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Encyclopedia > St. Thomas Mount
It has been suggested that Santhome be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)

St. Thomas Mount, a small hillock, is located in Chennai, Tamilnadu state, India. Located a litte of Guindy and close to the flying range in Chennai, St. Thomas Mount is associated with St. Thomas (Thomas Didymus {Dydimus}, also called the Doubting Thomas), one of the Christ’s apostles.According to the legends, St. Thomas was one of the first Christians to reach India and to preach Christianity. He is believed to have reached South India in A D 52, and spent the last years of his life in a cave, in a hill. The tradition states that the noble missionary was assassinated, by a shot of an arrow, by persons hostile to him in A.D. 72. The place he died acquired the name St. Thomas Mount. A small relic-filled Church built in 1523 by the Portuguese stands at the summit of the 300 foot high St. Thomas Mount. Local people call this mount as "Peria Malai" ( Big Mount - in Tamil language) or "Firangi Malai". History has that East India Company (British)stationed their forces here for a long time till the independence of India. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into St. ... Chennai (Tamil: சென்னை, formerly known as Madras , is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and is Indias fourth largest metropolitan city. ... Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ... Guindy is a location in Chennai, India Categories: India geography stubs | Chennai ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Jude Thomas. ... The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. ... This page is about the title or the Divine Person. For the Christian figure, see Jesus. ... The Twelve Apostles (in Koine Greek απόστολος apostolos [1], someone sent forth/sent out, an emissary) were probably Galilean Jewish men (10 names are Aramaic, 4 names are Greek) chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth by Jesus of Nazareth to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Christianity. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, and on his life and teachings as presented in the New Testament. ... South India is a region of India that includes the entire Indian Peninsula, south of the Vindhya ranges. ... Inside Cave of the Mounds. ... Japanese arrow (ya) and head // Weapon An arrow is a pointed projectile that is shot with a bow. ... Tamil may refer to: Tamil language, one of the Dravidian languages primarily spoken in the South ASIA Tamil script, primarily used to write the Tamil language Tamil people The phrase Tamil country is used sometimes to refer to the regions with a significant population of Tamil-speaking people. ...

According to tradition, St. Thomas used to go to this hill to pray in the evenings. People, jealous of St. Thomas's close relationship to the king of the region plotted against him and finally, in one of the caves in this hill, he was pierced by a lance. As he was trying to escape, he leaned over the rocks and left his fingerprints which are still visible inside the cave. Prayer is an effort to communicate with a God, or to some deity or deities, either to offer praise to the deity, to make a request of the deity, or simply to express ones thoughts and emotions to the deity. ... A fingerprint is an impression normally made by ink or contaminants transferred from the peaks of friction skin ridges to a relatively smooth surface such as a fingerprint card. ...

One of the most interesting relics here, that excavations in 1547 unearthed, is a stone cross with old Sassanid Pahlavi inscriptions on it reputed to have been chiselled by the Apostle himself. This cross is known as the 'Bleeding Cross' because it has stains resembling blood stains which reappear even after being scrubbed off. It is also supposed to 'bleed' afresh periodically. It first 'bled' publicly during Mass in 1558 and the last record occasion when it 'bled' was in 1704. Fr.Guy Tachard, a Roman Catholic priest has recorded about this as explained by then Vicar, Fr.Gasper Coelho. The Sassanid Empire in the time of Shapur I; the conquest of Cappadocia was temporary Official language Pahlavi (Middle Persian) Dominant Religion Zoroastrianism Capital Ctesiphon Sovereigns Shahanshah of the Iran (Eranshahr) First Ruler Ardashir I Last Ruler Yazdegerd III Establishment 224 AD Dissolution 651 AD Part of the History of... The Pahlavi script was used broadly in the Sasanid Persian Empire to write down Middle Persian for secular, as well as religious purposes. ...

 St. Thomas is supposed to have clutched this cross as he lay dying. When it was discovered, the cross was built into the wall being the altar of the church where it remains till today. Also above the altar is an oil painting of The Madonna. This is believed to be one of the seven painted by St.Luke the Evangelist and brought to India by St. Thomas, who never went anywhere without it. This picture of Madonna is considered as the oldest christian painting in India. 

Father H.Hosten in his book Antiquities notes the following "The picture at the mount is one of the oldest, and, therefore , one of the most venerable christian paintings to be had in India." Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels (c. ... Luke was, according to tradition, the painter of the first icon Luke the Evangelist (Greek Loukas) is said by tradition to be the author of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, the third and fifth books of the New Testament. ...

" It is painted on a light wooden plank about a foot and half in square. The picture is known in some quarters as the "SCAPULAR OF ST.THOMAS". It is not unusual to hear pilgrims from Malabar (Kerala),Burma (Myanmar), Ceylon (Srilanka) ask the guides on the Mount, "Where is the Scapular of St.Thomas?" - In the steps of St.Thomas published by Catholic Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore. Kerala ( (Anglicised) or (native); Malayalam: േകരളം, — ) is a state on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India. ...

"The colors used are traditional colours of Our Lady; Pink, red, blue and Gold. At very close view of the picture reveals minute cracks all over and also smudges on the face."---'(1) In the Steps of St.Thomas by Rev.Fr.Herman D'Souza (2).Pilgrims guide to St.Thomas monuments in Madras (Chennai), India' by Simon Chumkat published by Disciples of St.Thomas.

At the northern foot of the Mount is a gateway of four impressive arches surmounted by a cross bearing the inscribed date 1547.

