Chennai Santhome church is one of the oldest Church that are present in Chennai. The name Santhome or San Thome is derived from Saint Thomas (St. thomas), one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.It is a holy place of worship for the Christians, especially the Catholics, and is located near the famous Chennai Beach, Marina.
Santhome Cathedral Basilica in Chennai (India) is built over the tomb of St.Thomas. It is one among the three churches claimed to have been built over the tomb of an apostle. The other two are St. Peter’s Basilica at Rome, Italy and the Saint James the Great at Santiago, Spain Santiago de Compostela. This church is Commonly known as Santhome Church and this Shrine of St. Thomas Basilica has an underground tomb chapel where the pilgrims can pray in front of the alleged sepulchre of St. Thomas. Marco Polo the great Venetian traveller visited the tomb in 1292 and recorded about the tomb in his travel diaries. The church has been built in the Gothic style of architecture. Some of the important sights here include the stain glass painting of the divine moment of St Thomas’s Thomas’s meeting with the resurrected Christ. Remains of St Thomas along with a part of the bone have been preserved here. This church has seen several renovations having been made. The building is about 50 mts high. It has the distinction of being the second church built on the burial of an apostle.
Santhome Cathedral Basilica has a statue of Virgin Mary which is supposed to have been imported from Portugal. The cathedral was raised to the status of a Basilica by Pope Pious XII. Thenceforth the church has seen thousands of pilgrims coming from far and wide. It is a famous place of worship and also a favorite place for tourists. Its gothic architecture makes the cathedral look magnificent and is a feast to the eye. The church had been damaged due to the ravages of time, but has been periodically renovated to regain its pats glory. There is a museum attached to the church as well.
The greatness and importance of the Santhome Church is known to the people as such people come to Church for the purpose of getting a good piece of Mind.
Santhome Church is supposed to be one of the holy place for the people of Chennai. During the time of Christmas, there will also be wonderful celebrations taken place in the Santhome Church. People from various parts of the world will also come to visit the Santhome Church and get the blessings of Jesus.