The National Shrine of St. Thomas Basilica built over the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle in Mylapore, India, houses the shrine of Our Lady Mylapore, whose feast day is today, June 26.
In the year 52 A.D., St. Thomas the Apostle more than likely traveled from Antioch to India to evangelize the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Because he was so successful and God blessed his work, many people converted to Christianity. Finally, after many years of persecution, St. Thomas was martyred by having lances thrown at him, penetrating his body.
The original church was built by St. Thomas the Apostle in the first century. Years later other churches were built, most notably one by the Portuguese. Here is where the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle was laid along with St. Francis Xavier, who I will talk about more shortly. In 1606, the church was given the title of Cathedral. On March 16, 1956, Blessed Pius XII elevated the cathedral to a minor basilica to honor Our Lady of Mylapore. A great devotion to Our Lady has happened here along with many conversations to Jesus Christ through her intercession.
The shrine of Our Lady of Mylapore is in Mylapore, India. The ancient statue is about three feet in height. Below is a picture of the statue.
It is here that St. Francis Xavier; the great Jesuit missionary came to preach the gospel message of Jesus Christ around the year 1541. Because Christianity was already in place here, and due to the love the people had for Our Lady of Mylapore as their Mother, St. Francis through her intercession was able to sow the seeds of zealous Christianity into the hearts of the people.
During his time in India, Our Lady of Mylapore was a foundation for St. Francis. He often prayed in front of the statue seeking inspiration, fortitude, and strength, because although Christianity was here, missionary work is still extremely difficult. St. Francis was also given the ability to raise people from the dead, heal the sick, bring sinners to Christ, and save thousands of souls. Even if he were far away from the shrine on journeys, he would return to give thanks to the work he could do through the intercession of Our Lady of Mylapore. She was his most beloved Mother.
Our Lady of Mylapore still resides today in India blessing all that come and see her as Mother, and leading them closer to Jesus Christ.
Our Lady of Mylapore…Pray for Us
“Our Lady of Meliapore.” Roman Catholic Saints. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2017.