Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pondicherry, India is one among the 23 basilicas in India, is a famous pilgrimage for Roman Catholic Christians and considered one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry. It was built in 1908 by French missionaries. The sacred heart Basilica, a 100- years- old structure represents gothic architecture. It is 50 meters long, 48 meters wide and 18 meters high. Inside the church, there are 28 glass paintings which are a depiction of the life of Christ and saints of the church. The church has a huge area on the exterior too.
Among the 23 basilicas in India, the Basilica at Puducherry is the only one that is honoured in the name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
One of the most sacred and religious places of Pondicherry, the Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus is situated 2.5 km away from the Pondicherry Bus Station on the south boulevard of the town. One of the 21 Basilicas in India and the only one in Pondicherry, this church was set up by the French missionaries in 1908 which was given the status of the Basilica in 2011. One of the most beautiful Catholic Churches of Pondicherry, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus beautifully showcases the Gothic architecture. Biblical words can be seen engraved on the entrance in Latin along with the images of Jesus and Mother Mary on the door at the entrance. Occasions such as New Year, Christmas Eve, and Easter Day are celebrated at the church in a grand way.
The lives of Christ along with the saints of the Catholic Church have been captured in the stained glass panels of the edifice. The centenary celebrations were held in the church during 2008-2009, and it was during this time that postal envelopes along with a unique postal stamp were released. The church is the first ever basilica in Pondicherry, the 6th one in Tamil Nadu, the 20th in India, and the 50th one in Asia. Thousands of people flock to the Sacred Heart Basilica to attain peace. This beautiful church is a must-visit if you are planning a trip to Pondicherry for it is going to seclude you and take you to a world of tranquillity away from the fast-moving life of the city in a mode of complete relaxation.
History Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus
In the year 1895, the then Archbishop Mgr.Gandhi consecrated the Archdiocese of Pondicherry to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He wished to build a new church in devotion to Sacred Heart of Jesus. Rev. Fr. Telesphore Welter, the Parish Priest of Nellithope had prepared the building plan and Parish Priest of Cathedral Rev. Fr. Fourcaud commenced the construction of the new Church in 1902 at the Southern side of Pondicherry Town.
The blessing of the Church and the first Hoy mass was held at the western wing of the present Church by Mgr. Gandhi on 17-12-1907 and the new parish surrounding this Church had been established on 27-01-1908.
The year 2008 – 2009 marked the centenary celebration of the church. In the similar year, after the celebration of the centenary in June 2009, the president of CBCI – Telesphore Toppo sent a request to Holy See to promote the Basilica. On 24 June 2011, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus finally promoted to a Basilica status. Salvatore Pennacchio visited the church to officially declare it as a Basilica in the name of Holy See on 2 September 2011.
This 100 years old Historical BASILICA is has a length of 50 meters and a width of 48 meters with a height of 18 meters with Latin rite cross shape aerial view is in Gothic style. 24 main columns hold the structure in which we see the biblical word at the entrance written in Latin” I have consecrated this house, that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there forever” which reveals the presence of Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. Also the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mother Mary carvedat the entrance door welcome us. Inside the Church we can see Glass pictures of 28 saints who were related to the devotion to Sacred Heart of Jesus. This BASILICA has been led by twenty Parish Priests. The Grotto for Our Lady of Lourdes, Parish Hall, Adoration Chapel and the new Parish Community Hall are some of the developments of this Church in the last 50 years.
Statues of the four evangelists were erected, beneath which there are four lamp posts describing their lives and the inviting Jesus and the twelve apostles on the front facade. The Grotto for Sacred Heart of Jesus facing the City Railway Station were added and the church illuminated inside and out with chandeliers, focus and flood lights.
Architecture Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus
The Basilica has a length of 50 meters and a width of 48 meters. With a height of 18 meters, there is a Latin rite cross shape in the aerial view. The church also has beautiful glass windows along with two spires and a big exterior. There is terracotta craft encircled the glass windows. There are huge interiors with a mixture of moss green, milky white and scarlet with 24 columns holding the entire structure together.
