Welcome to Santhome Church in Chennai
Santhome Church in Chennai also known as Santhome Cathedral Basilica and International Shrine of Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica, sits on the tomb built over the mortal remains of one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. Saint Thomas had come to India in A.D.52, was martyred in A.D.72 and buried in this very site then known as Mylapore. “San Thome” assumes its name from Saint Thomas.
There are only two other Basilicas in the world other than Santhome Cathedral that have been built over the tomb of an apostle. One of them being “St.Peters Basilica”, in Rome and the other being “church of St.James the great”, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Travel diaries of Marco Polo the great Venetian traveller who has visited the tomb in 1292 have recorded thus about the miraculous healing power of the saint:
"The Christians who go thither in pilgrimage take of the earth from the place where the saint was killed (or buried), and give a portion thereof to anyone who is sick of a quartan or a tertian fever; and by the power of God and of St. Thomas the sick man is incontinently cured."--Travels of Marco Polo Vol.II by Yule Edited by Cordier.
There is an underground tomb chapel below the Basilica. Registers mention that St. Francis Xavier lived in the presbytery of the old church in 1545. It is noteworthy to mention His Holiness Pope John Paul II visited and prayed at this tomb on 5th February 1986. St. Thomas is being hailed as the Father of Indian Christianity since he is largely considered to have brought christianity to india.
We as a church welcome you, your family and friends to this very holy site. Come see, understand and experience the miraculous power of the living God through the saint who professed his faith by saying “My lord and My God”.