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Our Lady of Ransom Church, Kanyakumari Overview

Our Lady of Ransom Church is a famous Catholic Church that is located in the Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu and was built in dedication to Mother Mary. A brilliant example of Gothic architecture, the church was built during the 15th century and looks breathtakingly beautiful against the blue lashing waves of the ocean behind it. The gold cross on the central tower of the church further adds beauty and charm to this magnificent structure, and its beauty and tranquillity are what attract people the most.

Our Lady of Ransom is the Patron of the congregation in Spain, which had long ago redeemed the Christians from Muslim invasions in 1218. The people of Kanyakumari combined the name Ransom with Delight and began to call their patron by the name of Alangara Upakara Matha. It is in her honour that this splendid church has been built. The colourfully stained windows of the church throw multi-hued lights inside the main building, and the three white spires of the primary structure rise up to the sky. The church is in its full splendour in evenings and at night, when it gets lit up. What enthrals people the most is the statue of Virgin Mary, clad in a sari, at the altar. And this in itself is reason enough to visit the enchanting Our Lady of Ransom Church.

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History Of Our Lady Of Ransom Church

When St. Francis Xavier arrived in Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari) in India in 1542, he found 'Our Lady of Delights Grotto' there. Following this, the place became a centre for missionary activities of the Jesuits from Thoothoor to Ramanathapuram, and it is believed that it is this Our Lady of Delights Grotto in which St. Francis Xavier prayed, that later on became the present church of Our Lady of Ransom. The original small and thatched church that existed developed into a significant church in 1700 AD.

Built in the Roman style of architecture, the statue of Mother Mary was brought all the way from Rome to the church. This statue was placed in the centre of a golden altar in the church and was venerated by the name of Alangara matha. To the right and left sides of this statue, the statues of St. Joseph and St. Francis Xavier were placed. This old church is a part of the new church, the foundation stone for which was laid on 31 May 1900 by Fr. John Consolvez. The charge of the construction of the church was put under the Mr Pakiam Pillai, under whose guidance, the church is now the model of ancient Gothic Art and culture and is renowned all around the globe. The two side towers that are attached to the main tower act as a belfry and comprise of the church bells which were imported from Italy in 1900 AD.

Architecture & Structure Of Our Lady Of Ransom Church

One can find numerous Gothic piers supporting the central tower of the church. The compound pillars inside the church resemble vertical shafts and provide support to the ceiling. The seven doors of the church are said to represent the seven fruits of the Holy Spirit, and the wooden carvings depict the coronation of Mary as the Queen of heaven and earth. The intricately carved depictions of angels playing musical instruments also leave visitors awestruck with their exquisite detailing and beauty, and one can also find carvings of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. The lower portion of the altar of the church depicts a lamb lying on the Holy Bible.

Annual Feast At Our Lady Of Ransom Church

The Annual Feast is celebrated over a period of 10 days at Our Lady of Ransom Church in December. The feast commences with the flag hoisting, which is scheduled to take place on Friday that immediately follows the feast of St. Francis Xavier, Kottar, which falls on 3 December. For the ten days that the feast lasts, morning festival mass is celebrated, and special prayers and preaching takes place in the evening. On the evening of the eighth day, the Corpus Christi Procession is held, while for the ninth evening, special vespers and celebrations are scheduled. The culmination of the feast is the famous golden car procession, which is an entirely grand event in itself.

Golden Car Procession At Our Lady of Ransom Church

On the ninth and tenth days of the Annual Feast, Our Lady of Ransom and St. Joseph are taken out in a massive golden car procession. Our Lady of Ransom is taken in the procession in the first car, which was made in 1798 AD. St. Joseph, the spouse of Mary, is taken in the second car which was constructed during 1833 AD. This procession takes place amidst the traditional Nathaswaram music and the great praising of Mother Mary by the art of pala padal.

Our Lady Of Ransom Church Mass Timings

Sundays
Holy Mass: 5:30 AM, 7:00 AM, 4:00 PM

Weekdays
Holy Mass: 6:15 AM

First Friday
Rosary: 6:30 PM 
Adoration: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
 
First Saturday
Rosary: 6:00 PM 
Holy Mass: 6:30 PM 
Healing Prayers: 7:30 PM 
Benediction: 8:00 PM

All other Saturdays
Rosary: 6:00 PM
Holy Mass: 6:30 PM
Healing Prayer: 7:30 PM

How To Reach Our Lady of Ransom Church

The Church is located just 2 kilometres away from the Kanyakumari State Transport Corporation Bus Stand and is well connected to all parts of Kanyakumari by buses, taxis and autos. The place can thus be conveniently reached.

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