Inside the church, there are 28 glass paintings of saints who were related to the sacred heart of Jesus including the Joan of Arc. A statue of Madonna too is placed on the right side of the altar draped in a blue sari. Numerous changes have been made to the church ever since it was constructed which include the introduction of a Parish Hall, a Grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes, and an Adoration chapel.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a beautiful place of veneration with a magnificent building in the former French colony of Pondicherry far south of Chennai on the east coast of India. The two front twin towers (spires) of the Church throw a beautiful silhouette during the sunrise and sun down.
The major attractions are the walls with excellent terracotta motifs and superb stained glass windows/ panels, depicting the life of Christ and saints of the Catholic Church. On festival days, in particular Christmas, this place becomes more vibrant with festive mood, pomp and grandeur. Incidentally the city of Pondicherry has a large ex- pat population and is dubbed as mini France where the well educated people speak French. French is being taught in innumerable schools. The church owes its origin to the French missionaries. The Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus Pondicherry, as it is referred to in French, attained the status of basilica in 2011.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus built in Gothic architecture is located on the south boulevard of Pondicherry in Puducherry, Southern India, Archbishop of Pondicherry Mgr. Gandy consecrated in the year 1895. Archdiocese of Pondicherry to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As wished by Gandy earler, he consecrated the Archdiocese of Pondicherry to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1907. Parish priest of Cathedral Rev. Fr. Fourcaud commenced the construction of the new church in 1902 and completed it in 1907. Under Mgr. Gandy on 17, December 1907, the blessing of the church and the first mass were held at the western wing of the present church and the new parish surrounding this church was established on 27, January 1908.
The main material used in the church was bricks with well ground lime-sand mix. It is a big church and can accommodate 2000 people and has a length of 50 meter (160feet) and width of 48 meter (157 feet). It was elevated to Basilica in September, 2011. Inscribed near the main entrance of the basilica above the stoups are the Elevation to Basilica Status, Papal Decree of Elevation to Minor Basilica in Latin and in English. Latin rite cross shape in aerial view is in Gothic style. It is the 24 main columns that hold the structure. The biblical verse from 2 Chronicles 7:16 is written above the entrance door in Latin, “sanctificavi locum istum, ut sit nomen meum ibi” which means “I have consecrated this house, that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there forever.” The Grotto for Sacred Heart of Jesus facing the City Railway Station were added later. Inside the church there are impressive stained glass panels, devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus and glass pictures of 28 saints related to the devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Statues of the four evangelists that were erected stand above them. It is one of the fine churches in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
Feast Day - 16th June
Annual Feast Day of Sacred Heart of Jesus held on 16th June.
The Parochial Feast of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated every year on the Sunday, following the feast of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. This comes on a Friday, 19 days after the Pentecost. Pentecost falls exactly seven weeks after Easter Sunday, based on the biblical account of the apostles praying together when the Holy Spirit descended upon them as ‘tongues of fire’, 49 days after the resurrection of Christ.
Church Visiting Time
Best Time To Visit
The months of winter are considered the best time to visit Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus because of the cool and pleasant weather conditions the city enjoys during this time. The season starts in the month of October and continues until March.
Sacred Heart Basilica, Sacred Heart Square,
No. 132, South Boulevard, Near Railway Station,
MG Road Area, Puducherry – 605001, India.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pondicherry, India lies north of the city centre and is one of the most sacred and religious places of Pondicherry well connected with Bus Station, Railway Station and Airport facilities rest of the country.
Pondicherry Airport which is (5.9 Kms) from Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pondicherry.
The nearest railway station is Tuticorin Railway Station which is very nearby just 150 meters from Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pondicherry.
The nearest is Pondicherry Main Bus Station which is (2.4 Kms) from Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pondicherry.