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Sacred Heart Of Jesus Basilica, Pondicherry

  • Pondicherry, India

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Tamil: தூய இருதய ஆண்டவர் பசிலிக்கா), situated on the south boulevard in Pondicherry, India. its an oriental specimen of Gothic architecture. It contains rare stained glass panels depicting events from the life of Christ and saints of the Catholic Church. In recent years it has become one of the famous pilgrimage spots for Christians.

In the year 1895, the then Archbishop Mgr.Gandy consecrated the Archdiocese of Pondicherry to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He wished to build a new church in devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus. Rev. Fr. Telesphore Welter, the parish priest of Nellithope prepared the building plan and parish priest of Cathedral Rev. Fr. Fourcaud commenced the construction of the new church in 1902 at the Southern side of Pondicherry.

The blessing of the church and the first mass was held at the western wing of the present church by Mgr. Gandy on 17, December 1907 and the new parish surrounding this church has been established on 27, January 1908.

This 100 years old historical church is 50 m long, 48 m wide and 18 m high with Latin rite cross shape in aerial view is in Gothic style. 24 main columns hold the structure. The biblical verse from 2 Chronicles 7:16 is written above the entrance door in Latin "sanctificavi locum istum, ut sit nomen meum ibi" which means "I have consecrated this house, that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there forever.". Inside the church there are glass pictures of 28 saints who were related to the devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus.

This 100-year-old church has been led by twenty parish priests. The Grotto for Our Lady of Lourdes, Parish Hall, Adoration chapel and the new parish community hall were some of the development of this church since the 1960s. After the arrival of parish priest Thomas in 2005 the church was fully renovated inside and out.

Statues of the four evangelists were erected, beneath which there are four lamp posts describing their lives and the inviting Jesus and the twelve apostles on the front facade. The Grotto for Sacred Heart of Jesus facing the City Railway Station were added and the church illuminated inside and out with chandeliers, focus and flood lights.

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