St Thomas the Apostle, Doubting Thomas, is said to have founded the Catholic Church in Southern India in 52 AD.
There he toiled and tarried, preached and propagated, performed numerous miracles
Had a number of hairy escapes from badmashes intent on doing him a bit of no good
And made himself useful in many ways. He was a great one with the lads, pulled a whacking great log out of a river all by himself , the Rajahs liked him a lot and allowed him to preach this wacky new egalitarian faith which spread through the South like topsy
St Thomas seen here preaching, (in simulated form,) to the natives and the peacocks
When the Portuguese arrived on the same coast some 1500 years later imagine their shock on discovering thriving, ancient black Catholic communities that had never heard of The Pope.
Today there are 28 million Christians in India, the third largest religious group after Hindus and Moslems.
Thomas was martyred in Madras (present day Chennai), stabbed in the back by a spear, strangely on the same hill (St Thomas Mt) that MGR, the subject of our last blog, also lived on. Spooky eh ?
Mary the Untier of Knots is there.
An incredible collection of relics and votary offerings of thanks. We’ll never criticise an Australian tradesman again.
A New Car !
Blessings and thanks abound.
Madonna and Child ala St Luke 50 AD. Strange amoebas float nearby.
Ladies outside the Church approaching The Madonna on their knees in a sand pit.
When hunger strikes make straight for the MT Cafe.
This young Lady sells the water from the miraculous Perpetual spring of St Thomas.
The hairs of His Holiness Saint Pope John-Paul II.
All of the big names were here.
The rather poignant Homeless Jesus too.
We came down from the Mountain, somber and impressed and ventured into the Church in which the Saint is buried.
These queuing ladies seemed to leave a trail of colour behind them.
St Alphonse’s statue looks kind of sweet.
The poster image of her perhaps not quite so.
In a Chapel below the main floor of the Church a Priest prayed over an altar below which lays the actual tomb of The Sainted Apostle.
We joined the Mass and sang along in English with the Tamil Ave Maria. Later there was time for quiet reflection.