In the whole world, there are only three churches built over the tomb of an Apostle of Jesus Christ - the Basilica of Saint Peter built over the tomb of St.Peter in Rome, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela built over the tomb of St.James in Spain and Basilica of the National Shrine of St.Thomas built over the tomb of St.Thomas. Basilica of the National Shrine of St.Thomas is in Chennai, India. Most Indian Catholics, why, even most Catholics in South India, or even in Chennai, seem to be unaware of the importance of this extraordinary shrine.
By Apostolic brief dated 16th March 1956, Pope Pius XII gloriously raised the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore to the dignity and rank of Minor Basilica.
The present National Shrine of St.Thomasis built over the tomb of Saint Thomas the Apostle, who came to India in the year 52 AD. After preaching on the West Coast, he came to Chennai(formerly Madras), and suffered martyrdom on a hill at the outskirts of the city, today known as "St. Thomas Mount." His body was buried on the spot over which the present Basilica stands.
As for the church, that too has much history behind it. This lovely Gothic Church is an architectural treasure. Rising 155 feet from the ground, with a nave of 112 feet by 33 feet, and an imposing sanctuary 62 feet long and 33 feet wide, it is adorned with stained glass windows depicting St. Thomas and the other Apostles. Inside the sanctuary is a statue of St. Thomas seated.
A valuable work of art kept in the Basilica is an ancient painting of Our Blessed Mother, in front of which the other great apostle of India, St. Francis Xavier, used to pray.
There are two new structures today: The Tomb Chapel below the Basilica and Museum cum Theatre. The new underground chapel with a separate access outside the church structure, allows pilgrims to pray at the tomb and tourists to visit it, without disturbing the sacred functions in the church.
The museum exhibits artifacts connected with St. Thomas and the Basilica, and the theatre is used for screening a short video on the life of the Apostle.
Additional Information: San Thome Basilica 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, and rebuilt again with the status of a cathedral by the British in 1893. The British version still stands today. It was designed in Neo-Gothic style, favoured by British architects in the late 19th century.
Christian tradition holds that St. Thomas arrived in Kerala from Israel in 52 A.D. preached between 52 A.D. and 72 A.D., when he was martyred on St. Thomas Mount. The basilica is built over the site where he was believed originally to be interred.
San Thome Basilica is the principal church of the Madras-Mylapore Catholic Archdiocese. In 1956, Pope Pius XII raised the church to the status of a Minor Basilica, and on February 11, 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.
The Picture depicts Tower of San Thome Cathedral, Madras, India.
Artist: E. Ramki
Title: Tower of San Thome Cathedral, Madras, India
Style: Contemporary Indian Art
Medium: Water Color on Canson Paper
Date of Artist's Signature: 2011
Size: 11 inches by 15 inches
Signed by the artist: Yes.
Certificate of Authenticity: Yes.
All the paintings in this gallery are original work by E. Ramki and is available in limited edition of 1 piece only. Artists signature is on the painting to prove authenticity.
A left arm Thumb Impression is also affixed on the reverse of the Painting.
Shipping Costs at Actuals by DHL Courier and/or FedEx Associate Shippers in India. Shipping Vouchers will be produced if needed.
No Framing has been done for any of the Paintings in this Gallery