This past Sunday, Justine and I visited St. Thomas Basilica. St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, came to India in AD 52, died as a martyr in AD 72, and was buried here in Chennai. This church is built over the Tomb of St. Thomas. You may know St. Thomas by his nickname, 'Doubting Thomas.' There are only three churches in the world built over the tomb of an apostle--one at the Vatican, one in Spain, and this one.
We decided to go 'all in' and go to Sunday mass in English. I gotta say--it was pretty funny. Imagine my surprise when expecting a traditional Catholic Mass to hear the 'Revival Singers' singing songs in a style I can only describe as a mix of Boogie Woogie, 80's Pop, and Smooth Jazz. My favorite, though, was the song Sing, Shout, and Clap where nobody sang, shouted, or clapped.
After Mass, we went to the Tomb underneath the church. No photos were allowed but I did take one of this sign. So there you go. You're welcome.
It was basically just a room with pews, and at the front a glass wall surrounding a mannequin of Thomas with some dirt underneath. It was still cool to see, though.
After that, we went to the museum where we saw this relic that supposedly contains the spearhead that was used to kill him and some bone of St. Thomas.
There was also this letter from the Pope declaring Thomas a Saint. Sucks to make a typo.
And finally, there was this creepy Santa.
After church, we walked down to Marina Beach, the second-longest beach in the world. On the walk down, there's a pole (I don't know if the pole in this picture is the pole) called the Pole of St. Thomas. Anyway, legend has it that St. Thomas erected this pole as a mark to prevent the sea from encroaching the land, thus saving the life of the people living near the shore. Faithful Catholics here believe that when the Tsunami struck on December 26th of 2004, it was the pole that saved them. City Planners of Santa Monica, I think they're onto something. Now where can we find a Saint??