Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Home > City News > Great Christian Colonial Monument by a Hindu King St. Philomena’s Cathedral, Mysore !

Great Christian Colonial Monument by a Hindu King St. Philomena’s Cathedral, Mysore !

Standing in the huge grounds of the Cathedral of St. Joseph’s & St. Philomena’s at Mysore, you can be transposed to any European City. It’s one magnificent architect design in the Indian city of palaces which unities the cultural biodiversity of this great nation, India!
This Cathedral is one of the biggest, tallest churches of Asia, built by a Hindu King, Munmadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar. The foundation stone stands witness to this glorious moment epic marking the day as – October 28, 1933. The foundation stone is embedded at the entrance doors of this beautiful church, now a Cathedral aptly called – The Cathedral of St. Joseph and St. Philomena. The church was completed in the year 1941. 250 years ago this place had a small church… today it’s a mammoth landmark of Mysore. This church took shape to accommodate the British colonial soilders who moved their capital from Srirangapatna to Mysore.
Thumboo Chetty, the Huzur and the Secretary to the Wodeyar King played a very active role in establishing this edifice, which today is a major landmark of the city of Mysore. It is a major tourist attraction for all faiths – religion caste . . . no bar! Tourists are not allowed during mass, there are three mass held each day in Kannada, English and Tamil. This Cathedral opens as early as 5 am and shuts its doors at 6 pm.
This monument was designed by an French arcitect called ‘Daly’. And is inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany and resembles the St.Patricks Church, New York. It is one of the tallest churches in Asia built in neo-gothic style. The church spires tower dizzy heights of 175 feet! Constant restoration and care are taken in maintaining this Cathedral which is situated on sprawling grounds in the old city of Mysore enroute to the Palace. Outside the premises, the old city of Mysore around the church are chocked with small tenements. The floor plan of the Cathedral is in the form of a cross capacitating a crowd of 800 people. This interior cross design is referred as ‘nave’ in Church Architecture.
The Cathedral aptly has two white statues of St.Joseph and St.Philomena on either side of the entrance of the Cathedral. The insides of the premises are vast with a towering altar which is mesmerising. The figurines inside the church depecit local culture. The stainglass work reflecting it’s art is beautiful – the theme being life & times of Jesus Christ! . . . Disappointing…No Photography. However sneaked in a few photos for you folks!
The main altar has relics obtained from pious saints. In front of the altar are steps leading down to catacombs. There’s a outside entrance to the catacombs from behind the Cathedral. Here lies the martyred Pretty Greek Princess Saint Lady Philomena in all regality! Her crime was she had vowed her life to Christ and the Roman King wanted to marry her for her beauty. When refused she was tortured and killed… A martyred soul to Christ.
Mysore City was evangelized as far as 1325. However Christianity came to India on from the Kerala’s Malabar coast in first century AD by the apostle St. Thomas. St. Joseph’s and St. Philomena’s Cathedral is one place one should visit for divine intervention and miraculous recovery! The cathedral never runs short of money for its upkeep… Whenever there’s a shortage – miraculously the shortage amount appears to fill in the expenses. Strange are the the ways of Divinity in this life. This beautiful Cathedral was exposed to me by my pious orthodox Hindu Grandmother, Gowramma 50 years ago! I still recall clutching her hand inside the mammoth church especially the catcombs. But I rejoiced the ritual of lightning a candle. Religious tolerance was a way of living those days at Mysore!
Mysore has got a lot of places on the tourist circuit, next time spend some time at this Architectural Landmark looking and admiring this beautiful miraculous edifice.
-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh

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