A flight of 160 steps leads up to the summit of the Mount. There are fourteen stations of the cross erected on the way to the summit. During easter season faithful climb the steps to the hill church, Our Lady of Expectation church, singing hymns and saying the "way of the cross" prayers. Petrus Woskan, an Armenian merchant paved the way with granite steps in order to make the climbing easy. Meenambakkam airport of Chennai can be seen from the top and many pilgrims wait to see the beautiful scene of landing and taking off the aircrafts. It is also said that the oil paintings and beautifully carved Pulpit are also from the same Armenian benefactor. The Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis or Via Dolorosa) refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the Catholic devotion commemorating the Passion. ... For other uses of Ambo, see Ambo, Ethiopia, Kom Ombo, ambulance. ...


Hill Shrine

There is a shrine on the top of the mount known as Shrine of "Our Lady of Expectation" (Mother Mary). It is believed that the altar of this shrine was built on the spot where St.Thomas was martyred in A D 72. Bleeding cross and the picture of Madonna are adorning the altar. On either side of the chancel there are framed oil paintings depicting the tweleve Apostles of Jesus Christ. Gabriel delivering the Annunciation to Mary. ...

 The shrine administration is in the hands of newly formed catholic (Latin rite) diocese of Chingelpet. 

Festival of Our Lady of Expectation is celeberated on 18th December in a grand manner. The other festival celeberated here is the 3rd July-the St.Thomas day in memory of his martyrdom.

Holy Apostles Convent

There is convent on the top of the hill known as the "Holy Apostles Convent" of the Fransciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) order. Attached to this there is a home for the physically and mentally challenged children run by the nuns of the convent.

Postage Stamp

In 1972, to commemorate the ninteenth centenary of the martyrdom, the Government of India Department of Post and Telegraphs released a commemorative postage stamp depicting the picture of the bleeding cross of St. Thomas Mount. Earlier, during 1964, a stamp was released depicting the Ortona silver bust of St.Thomas by the Post and Telegraph department of India.

Papal Visit

Pope John Paul II addressed the multitudes of believers gathered along the valley of the hill during his holy visit to India on 5th February 1986. Coat of Arms of Pope John Paul II. The Letter M is for Mary, the mother of Jesus, to whom he held strong devotion Pope John Paul II (Latin: ), born Karol Józef Wojtyła [1] (May 18, 1920 – April 2, 2005) reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from...

Indian Army has a Officers training Academy (OTA) at St.Thomas Mount. There is a railway station named after St.Thomas Mount. The permanent exhibition and trade fair facility of Chennai is adjacent to St.Thomas Mount at a place called Nandambakkam.

Light motor vehicles can be driven upto the top of the hill shrine of The Lady of Expectation St.Mary through a motorable tar (bitumen) road from the defence academy side. Gabriel delivering the Annunciation to Mary. ...

Little Mount

Little Mount has an ancient church built by the Portuguese in 1551. At the entrance is a portrait of St. Thomas and Portuguese inscription, while a masonry cross at the top of the hill marks the spot where St. Thomas customarily preached.

More as rocky prominence than a mount, it is known as Chinnamalai to the locals. Here the Apostle Thomas chose a tiny cave as his home and led a spartan life, often praying on the top of the hill and preaching to the crowds. Today, this rock-hewn with its low, narrow opening an altar with the image of St. Thomas prayer home. To the east of this cave is an opening, supposedly that of a tunnel through which the Apostle fled from his assailants to St. Thomas Mount. The faithful believe that the opening (window) was miraculously made and through this St.Thomas escaped from his enemies who were waiting in front of the entrance. Near the tunnel's entrance is a clearly visible palm print. This handprint and the footprint at the foot of the hillock, are believed to be those of St. Thomas himself.

St.Thomas Sand

St. Thomas Sand is the sand taken from the tomb of St. Thomas at Mylapore, in Chennai, India. The sand from the tomb is considered a relic of St.Thomas, and the faithful believe that it has miraculous healing powers. They procure small quantities of sand and either carry it with them or keep it in their homes. The belief is a long-standing one, for Marco Polo has mentioned the custom in his travel records. [1]. St.Thomas card, embedded with a little of the sand from the tomb is available for the pilgrims from the Santhome Basilica. It is beautifully made similar to the dimensions of a credit card, thus making it convenient for the faithful to carry it always with them in their purse (wallet) or credit card holder. The Kapaleeshwarar temple in Mylapore was built by the Pallava kings in the 7th century Mylapore is the oldest area within Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. ... Chennai (Tamil: சென்னை, formerly known as Madras , is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and is Indias fourth largest metropolitan city. ... Saint Thomas or St. ... Marco Polo (September 15, 1254, Venice; January 8, 1324, Venice) was a Venetian trader and explorer who, together with his father Niccolò and his uncle Maffeo, was one of the first Westerners to travel the Silk Road to China (which he called Cathay) and visited the Great Khan of the...


  1. ^ Travels of Marco Polo, Vol. II by Yule, edited by Cordier.

External links

St. Thomas Mount
Next station north:
Chennai suburban railway : South line Next station south:
Stop Number:11 KM from starting:{{{5}}}

Guindy is a location in Chennai, India Categories: India geography stubs | Chennai ... Chennai suburban is the complex railway system that services the city of Chennai and its suburbs. ...

These are the stations of Chennai suburban railway - South line
Chennai Beach | Chennai Fort | Park Town | Chennai Egmore | Chetpet | Nungambakkam | Kodambakkam | Mambalam | Saidapet | Guindy | St. Thomas Mount | Palavanthangal | Meenambakkam | Tirusulam | Pallavaram | Chromepet | Tambaram Sanatorium | Tambaram | Perungalathur | Vandalur | Urapakkam | Guduvancheri | Potheri | Kattangulathur | Maraimalai Nagar | Singaperumal Koil | Paranur | Chengalpattu | Villiambakkam | Palur | Palayasivaram | Walajabad | Nathapettai | Kanchipuram | Tirumalpur



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