St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Bangalore, India
Address: St Johns Church Rd, Cleveland Town, Pulikeshi Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560005, India
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral is the seat (cathedra) of the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Bangalore, currently the Most Reverend Dr. Peter Machado. The architecturally appealing Neo-Romanesque stone edifice was completed in 1932 and is located on a large parcel of land along the busy St. John’s Road in the Frazer Town neighborhood of Bangalore. In addition to being the focus church of the Catholic community in Bangalore, the compound also holds three parish-related schools; and a Shrine to St. Anthony. The church is topped by three large blue and white cross-topped domes (lighted at night) which are visible for blocks around the site. The magnificent northwest-facing front of the church contains a large rose window, as well as a housed statue of the patron Saint Francis Xavier above the top portico. The interior of the church is in a formal cruciform design with a central altar focal point of Jesus on the cross with six side altar shrines and several other unique shrines along the side walls. The Cathedral holds six Masses in several languages on Sundays and three daily Masses on Kannada, Tamil and English.
Special things to see in the Church
> Neo-Romanesque architecture with walls made of carved limestone
> Classical-style entrance gate with Kannada script
> Many beautiful side altars and shrines
> Stained glass windows around central dome
> Statues of St. Francis Xavier over front entrance and on left side altar
> Statue of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata)
> St. Anthony Shrine (separate building)
Interesting Fact(s) About the Church
The Cathedral has some French roots in its Indian history.
In 1845, the parish was entrusted to the Fathers of the Paris Foreign Mission Society (Missions Etrangeres de Paris, the “MEP”) and the first parish priest was Rev. Fr. Chevalier. A plaque dated April 12, 1964 exists on the outside of the church to the left of the entrance which is “To Honour The Foreign Missions Society of Paris” for “the selfless labours of so many of its missionaries to establish and develop the Archdiocese of Bangalore”. The MEP has a long history of missionary work across Southeast and South Asia including establishment of churches in India in Pondicherry, Mysore, cities in Tamil Nadu, and Bangalore. The MEP objectives of adapting to local customs, establishing a native clergy, and keeping close contacts with Rome increased their influence with Rome in the 1600’s, along with Rome’s increasingly dissatisfactory relationships with Portuguese and Spanish-sponsored missionaries.
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