St Xavier Church



Weather:

Time Required: 1-2 hours

Timings:

8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entry Fee:

No entry fee
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St Xavier Church, Kanyakumari Overview

Built by St Francis Xavier in the 1600s, the St. Xavier Church is a famous historical structure of great religious importance that is located in Kottar of Nagercoil. This Roman Catholic, Latin Rite shrine, is dedicated to Mary, who is the Mother of God. The church enjoys great fame and respect, on account of the fact that miracles have been observed to happen here since times immemorial. The spirituality, power and divinity of the church attract people of all faiths from all parts of the world, and it is not uncommon to see even Hindus pouring oil, praying and making vows here. Thousands and thousands of Catholic pilgrims from as far as British India, Ceylon and Malacca visit the annual festival at the St. Xavier church every year in December to seek blessings from the Lord, and it continues to assert its authority as a supreme abode of the Almighty.

The builder of this magnificent church, St Francis Xavier, was a dedicated and exceptional priest who belonged to Goa, but frequently visited Kottar in the district of Kanyakumari, since Kottar was a famous commercial centre in those days. He was popularly known as 'Valiya Pandaram' among the masses, and according to historical accounts, he played an instrumental role in preventing the Padagas from invading Travancore. Pleased, the king granted St. Xavier with a plot at Kottar to construct a Catholic Church, on the land which already housed a church. St Francis Xavier then built another church on the same site, adjacent to the existing Church of St. Mary.

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According to the church records, the structure was built in the year 1600 A.D. In 1865, it was extended, and the shrine of Our Lady was also renovated and vaulted over in the church. Finally, it was raised to the status of a Cathedral in 1930. This was followed by the commemoration of the fourth centenary of the arrival of St. Xavier in India in 1942 and a tower in his honour was constructed. A grotto for St. Mary and a small shrine for St. Ignatius were also built in the premises of this cathedral during this time. In 1955, the church was again renovated and further enlarged, and the chapel of Our Lady was added to this enlarged area.

The annual festival of the St Xavier Church takes place every year during November or December, and the celebration lasts for about ten days. People from far and near flock in large numbers to partake in this holy celebration.

The St Xavier Church is located in Kottar in Nagercoil and can be easily reached via any means of public road transport from Kanyakumari. If you like to travel comfortably, then hire a private cab from the local tour operators.

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