The most awaited festival of the year is here and Santa Claus is ringing the bells of happiness and joy everywhere. People started celebrating and spreading good wishes to everyone on the occasion of Christmas.
To make your celebration more exciting, we have got you a list of the most famous churches in your city that you can visit this Christmas eve to witness the beautiful decorations, and fun events to start your Christmas celebrations.
Here is the list of the most popular churches to visit on Christmas eve in your city:
1) St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, Chennai:
St. Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ, was assigned to disseminating the Lord’s teachings, and the Santhome Basilica is a respected shrine dedicated to him. It is one of Chennai’s most popular pilgrimage tourist destinations.
In honor of India’s patron saint, a modest Roman Catholic Basilica was built. It was designated as a national shrine by the Indian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. It acts as the center of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madras and Mylapore.
It is famous for containing an apostle’s tomb and is one of only three early Christian structures from the apostolic period that are still standing today. The other two are Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Spain’s Galicia and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
2) The Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa:
The majestic church of Bom Jesus, which is famed for housing St. Francis Xavier’s tomb, is a must-see church in Goa. Given that it is covered with marble and set with precious stones, the church is the finest in all of Goa. The mortal remnants of St. Francis Xavier are kept in a basilica with a baroque design.
St. Francis’s remains are encased in a silver coffin and placed inside a glass casket which makes it one of the most popular Christian pilgrimage locations in India, drawing a sizable crowd each year.
This Jesuit church, the country’s first minor basilica, is recognized as one of the best examples of baroque and Portuguese Colonial architecture. It is among Portugal’s list of the seven wonders of the world.
3) St. Andrew’s Basilica, Arthunkal:
Christian pilgrims frequently travel to Arthunkal, which is located in Kerala’s Alappuzha district. Despite the Church being named after St. Andrew the Apostle, the feast of St. Sebastian has made Arthunkal notable.
Christians are thought to have lived in Arthunkal before the 7th century, and once the Portuguese reached Kerala in 1530, Jesuit missionaries started their work there.
From 1560 until the Muthedath king finally granted permission for the construction of the Church in 1581, Christians and missionaries struggled courageously. On November 30th, St. Andrews was eventually built out of wood and coconut palm leaves.
4) Santa Cruz Basilica, Kochi:
The holy Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica in Fort Kochi is one of India’s eight basilicas. This famous landmark in Kerala is also one of India’s most stunning old churches. This basilica, the 2nd oldest Diocese in India and its cathedral church, is situated near the famous St. Francis Church.
The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica’s history started in the 16th century with the arrival of Portuguese missionaries in the year 1500 CE. Construction on a chapel began after the Cochin Raja approved Dom Francisco de Almeida’s request, the first Portuguese Viceroy. The cathedral in Fort Kochi has become a must-visit place due to its unmatched grandeur and beauty.
5) Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount Mary, Mumbai:
For more than a century, Mount Mary’s Basilica has been perched atop a hillside at Lands End Bandra, overlooking the beautiful Arabian Sea. It is a stunning stone structure that simply stands out in its glory and is a place of calm, peace, assurance, and hope.
The Jesuits first brought the lovely wooden statue from Portugal in the 16th century. Then, at Lands End in Bandra, it was put on the main altar of a little oratory on a hill. Due to various favours that were bestowed throughout the years, devotion to this monument increased significantly. The number of followers and pilgrims that came to this shrine from all around grew as its fame grew and they frequently referred to it as “Our Lady of the Mount.”
An eight-day-long great festival called Mount Mary Fair often referred to as Bandra Fair, is held here to commemorate the Blessed Virgin Mary’s birth. It is thought that the fair is 300 years old. Every year, a considerable number of pilgrims and worshippers visit Mount Mary.
6) Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Delhi:
The Sacred Heart Cathedral Church, Delhi, is one of Delhi’s oldest structures and features outstanding architecture and design. The most well-known and popular Roman Catholic churches in Delhi are those affiliated with the Sacred Heart. The church is situated on 14 acres and was constructed in the year 1930. The same grounds also house two other structures: St. Columba’s School & Convent of Jesus and Mary School.
Father Luke, a member of the Franciscan 1st order established by St. Francis of Assisi, founded the church. In 1929, St. Francis and the Archbishop of Agra took the initiative to start the construction of this church.
The Sacred Heart Church is well-known for its Easter and Christmas festivities as well as for the regular services held there. Holy Mass is celebrated twice a day, in the morning and the evening. Just one hour before Christmas Eve midnight, visitors from all over the world flock to this location to see the most well-known Christmas Vigil Service & Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth.