History of Our Patron Saint Master Song Da Fong
There is no indication from which we
can trace the native town of Saint Master Song Da Fong of Sung
Dynasty. He was first seen in Ho-Ping Li, west of Min District.
Part of this was separated by a rapid river which was too deep
and broad that had taken the lives of numerous travellers during
stormy days. For the convenience of the public and to avoid the
recurrence of such tragedies, Saint Master Song Da Fong vowed
that he would have a bridge of granite built. Those who heard
his pledge laughed at him as it seemed to be an impossible project
to be accomplished during those days. He paid no heed to the ridicule;
but started the fund raising campaign, together with a survey
of the area, sounding of the water and estimation of the number
of carpenters and masons required. The possibilities in having
the mission completed were so slim that no one knew or bothered
to know what he was doing. In the year Kui Bao ofthe Reign of
Suan-Ho (1123AD), without notifying the locals, Saint Master Song
Da Fong left the district with all the money donated by them.
Five years later, Saint Master Song Da Fong returned by boat and
this time with the money donated, he brought with him food, timbers,
granites, labourers and all the necessities for the construction
of the bridge. In one year the bridge was completed. The span
of the Bridge comprised nineteen arches. However, two other arches,
one on each side nearest to the bank of the river were unfinished
upon the death of Saint Master Song Da Fong that year. The bridge
was completed by Mr Tsai Kung Yuan, a native of the district.
It is said that during the construction of the bridge Saint Master
Song Da Fong appealed to the city God and his prayers were answered
when the tide ceased coming in for seven days. It is indeed miraculous
and a temple has since been built and named "Pao Te" (Repayment
of Kindness) commemorating the construction of the Ho-Ping Bridge.