Tap to Read ➤

History And Facts Of Ancient SanThome Basilica In Chennai

The Santhome Basilica as it is popularly known derives its name from Saint Thomas, after whom the church has been named. It has been built in 16th century by Portuguese explorers over the tomb of St. Thomas who was one of Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles. In 1893, it was rebuilt as a church with the status of a cathedral by the British.
Pope Pius XII honored this cathedral church, elevating it to the dignity and rank of minor basilica in March 1956.

The tomb of Saint Thomas the Apostle

The Santhome Basilica is built over the tomb of Saint Thomos after his martyrdom. The exact place where St. Thomas was buried is marked by the second small tower in the center of the cathedral.
San Thome Basilica is an impressive bright white structure is built in neo-gothic style, with a towering steeple and an ornate interior with magnificent stained-glass big windows and and naturally lit interiors. The church has a cool dark coffee brown ceiling and supporting white arches on the inside. The rows of wooden pews add to the church’s beauty.

Stained-glass windows of Santhome Basilica

The magnificent stained-glass windows have colored panes. The calm and comforting interior of Saint Thomos Cathedral  has an aura of peace to it,  which is best for those who seek peace and tranquility.
It is a belief that St.Thomas came to India in 52 AD, after working for some time on the west coast he traveled up to Madras. It was at the St. Thomas Mount where he suffered martyrdom; his disciples buried him where the current Santhome Church stands.
The cave at little mount is claimed to be his favorite preaching spot. A 2000 year old never drying, a miraculous stream of water on a rock face are said to be examples of the apostle’s divine exploits.
St. Thomas’ also has a museum attached to it. The museum has the great apostle’s fingerprint and there are wall paintings depicting the saint’s life and death. It also holds the lance head that killed him, an episcopal chair, a rare piece of his precious bone, and a stone receptacle.
Some glimpses of Santhome basilica.
An Arial view of Santhome Basilica.