“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of Mylapore

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

Source:

“Our Lady of Meliapore.” Roman Catholic Saints. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2017.

Thomas Sunday

In the Roman Rite, today many people are celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. Blessed John Paul II confirmed the visions that St. Faustina reported having of our Lord Jesus Christ, which at first the Church declared were not miraculous. I often pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in my own prayer life and find it to be a consolation in times when I need mercy or when I pray for those who need mercy. In a time when the world most certainly needs mercy, this is an important day in the life of the universal church and world as a whole.

St. Thomas and Jesus

In the Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church (and the Orthodox Church) today, they are celebrating “Thomas Sunday” – the day when we commemorate the words of St. Thomas the Apostle after touching the wounds of our Lord – “My Lord and My God.” About this event in the Gospel, St. Augustine says Thomas “saw and touched the man, and acknowledged the God whom he neither saw nor touched; but by means of what he saw and touched, he now put far away from him every doubt, and believed the other.”

Most people are aware of this story, so I am not going to give a play-by-play of the Gospel (John 20:19-31). This Gospel reading is important any year it is read, but I would say this year is a little more important because Thomas’ words are about faith, and since we are in the Year of Faith, I think we should take these words to heart a little more than we have in the past.

The reason Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called this the Year of Faith is because he saw that there is a crisis of faith among not only Catholics, but also all people across the world. In his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, Benedict said, “Whereas in the past it was possible to recognize a unitary cultural matrix, broadly accepted in its appeal to the content of the faith and the values inspired by it, today this no longer seems to be the case in large swathes of society, because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people.”

During this Year of Faith, I have seen many conversions already occur just at the parish I work at here in Scottsdale through the Adult Faith Formation Series’ we hold on Thursdays. Many individuals have come to love Christ and His Church more and more this year. The Year of Faith isn’t about just about having more faith (like St. Thomas), but it’s also a year where Catholics can come to understand and know their Catholic faith with reason (academically/intellectually).

So how does the case of St. Thomas in the Gospel of St. John reveal its importance for our lives? From his book, The Apostles, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI gives us three points: “first, because it comforts us in our insecurity; second, because it shows us that every doubt can lead to an outcome brighter than any uncertainty; and, lastly, because the words that Jesus addressed to him remind us of the true meaning of mature faith and encourage us to persevere, despite the difficulty, along our journey of adhesion to him.”

In this Year of Faith, let us have the faith and courage of St. Thomas and ability to say “Yes” as Our Blessed Mother did at the Annunciation.