St Joseph is one of the most revered saints in the Catholic church as the earthly father of Jesus Christ, and the church makes our sixth choice is St. Joseph’s Church (Victoria Street).
The only church in Singapore with Portuguese roots, St. Joseph’s used to be known as Sāo José Church, and was built from 1851 to 1853, to serve the Portuguese and Eurasian Catholics in Singapore. As the congregation of the parish swelled, Sāo José was later rebuilt as St. Joseph’s Church from 1906 to 1912.
The influence of the Portuguese on St. Joseph’s Church can be felt even today, 150 odd years later. The Church practices many Portuguese traditions and devotions, including devotions to the patron saint of Portugal, Saint Anthony of Padua, celebrated with candlelit processions led by thousands of Catholics.
This building’s rich history and architectural value is plain to see, and is why this church was gazetted a national monument in 2005. One of the most captivating features of this church is the 100+ year old stained glass panels from Italy and Belgium, which were restored in 2012-2014. According to sources, the church is home to the largest collection of stained glasses in Singapore.
While St. Joseph’s is under renovation, its dome, topped with a spire reaching to the heavens, makes the church quite literally stand out, and its grand and imposing facade sets it apart from all the other buildings down Victoria Street. Evidence of its long history can be found in the intricate carvings of leaves and flowers that adorn the walls and towers of this neo-Gothic church, exquisite marble statues of saints that stand in alcoves all around, and Portuguese decorated tiles, also known as ‘azulejos’.
Remember, St. Joseph’s Church only holds weddings on Saturdays, and on some occasions, weekday mornings and afternoons. This church is currently closed for renovations and expects to be re-opened in mid-2020.
St Joseph’s Church – Victoria Street
- 143 Victoria St, Singapore 188020
- If you would like to make a donation in aiding the restoration of this monumental church, you can contact their secretariat office (Tel: +65 6338 3167 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Do check out their page Facebook for more recent information.
- Find out more about the history of this church in history.catholic.sg.