Saint Anthony’s Basilica, Dornahalli, Mysore, Karnataka, India is famous for the miracle man St. Anthony. Dodde Koppalu is a small village that is found on the Yelvela road that leads to K R Nagara. To the left hand side of the yelvela road is the Hunsur village and to the right hand side of the yelvela road is the K R Nagara village. Taking a right turn from the Dodde Koppalu village and going ahead will lead one to Dornahalli Church which comes forth after the village and an old grove.
The twin towers of the church are found to be visible from a distance. This church is also known as St Anthony Church Mysore which lies at a distance of three kilometers from Dodde Koppalu. Dodde Koppalu is also known as Dornahalli or Christina Koppalu because there are only Christians found in this village. The village named Dornahalli is very popular because of Saint Anthony who is also called the man of miracles. The story of Saint Anthony is as old as 200 years.
People who look for miracles and have a firm belief in them should make it a point to visit Saint Anthony’s Basilica, Dornahalli. The church is a piece of immense beauty and it also stands for the trust and the belief of the people in God and his Saint. Doranahalli is famous for the miracle man St. Anthony. The story of Doranahalli goes back to some 200 years. That day it is said, a peasant of Doranahalli was ploughing his fields with a pair of bullocks. To a surprise, something struck the plough and the farmer stopped his work to look at it.
It was a human faced wooden doll. The farmer took it in his hands and closely examined it. To his surprise it was not eaten away by the termites being in the mud for several years. The farmer thought it a wonder. He kept it aside thinking that it could be a toy for his kids and continued his ploughing task. The doll went with him to his home in the evening and suffered torture at the hands of his innocent kids.
On that night the farmer was in his dreams and to a surprise the wooden doll appeared to him like a sage. The sage in sanyasi robes told him not to dishonour the doll and promised him all good he wished. But next morning the farmer ignored it and carried on with his normal works. Later in the due course of time he lost his oxen, his intimates died and children fell ill. He was shaken now and began to recollect the events preceding these calamities. He then thought of the dream and realised that there he erred.
He repented and built a small temple in his field at the spot where he found the doll and began worshipping it. Thus all his ailments were healed and he prospered. Several years later he met a Christian priest at Mysore who was wearing the dress resembling the doll, narrated him about the doll. The priest accompanied him to his village and closely watched the small 13 inches wooden doll, which didn’t have hands. He, at once, recognised it as the statue of St. Anthony with its revealing characteristics. He then beatified the temple, made it a church.
It is recorded in the history that the Franciscan missionaries were on the missionary work around south India during the period of Vijayanagara Empire. But the Jesuits entered the Mysore province only after 1648 AD. These Jesuits were fond of Francis Xavier and Ignatius Loyola.
Definitely they wouldn’t have planted Anthony cult. Later after the end of Tippu Sultan in 1799, somewhere around 1803 AD Abbe du Bois entered Mysore province under the banner of Paris Foreign Mission (MEP). So we can surely conclude that the statue found at Doranahalli is the one belonging to the Franciscan missionaries and its date can be pointed to 14th to 16th century AD.
History of Saint Anthony's Basilica, Dornahalli
Around 220 years ago, a farmer while tilling his field, found a wooden statue which was found to have miraculous powers. In the days to come, it was revealed that it was the statue of St. Anthony of Padua. Devotees started visiting this place in large numbers and obtained great favors.
In order to facilitate the devotees to pray and show their reverence to St. Anthony, a small shrine was built in the year 1920, by the Parish priest Rev. Fr. S. D’Silva with the generosity and help of the erstwhile Dewan at the Mysore Palace, Shri Thambu Chetty, and his brother Shri Dharmaraj Chetty.
In the years to come, the number of pilgrims visiting the shrine because of the miracles taking place increased manifold, it was then decided to construct a spacious and beautiful church by the then Parish Priest Very. Rev. Fr. I. H. Lobo, and hence construction started in the year 1964. The newly constructed, spacious, beautiful church was blessed and inaugurated on the 13th of June, 1969 by His excellency Most. Rev. Dr. Matthias Fernandez, who was the Bishop of the Diocese of Mysore.
On the 17th of October, 2019, by the Divine blessings of The Almighty, the Church was granted the status of “Minor Basilica” by His Holiness Pope Francis which is a matter of great joy to all the Devotees.
On 9th June 2020, Most Rev. Dr. K. A. William Bishop of Mysore Officially announced the Minor Basilica and Offered the Thanksgiving Mass.
Discovery of Saint Anthony's Basilica, Dornahalli
Saint Anthony’s statue was discovered miraculously by a peasant while he was working in his field. It was a statue made of wood that the farmer got hold of and thinking it to be a doll or a toy for his kids; he took the statue home and handed it over to his children so that they could play with the statue.
Traditionally it is said that the farmer dreamt one night that a friar had appeared in front of him and said that the statue that he came across in his field was not a mere doll but it was the statue of a catholic saint called Wonder-Worker and that the friar wanted to get a shrine in the honor of the saint and by doing this the farmer and also his family would be sanctified. The farmer did not pay attention to this dream and his children did not stop playing with the doll.
