untold.

  5. Nessie,you can do it, we just save a lot for travel that is. Upon replying this, we're in Malacca travelling 🙂

  6. Sure it is, as they're all patterned from French Gothic architecture. 🙂

  7. As astounding as they maybe, these landmark structures are more than enough of proofs of the true to life history of the place. You guys are lucky to visit the place ~

  8. nice structure at first look I thought it was INC, great that Roman Catholic there is still at large

  9. Good to know that there is a CATHOLIC CHURCH in Malaysia. The church looks like a castle. Very beautiful.

  10. Napaka-diverse talaga ng Malaysia ano? Akala ko noon mga Muslim at Buddhist at Hindu lang talaga anjan until I met these churches in your blog. Stunning ang church. Parang sa Baguio Cathedral 🙂

  11. The St. Francis Xavier church is so beautiful even it's too old! The people there preserved the statues, too.

  12. wow, thanks for the e-tour. i would love to visit st francis church in the future too 🙂

  13. This is quite a good read. Such a magnificent church with gothic architecture.

  14. wow. it is really a great church. i hope i can visit it someday! great images by the way. nice composition 🙂

  15. Wow! I never knew there is Catholic Church in Malacca as well. All the while I thought its dominated with Mosques.

  16. I'm just basing this on the picture but the inside of the church looks very modern… anyway, it's good that you got to visit it… 😉

  17. hope i could visit malaysia too.. our family loves visiting churches whenever we travel and we can't help but be awed by the different architectural designs 🙂

  18. Indeed, a very imposing work of Architecture. The exterior and interior truly deserve a second look. Ang palad nyo na makita ito.

  19. I just came back from Malaysia, and aside from Penang, I had wanted to visit Melaka too. Too bad I was only allowed to go to Ipoh. Until when will you be there?

  20. wow! indeed a lot of things to discover there like philippines! i wanted to see churches all over philippines! xx

  21. One of the landmarks of Christianity in Asia. Malaysia is truly Asia because it contains different cultures that reflect in their race, religion and traditions which truly Asian.

  22. Nice architectural landscape photos.

    It's as if I've already visited the place by just reading your post.

  23. How simple its interior is! I've been to the tallest church in the world located here in Ulm, Germany and I was really amazed of its architectural design.

  24. nice and very streamlined…thanks for sharing

  25. Aleah, we just have an overnight in Melaka yesterday. and now back in KL. If you ever visit in Melaka, let us know. Hindi kami magsasawa. 🙂

  26. Sinabi mo pa Eds. At hindi lang yan. meron din silang mga ethnic groups katulad ng mga Aeta sa Pinatubo tawag nila Orang Asli 🙂

    Kahawig nga ng our Lady of Atonement ng Baguio 🙂

  27. Knowing that it was built back in the 1800s and still in such great condition will make you really stare and saw wow! Thanks also for sharing a bit about the history behind the name of the church.

  28. Ang ganda ng kulay ng church, simple yet beautiful parang castle nga siya! 🙂

  29. We're glad that you had also been wowed by just looking in our photos. It was indeed beautiful.

  30. Yes it is Wreyzza! lalo na pag nakita mo ito in person 🙂

  31. INC have those remarkable pointed towers, also good to view.

  32. Yes, there's even a lot of catholic population in Malaysia. 🙂

  33. It was worth a visit Romelo and didn't had regret it.

  34. You should Berylle, visiting Malaysia is like travelling around Asia already. 🙂

  35. We're really lucky Papaleng and now we're even more inspired to look for another one.

  36. Amaya, actually there's a lot, we'll post it them one by one in the future 🙂

  37. Thanks Yani, St. Francis church is architecturally awe-inspiring. 🙂

  38. Too bad Rachelle, we haven't explored much the interior, as the mass was on going that time, and taking photos really creates attention to churchgoers, so we opted to not to. Hope to visit that tallest church, the Ulm Cathedral in Germany

  39. Oh, you have got to visit Iloilo as they have exquisite looking churches there. St. Francis Xavier Church is beautiful as well. But you have got to see St. Anne Church in Jaro. You will also fall in love with its architecture. 🙂 You might want to include that in your bucket list.. hehe!

  40. Nasa list talaga namin Iloilo Mai, since meron ako relatives dun 🙂 I've seen photos of St. Anne church in Jaro, indeed really nice

  41. Nice to see a feature about my adopted homeland! 🙂 Melaka is actually one of the very few states in Malaysia which has beautiful churches. This was the "Manila" of Malaysia (but it never became the modern capital) – a melting pot of cultures since this was where other nations would first come, a long time ago.

    If you enjoy these sights, please visit the grand mosques at and near Kuala Lumpur. Amazing architecture and landscaping.

  42. We just visited Melaka again yesterday and we're glad it will stay that way.

    We have visited Pink and Iron Mosque in Putrajaya, Federal and National Mosque in KL. Still lot more to visit in other states.

  43. Ellen Bernardino says: Reply

    The church doesn't look old considering it was built in 1845, and it looks like a castle in London.

  44. ralph marcuss Manarang says: Reply

    Parang nasa pilipinas ka lang. Parang yung simbahan sa Cebu yung parang kastilyo.

  45. It gone several renovations that's why it looks new 🙂

  46. If you are referring simbahan sa Cebu na parang kastilyo, I think church yun ng INC or ng Mormons 🙂 Malaysia and Philippines are akin since they're close to each other.

  47. Great shots! I'd go here if given the chance.

  48. The cathedral looks very neat… it seems like newly painted. The facade is so inviting and the church's interior is even more calming.

  49. Janese Halabaso says: Reply

    I'm a Catholic by heart and I must say churches really has its say on our history. will Pay this church a visit once I'm there.

  50. Thanks Rizza 🙂 If you visit Melaka, include SFX Church ^_^

  51. It was really inviting and can't stop looking on the facade for a couple of minutes.

  52. We love visita iglesia 🙂 It's worth a visit here if you pass by in Malacca. ^_^

  53. ralph marcuss Manarang says: Reply

    Simala Church pala yung sinasabi ko.

  54. Always nice to see churches especially the old ones. Simply majestic. Nice to know there are catholic churches in Malaysia 🙂

  55. Same here Michelle, the old churches with their impressive architectures always caught our attention. We'll post more astounding churches soon. 🙂

  56. That's what I have thought. 🙂

  57. I have just been here last month, and I am really looking forward to seeing more of Melaka in the future. I just fell in love with the place…:-)

  58. We visit Melaka for the 2nd time 2 weeks ago 🙂 still can't get enough. We purposely did not follow our intended list, so we'll another reason to come back 🙂

    Thanks fro dropping Paula O 🙂

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