As you drive into Mysore from Bangalore, the first landmark of Mysore that is visible is the Chamundi hills and the next is the spires of St. Philomena’s Church.
This remarkable church was built in 1936 in the Neo Gothic style and the architecture was inspired by Cologne Cathedral, Germany and St. Patrick’s Church, New York.
St. Philomena’s Church is built in the honor of the 3rd century saint and martyr Philomena. The 14 year old Greek princess Philomena was martyred and her remains were discovered in May 1802 in the Catacombs of Saint Priscilla at Via Salaria in Rome. A relic of the saint was acquired by Thamboo Chetty, the secretary of the Maharaja of Mysore in 1926 from the Apostolic Delegate of the East Indies Peter Pisani. Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV was approached to build the church and he laid the foundation stone on October 28th, 1933.
The relic of Philomena is preserved in the cellar of the church along with the statue of St.Philomena in a reclining posture.
St. Philomena’s church is the tallest church in India designed by a Frenchman called Daly. The spires of the church are 53 m / 175 feet in height. The cathedral is designed in the form of a cross. The main hall (nave) is the long part of the cross and can seat up to 800 people. The hall contains stained glass windows bought from France depicting various events featuring Jesus Christ.
The transepts are the two arms of the cross, which is an extension of the hall with stained glass and arches. A transept is that part which crosses the main body of the building as shown in the picture below.
The altar and the choir are installed in the main crossing area.
The Holy Mass is performed daily in Kannada, Tamil and English. Special masses are held on Sundays and on festivals. On August 11th an Annual Feast is held each year.
Type of place: Church
Situated: Mysore, Karnataka
Distance: 140 Km from Bangalore
Transport: Well connected by road, can hire an autorikshaw or a tonga to get to the church
Facilities: Rest room available
Visiting Time: 8:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m on all days