Basilica of the Holy Redeemer, Tiruchirappalli
Tiruchirapalli, also known as Trichy, is the fourth largest city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This ancient city is located on the banks of the Kaveri River and was once the citadel of various kingdoms including the early Cholas, Pallavas and the Nayaks.
Trichy city is an amazing mix of the old and the new, teeming with culture and history and also a bustling business city. It has contributed many great scholars of Tamil literature and is home to many outstanding Hindu temples, the most famous of which is the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple with its intricately carved Gopurams. Other significant places to visit in Trichy include the dominating Rockfort temple nestled atop a huge rock that rises suddenly out of the plain.
You will also find an important church here known as the Basilica of the Holy Redeemer, built in just 16 months and commissioned in the year 1881. Christianity came to Trichy through the A.D. Madurai Mission in 1616 as well as a little earlier by St. Francis Xavier. The land where the church is built was donated by Diwan Kanjamalai Mudaliar as a token of gratitude to Rev. Fr. Koris. Trichy already had a teeming Christian population of over 7500 people by then and the church was much-needed in the city.
The church gained special significance in 1957 when the parish priest Rev. Fr. A. Thomas started a novena to Mother of Perpetual Succor and many miracles were seen here. People of all faiths were drawn here and there was a general awakening of spiritual life. Upon recommendation, the church was upgraded to the status of a Basilica in 2006.
The architectural beauty, as well as the artistic paintings in this basilica, attracts people from all faiths for a look and a prayer. There is an exquisite painting here of Mother of Perpetual Succor believed to have been painted by St. Luke, that holds special significance. Over the right shoulder of Mother Mary is written M.T. or ‘meter’ meaning ‘Mother’ and over her left shoulder are the letters ‘TH.u’ which refer to ‘Theou’ or God. Put together, the words mean ‘Mother of God’. Another significant feature in this painting is the letters “IS Chs” written opposite infant Jesus’ head. It refers to “Iesous Christos” or ‘Jesus Christ’.
Thousands of tourists visit Trichy for its great cultural heritage, and getting here is easy as it has great rail and road connectivity along with an airport. Numerous hotels are available to stay in including the prestigious Sangam hotel located in the city center.