Basilica of the Holy Redeemer, Trichy
HISTORY OF THE SHRINE
1616 A.D. Madurai mission came to Trichy. It paved the way for Christian faith also to enter. In course of time the Jesuit missionaries got the righteous support of Madurai Naicker of the lineage of the Madurai kings. King Naicker shifted the capital and throne from Madurai to Trichy. Already the king’s military officers and soldiers had been converted by Robert-De -Nobili, a missionary. Through them Christianity found its way to spread in Trichy. Earlier Christianity spread through St. Francis Xavier also.
Trichy remained a sub mission station in Madurai religious province. There were a large number of Christians in the three areas of Palakarai, Dharmanathapuram (Hirudhayapuram) and Varaganeri. Even before Holy Redeemer’s church was built there were about 7500 Christians. They had to go to St. Mary’s Cathedral built by the Jesuits, for Holy mass and the sacraments. The way was full of grass and bushes without any facility for travel. Moreover secessionist groups carried out propaganda against faith.
Though our Lady of Sorrows Church (at present known as Palayakoil) was nearby, they could not even go there because it was in the possession of the Portuguese priests. Even in the midst of all this, the people remained firm in their faith. Therefore, it became indispensable that a church had to be built in Palakarai area.
In those days of the British rule, Trichy was under the rule of Diwan Kanjamalai Mudaliar. The place where the Holy Redeemer’s Basilica is built and the land surrounding it, was given by Diwan KanjaMalai Mudaliar as a token of gratitude to Rev. Fr. Koris for a favour done to the Diwan.
On February 9th 1880, MSGR Canoz laid the foundation for the new church. On June 29th, 1881, a new church -well-built sturdy, full of artistic paintings and which filled the onlookers with wonder – was elegantly built and was blessed by Pondicherry Archbishop MSGR Lovenan in the presence of MSGR. Canoz. That such a wonderful church was built in just 16 months is one of its special features.
In 1957, when Rev. Fr. A. Thomas was the parish priest, the novena to Mother of Perpetual Succour was started by a Redemptorist priest Rev. Fr. Francis. As many miracles took place through Mother of Perpetual Succour, people from different religions started coming there every Wednesday. There was an awakening in the people’s spiritual life. In 2006, through the efforts of Rev. Fr. A Gabriel who was the parish priest then and the recommendation of Rt. Rev. Dr. Antony Devotta the Bishop of Trichy, Pope Benedict XVI raised this church to the status of Basilica on October 12th 2006.