St Philomena's Church Mysore

The city of Mysore is famous for its palaces and its gardens and it is only because of this reason that thousands of people visit this city all the year round. There can be absolutely no doubt in the fact that Mysore is a city of palaces and gardens and this is because of the fact that Mysore was ruled by various rulers and kings. The rulers and kings who ruled Mysore in the yesteryears and before the Britishers invaded India, were very fond of luxury and comfort. Hence they built many forts and fortresses for the luxury of their wives and their wards. These kings also indulged in the process of developing ,many gardens and temples for the benefit of their subjects. But after the invasion of the Britishers in India, the decline of the rulers of India began and it is only because of this reason that there are a large number of churches found all over Mysore. The Britishers in India and most importantly in Mysore were in requirement of a church that would grant them the facility to offer prayers and as a result they looked out for some land. Previously, the kings granted small bits of land to the Britishers for the construction of churches but later on, after the Britishers became dominant in Mysore, they took land of their choice and used it for the construction of churches.

St Philomena's Church Mysore

Establishment of St Philomena's Church Mysore

St Philomena's Church is very famous in Mysore and it is basically a church that has been built in the loving honor of St. Philomena. The church was constructed in the year 1956 and Neo Gothic fashion has been used in the construction of the church. The architecture of St Philomena's Church is an inspiration drawn from Colonel Cathedral situated in Germany. Thamboo Chetty, the secretary to Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, the  Maharaja of Mysore, obtained the artifact of Saint Philomena from the Apostolic Delegate of East Indies named Peter Pisani. This artifact was obtained in the year 1926 and it was given to Father Cochet. Father Cochet was the person who requested Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar to help him in erecting a church that would be dedicated to saint Philomena. It was due to the request that the church’s foundation was laid by the king in 28th October, 1933. The entire construction that was carried out for the church ended under the supervision of Bishop Rene Fuga. The artifact of Saint Philomena that was obtained by Thamboo Chetty is conserved in a small catacomb that is found below the altar.

Dedicated to Saint Philomena St Philomen's Church

Saint Philomena who is respected as the virgin martyr was a saint of the Catholic Church in 19th century and is supposed to be a Greek princess who was martyred at a very young age and this was done in the 4th century.

Philomena was the loving daughter of a Greek monarch and her parents did not have any children. It I because of this reason that the couple regularly prayed and asked God to sanctify them with a kid and they also promised that if their wish was granted, they would convert into Christians. Next year, Philomena was born to the couple who showed various signs of goodness in her childhood. At thirteen years of age, Philomena was taken by her father to Rome in order to achieve the kindness of Diocletion, the Emperor. Mesmerized by the beauty possessed by Philomena, the kind showed a very strong desire to marry the girl which was refused by Philomena. This led to torture and later on Philomena was beheaded in the Roman city. It was from then onwards that Philomena is considered as a martyr all throughout the world. There are large numbers of churches that have been dedicated to saint Philomena in every part of the world and St Philomena's Church Mysore is one of them.

St Philomena's Church Mysore is something more than a religious property and it has grown to become a famous tourist attraction in Mysore. The church consists of an orphanage that is under the administration of the church.

Facts About St Philomena's Church Mysore

There are some very important facts about St Philomena's Church that people should have an idea about. The original name of St Philomena's Church Mysore was Saint Joseph Church. The church that people behold at present is not an original church because the original model of the church was constructed 150 years ago. The church that is present in Mysore now was constructed in the year 1933 and is considered to be the most important structure for the Christians of Mysore. It was after the decline of the empire of Tipu Sultan in 1799 that Mysore gained an enormous count in European population because of which the need to get a church constructed was felt.

Design and Architecture of the Church

The original model of the church came into being during 1799 in order to meet the requirements of the St Philomena's Church Mysoreexpatriate population from Europe that had migrated to Mysore. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, the then king of Mysore donated the land for the church in 1843. There is an inscription found at the church that proves the fact that the church was built in 1843. The design and the style of the church resembles that of the Cologne Cathedral located in Germany. The church possesses a design that locates spires that are needle like, taller features and a slimmer spot. A Frenchman named Daly was the person behind the design and the architecture of St Philomena's Church Mysore. The construction of the church was over in the year 1941 which was eight years after the stone for the foundation of the church was laid by Kind Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. Avery important point regarding the design and architecture of St Philomena's Church is that both the height and the length of the church are equal(175 feet) and something more interesting about the church is that the plan of this church appears in the form of a cross. The longer section of the cross appears to be the ‘nave’ which serves as the congregation hall of the church. The arms of the cross are the ‘transepts’ while the altar is in the upper area of the church and the choir is found in the area of intersection.

Inside the Church

St Philomena's Church Mysore

Inside The church consists of Saint Philomena’s statue that is made of carved marble and is found in the altar of the church. This statue was actually brought from the city of France and then it was placed at St Philomena's Church Mysore. Along with this statue, the church also possesses a statue of Jesus Christ lying down in consecrated wounds. One would also find a number of images that depict biblical events such as last Supper, Crucifixion and Jesus Christ’s Birth and all these images are made of stained glass.

There is an underground catacomb too in the church and it is located near the congregation hall. Beside the congregation hall is the choir where there are steps found that lead to the underground catacomb. People can also get to the catacomb from the exterior of the church as there is a very narrow underground passage located outside. The spires consists of crosses that are 12 feet long and they create an undulating landscape because of the immense beauty that they possess in their architecture and design. The spires are visible miles away from the church and this is especially during night time when the neon lights on the crosses are put on.

The height of the church is 165 feet and its twin spires touch the sky. The interiors of St Philomena's Church are as beautiful as the exteriors. Both the interior and the exterior of the church are calm and peaceful and it feels like one walks into heaven. Donation to the church are always welcome and they are made in the container kept in the chapel containing the statue of saint Philomena. The interiors are adorned with windows made of stained glass that provide a yellow ambiance to the church. During services, strict rules have been made by the authority of the church so that the people inside the church are not disturbed in any ways. Holy mass at the church is performed in different languages like Tamil, English and Kannada.                    

Location of the Church

St Philomena's Church Mysore is situated in the central position of the city. It is located on the Ashoka Road that is always busy and is very near to the Mysore Palace. Chamaraja Circle is the northern gate of the Mysore palace and from this gate, St Philomena's Church is around 11/2 kilometer away. Masjid-e-Azam is a popular mosque in Mysore and it lies just opposite to St Philomena's Church on Ashoka Road itself. Photography is strictly prohibited inside the main hall of the church.

How to Get There

St Philomena's Church Mysore can easily be accessed by air, road and rail from the city of Mysore.
By road: The church is located 3 kilometers away from main Mysore and 2 kilometers from Mysore palace. There are a number of bus services available for the tourists and even private bus services can also be taken.
By rail: The distance of the Mysore railway station is about 3 kilometers from the park and the Mysore railway station serves as the ajor station for the people who visit the church.
By air: Mysore airport is the closest airport from St Philomena's Church Mysore which can be used for a visit to the church.
Out of a number of churches found in Mysore, St Philomena's Church Mysore is noteworthy and it is also very famous among the people of Mysore and those coming from different parts of the world.

Timings of Holy Masses at the Church

In the morning and the evening, Holy Mass is conducted in the church and special masses are conducted during festivals and every Sunday. On 11th August every year, a special feast is also held within the premises of the church. The opening time of the church is 5 am to 6 pm and there is no fees charged for entry inside the church.

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