Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pondicherry
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.This Historical BASILICA is 50 mts. long, 48 mts. wide and 18 mts. high 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.
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pondicherry with over 100 years of age. The dimensions of the church’s building are 50 m in length, 48 m in width, and 18 m in height. The entire church is built in Gothic style of architecture which attracts the eyes of almost every passerby. At the entrance of the church, there written b 2nd Chronicles 7:16 biblical verse in Latin as “sanctificavi locum istum, ut sit nomen ibi”. Along with that, the also includes The Grotto for Sacred Heart of Jesus that faces the railway station. From inside and out, the entire shrine is adorned with chandeliers, flood lights and focus.
The exact history of this beautiful church dates back to the late 19th century. In the year 1895, the Archdiocese of Pondicherry was sanctified to the Sacred of Heart of Jesus by the Archbishop of that time – Mgr. Gandy. It was his wish to build a new church which is sacred to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. However, the construction work of the church began in 1902 by the priest of Cathedral – Rev. Fr. Fourcaud and the building plan was prepared by the parish priest of Nellithope – Rev. Fr. Telesphore Welter. 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.
Door No, 132, South Boulevard, Near Railway Station, MG Road Area, Puducherry – 605001.
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Pondicherry remains open all days throughout the year. However, the mass timings differ on weekdays and weekend. From Monday to Saturday, the masses start from 5:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 6:00 PM. Whereas, on Sundays, the church organizes four masses at 5:30 AM, 7:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 5:00 PM, respectively.
On Sundays, the church also hosts a Tamil mass at 6:15 in the evening.
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
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 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.