San Thome Basilica

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San Thome Basilica
Basilica of the National Shrine of St.Thomas
Santhome Basilica.jpg
San Thome Basilica
San Thome Basilica is located in Chennai
San Thome Basilica
San Thome Basilica
Location within Chennai
13°2′1″N 80°16′40″E / 13.03361°N 80.27778°E / 13.03361; 80.27778Coordinates: 13°2′1″N 80°16′40″E / 13.03361°N 80.27778°E / 13.03361; 80.27778
Location Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Country India
Denomination Roman Catholic (Latin Rite)
Former name(s) San Thome Church
Authorising papal bull 16 March 1956
Dedication St. Thomas
Relics held Bone of St. Thomas
Status Minor Basilica[1]
Functional status Active
Heritage designation National Shrine[2]
Designated 7 February 2006
Style Neo-Gothic
Completed 1523 (Current building 1896)
Length 64 metres (210 ft)
Width 12.2 metres (40 ft)
Nave width 10 metres (33 ft)
Spire height 47.2 metres (155 ft)
Archbishop Abp. George Antonysamy

San Thome Basilica (Tamil: சாந்தோம் பசிலிக்கா, Cān-Tōm Pacilikkā; Portuguese: Basílica de São Tomé) is a Roman Catholic (Latin Rite) minor basilica in Santhome, in the city of Chennai (Madras), India. It was built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers, over the tomb of St Thomas, an apostle of Jesus. In 1893, it was rebuilt as a church with the status of a cathedral by the British. The British version still stands today. It was designed in Neo-Gothic style, favoured by British architects in the late 19th century.

San Thome Basilica - Front Side


St Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, arrived at Muziris in present-day Kerala state in India from Judea in A.D. 52 and preached between A.D. 52 and A.D 72, when he was martyred on St. Thomas Mount.[1]

San Thome Basilica is the principal church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madras and Mylapore. In 1956, Pope Pius XII raised the church to the status of a Basilica Minor, and on 11 February 2006, it was declared a national shrine by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. The San Thome Basilica is a pilgrimage centre for Christians in India. The church also has an attached museum.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Basilica of the National Shrine of St.Thomas". Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  2. ^ National Shrine Status Archived 27 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]