Within a week, the bullocks of the farmer died and his children also expired. This brought great realization to the farmer about his negligence regarding the dream. He got up next morning at executed the work of constructing the shrine as early as possible. The shrine was erected by the farmer by taking the help of a priest who visited Mysore once every year.
Saint Anthony’s Basilica, Dornahalli – this priest recognized the statue to be that of Saint Anthony’s and this is how the shrine came into being. Immediately after the erection of the shrine, the farmer was bestowed with wealth and respect and therefore the shrine became a place of worship for the people living around. Thousands of people started visiting the shrine from far off places and soon a small village of Christians grew up very close o the location of the shrine. Later on, the open shrine was converted into a church in 1920 by Dharmaraja Chetty, the Dewan of Mysore.
Dedicated to Saint Anthony
Saint Anthony was a man from Lisbon and he took birth on 15th August 1195 AD. The birth name of this saint was Ferdinande and his father ranked at the top position in the ton was called Martin Thebeo. Ferdinande converted into a monk when he entered St. Vincensi’s convent in Lisbon at a very young age. His relatives and friends visited him frequently while he stayed at the convent.
In order to get rid of these visits, he got connected to Holy Cross Convent by his superior’s permission. This convent was very far away from his town and therefore his relatives and friends could not visit him at this convent. He also altered his name to Anthony. Later on, he went on pilgrimage and became a member of Franciscan Society. He became a Rhetoric expert and it is spoken that the fishes also listened to the charming oratory that he gave.
It was a colleague who discovered light being illuminated from Anthony’s room one night and on peeping through the key hole, the colleague found that . There are many statues and portraits of Saint Anthony found with his prayer book and Infant Jesus sitting on the prayer book. Anthony breathed his last on 13th June 1231 AD at a place called Padua. On 30th May 1232 AD he was beatified a Saint by Pope Gregory IX.
Establishment of St Anthony Church Mysore
St Anthony Church Mysore is located at a village named Dornahalli. The church, in the yesteryears, was built by a farmer and another church in its place came into existence in the 19th century. Another church came into being in the year 1920 and the foundation of this particular church was laid by Dharmaraja Chetty. At present, when a number of cracks began to appear on the church, it was destroyed and a new church was built that retains the original fascia.
The structure that is found behind this church is present St Anthony Church Mysore. This church was consecrated in a T shape cross on 13th June, 1969. After renovation, the church possesses enough space and it has the ability to shelter more than thousands of people. There is a very huge cross found above the hallway at the obverse nave and just adjacent to this cross are the towers that are very tall and possess cross on their tips.
In 1964, Mon Signor I.H. Lobo was ordered to start the construction of the church and the construction was concluded by Rev. R. Felix Thavro. A very small portion of St. Anthony’s artifact is found in the church. Recently, in the year 1977, a man called Mr. Chandappa Shetty took over the initiative of building a structure at the palace where a temple was built by a farmer earlier. On Tuesdays, special prayers are held at main church and on 13th June every year, an annual feast is also held at the church.
The Miraculous Statue
This Holy Basilica began around 1800 A.D. This same land was the field of a farmer who was plowing this Raagi field struck the miraculous statue of St. Anthony which was about one and half feet height. He took it to be a doll in spite of the warning given by St. Anthony in a dream. As a result he had to face many hardships. Again he was directed in a vision to build a shrine. In this place when this was reported to a Christian Priest who had visited Mysore then recognized the miraculous statue is of St. Anthony of Padua.
Then Holy Mass and Prayers began since Christians started to come here. Then farmer had built the shrine for his household. Since then there was joy and prosperity in the family. As he proclaimed it others began to come to the shrine and pray through St. Anthony. Steadily the fame of the St. Anthony pervaded around and many more people obtained grace of God. The devotees who have come here and prayed have returned with God’s abundant blessings, joy, Satisfaction & consolation.
Feast Day – 13th June
The Annual Feast celebrated at the church the Flag Hoisting is done on 4th June, Novena that carries on from 4th June to 12th June and the anniversary of St. Anthony Church Mysore on 13th June.
The day 13th June is celebrated as an annual festival at St Anthony Church Mysore and people from all over the world gather in Dornahalli on this day. The people usually occur at the church for their attendance at the holy mass so that their vows are fulfilled. The village of Dornahalli and the villages in the neighborhood are full with pilgrims and the entire atmosphere is that of a grand fair.
Dornahalli, K.R. Nagar Taluk – 571 602,
Mysuru District, Karnataka, India.
St. Anthony’s Basilica, Dornahalli, Mysore, Karnataka, India is well connected with Bus Station, Railway Station and Airport facilities rest of the country.
Mysuru Airport, Karnataka which is (46.9 Kms) from St. Anthony’s Basilica, Dornahalli.
The nearest railway station is Dornahalli Railway Station which is (3.5 Kms) from St. Anthony’s Basilica, Dornahalli.
The nearest is Dornahalli Bus Stand which is (3.8 Kms) from St. Anthony’s Basilica, Dornahalli.