Religious Places

Little Mount Church In Chennai

Written by Sudhir Kumar

Little Mount Church has great historical significance even during the first century as St Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles, preached and prayed on this Mount in 68 A. D. Before the Portuguese held sway in the 16th century over this part of the country, the early Rajas and Nawabs of the place were sympathetic protectors of this Holy Shrine.

About Little Mount Church :

St. Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Church mission is to fulfill the spiritual and social needs of the Syro Malabar Catholic Community by offering Mass, Catechism, Administration of Sacraments, Retreats and Solemn Celebration of the Church Feast. We aim to achieve the spiritual and societal growth of the community in the deep-rooted Christian values.

St. Thomas, the Apostle, brought the Word of God to the ancient land of India shortly after Jesus Christ’s death and ressurection. It is believed that he landed in the South-Western coastal town of Musiris, which is presently called Kodungalloor, Kerala, in the year 52 A.D. After two decades of evangelisation he was martyred at Chinamalai, Mylapore, near Chennai, in 72 A.D.

“The Syro Malabar Church is an Oriental (Eastern Rite) Catholic church, in full communion with the Church of Rome. The term Syro Malabar is a reference to the East syrian (Chaldean) tradition the church has followed and to the Malabar Coast where St Thomas the Apostle landed. Firm devotion, indomitable faith, deep-rooted spirituality, and rich tradition make the Syro Malabar church markedly special and vividly alive, making it an integral part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.”

Attractions Of Little Mount Church In Chennai :

Little mount is one of major tourist attraction of chennai city. It is a small rocky prominence of great historical significance. St Thomas one of the 12 apostles is supposed to have led a Spartan life on this mount in 68 ADs. There are two churches here. New one was built and dedicated to our Lady of Health in the year 1971.

The Portuguese built Sacrament Chapel earlier in 1551. Old church is a cave in which St.Thomas was hiding and doing penance. There is an opening to the east of the cave through which St.Thomas escaped to St.Thomas Mount. The palm print and hand print near the tunnel’s entrance are trusted to be those of St.Thomas himself.

The masonry cross cut at the top of the hill is believed to be the cross before which St.Thomas prayed. St.Thomas Fountain is the spring falls in this small hill. It is supposed to be the miraculous creation of the apostle himself.

History Little Mount Church :

Mountains are the places of God experience and divine interventions. Jesus went to the mountains to spent his private time with his Father. St.Thomas the Apostle, during his sojourn in India chose mountains for his prayers and Holy Eucharist.

Little Mount (Chinnamala) in Chennai has got a prominent place among these. It is here in Little Mount, the seed of Syro Malabar church’s mission in Chennai was sown and grown. Rev. Fr Jose Palatty began the Syro Malabar Mission in Little Mount on the 14th December 1983, when Rev. Fr.P.J.Kurian was the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Health Church, Little Mount. Later the mission center was shifted to Ayanavaram.

In 1994, at the time of Rev. Fr Thomas Menachery’s chaplaincy we got the permission from the then parish priest Rev. Fr.Paul Moozvariyett to offer Sunday Holy Mass. Later on from 2006 January onwards we started celebrating Sunday Mass. The Present Parish Priest Rev.Fr.M Arulraj and the community have been extending their helping and supporting hands to us. Rev Fr Jose Ambooken, Rev. Fr.Thomas Kannampilly, and Rev.Fr.Anto Karippai were the Priests in charge of Little Mount in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Mass Timings Little Mount Church In Chennai :

Sunday Mass – Timings/Language : 8.00 am & 5.00 pm – Tamil 6.30 am – English

Address :

Little Mount Church,
Chennai – 600 015.

Telephone No :

044 – 22 35 18 63

About the author

Sudhir Kumar

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