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Christianity Revisted
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Oldest Goa's church. When the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama dropped anchor at Calicut, presently in Kerala in 1498, he claimed to be seeking Christians and spices. He found both. Christianity is said to have arrived in South India with the Apostle St. Thoms in 52 AD. Catholicism established a strong presence in the wake of Vasco da Gama's visit and sects which have been active in the region include the Dominicians, Franciscans and Jesuits.

Christian missionary activity can be said to have begun with the arrival of Saint Francis Xavier in 1542. His tomb in Goa is still visited by thousands of Catholics every year.

India has about 18 million Christians, around three quarters of whom are South Indian. Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Maronite, Seventh day Adventistand many others.

Churches & Cathedrals Churches in India reflect the fashions and trends of typically European ecclesiastical architecture. Gothic arches and flying buttresses, baroque ornamentation and elegant classical lines are also to be found in places like Goa, which has been heavily influenced by European stule. Local artisans also left their imprint on these places.

The Portuguese made impressive attempts to replicate the great churches and cathedrals of their day. Old Goa's church of the Lady of Divine Providence is for example copy of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

St. Francis Church at Cochin was built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars and for 14 years housed the remains of the first recorded European to traverse the Indian Ocean, Vasco da Gama.

Bombay -the church of lady of the Mount in Bandra situated on a hill, 16 Kms from Bombay. This shrine has 400 year old history, a little chapel having been built in 1566. The present beautiful structure was built in 1904.

St. Mary's Basilica -The Basilica is frequented by large number of pilgrims through out the year.

Pune - the Papal Seminary - established for the Indian diocesan clergy. Visit the St. Mary's Church.

Goa -the Basilica of Bom Jesus where mortal remains of the Saint lie preserved in a silver ornate casket.

The Church of our Lady of Immaculate Conception - Here the ensemble of monasteries convents and chapels will take you back to the days when the Apostle of the Indies, St. Francis Xavier, preached the Gospel of Christ.

Se Cathedral - the biggest church in the East. Visit the Church of St. Cajetan modeled on the original design of St. Peter's in Rome.

St. francis Church Cochin.Kochi
Cochin - St. Francis Church where Vasco-Da-Gama was originally buried. 14 years later his mortal remains were taken to Portugal.

This Protestant Church was built originally by Portuguese in 1510 AD and is believed to be the first church built by Europeans in India.

Santa Cruz Cathedral-Roman Catholic Church situated close to St. Francis Church built by the Portuguese in 16th century.

Mar Thomas Pontifical Shrine, Kodungallur
The 7 churches Founded by St. Thomas
The tradition is that St. Thomas landed in Kodungallur in the year 52 AD. In all narratives about the apostolate of Thomas in Kerala, Kodungallur is mentioned as the first of the seven churches founded by St. Thomas: Kondungallur, Palayur, Kottakkavu, Kokkamangalam. Niranam, Quilon and Nilakal.

Kottayam - 72 Kms from Cochin - beautiful old town with many lovely Churches. Two especially fine 700 year old Churches, the Cheriya Palli (small church) with exceptionally lovely paintings over the altar, and the Vallia Palli (big Church), perched on a picturesque hillock over a small cluster of houses.

Velankanni- a centre of pilgrimage for Catholics. Our Lady of Velankanni built by Portuguese is and enormous white Church towering over an ordered and clean complex of Church-run schools, dispensaries and homes for destitute. In spite of the thousands of people who visit every day, there is a strange serenity about Velankanni.

Madras - St. Mary's Church in Fort St. George constructed in 1680. The oldest Anglican Church in India and the East.
St. Thome Cathedral built in Neo-Gothic style in 1893, The apostle St. Thomas is said to have buried at this site.

Little Mount - St. Thomas is believed to have lived in this tiny cave when he came to India around 58 AD. Known locally as Chinnamalai, the cave is entered via the Portuguese church that was built in 1551.

Calcutta - St. Paul's Cathedral consecrated in 1847. It is a tall white Gothic building. Visit St. John's Church built in 1784. The grave yard here has a number of interesting monuments including the octagonal mausoleum of Job Charnock founder of Calcutta who died in 1692.

St. Pauls Cathedral Calcutta. Bandel - a couple of kms north of Hooghly, and 43 kms from Calcutta, Bandel is the site of Portuguese church and monastery built here in 1599.

Kochi
Delhi - Cathedral of Sacred Heart and Cathedral Church of the Redemption - north of the Jaipur Column. It is not innovative in design or construction, but the interior is very pleasant.

The glare of the sun's filtered into a soft light. The Cathedral has a fine organ and a silver cross donated by Irvin.There is a striking strained glass window as well.

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