Monday, March 19

Today we went to the office and in the evening, went to visit the tomb of St. Thomas, one of Jesus' original apostles, who had come to India and was killed in 72 AD.  A basilica is dedicated at this site, which is one of only three churches located at the tomb of one of the apostles.  This was a very meaningful and significant visit for us.

First, the routine stuff:
On the way to Fisherman's Cove there's a toll road which is free for people on foot, bicycles, and motorcycles but not for tuk-tuks and 4-wheel vehicles.  It wasn't pricy, only 10 rupees, but they did stop everyone and ask their name and phone number for a reciept.  Why?

Yet another ox-cart.

There's a large marshy area which is good for grazing cattle.  The locals told us that they're going to be filling this in and building on it to expand the IT sector.  The road where the office is located, old Mahanipram road is being named the IT Highway.

There's people living in thatched-roof cottages, which look good compared to...


As I said above, in the evening our local contacts drove us over to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Thomas, in which is the tomb of the Apostle Thomas.

A couple of years ago they moved the tomb from the sanctuary to a location downstairs because the pilgrims and gawkers interfered with Mass.  The tomb is behind this explanatory wall.

This is the english-language sign on that wall.

There's a chapel with pews in front of here. The person in the shrine is obviously not St. Thomas but his remains ae underneath.  Right above the tomb, in the ceiling is a glass panel so that those upstairs in the church can look down on it from above.

This sign on the stairway downstairs says only three churches in the whole world are built over the tomb of an Apostle of Jesus Christ.  The Santiago de Compostila in Spain, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and this one in India.

There's a museum as well, with important documents and stone carvings from the church over the ages.  Here's a document from Pope Paul VI.  My Latin is rusty.

Here's another one from John Paul II.

The cathedral proper.

Bob in front of the street entrance.  He's finally smiling.