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Infant Jesus Cathedral, Kollam Overview

The Infant Jesus Cathedral is a magnificent church that is located in Thangasseri, in the city of Kollam in southern India. This historic Roman Catholic Church was formerly known as the Bom Jesu Church and was established by the Portuguese in the year 1614.

Built in the dedication of Saint Francis Xavier, the church witnesses a large footfall on all days of the week. The beautiful church with its marvellous architecture and spellbinding interiors is indeed a sight to behold on Sundays, that is the day of the mass when not only the Roman Catholics but people from all sects and religions come to seek the blessings of Jesus Christ.

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Till date, the Infant Jesus Cathedral holds a prime place of prominence and reverence in the annals of the Church in India. It is now the pro-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon, the ancient and first Catholic diocese of India. Not only this, but the church also continues to act as a relic of the Portuguese rule in India, and bears testimony to the cultural and religious influence that they have left behind. Even though the church was built in 1614, it was renovated a few years ago, and it was after this refurbishing that the church acquired its present vast and breathtaking structure.

The magnificent church boasts of having a spacious interior, a vast compound and beautiful glass stained windows that depict the life of Jesus. One of these windows is extremely beautiful and showcases Christ sitting in the Lotus position and meditating. The interiors of the church are brimming with tranquillity and silence, and this peaceful exuberance of the church along with its spectacular beauty is what makes a visit to the Infant Jesus Cathedral worth it.

History of Infant Jesus Cathedral

The history of the establishment of the Infant Jesus Cathedral can be traced all the way back to the year 1503 when Tangasseri first came under the control of the Portuguese. The Portuguese, led by Afonso de Albuquerque, transformed Tangasseri into a well-fortified city by building a fort there, which was known as San Thome Fort, or better known as the St. Thomas Fort now. Saint Francis Xavier then established a church, the San Salvadore College, the San Salvadore seminary Printing Press, and a religious study centre at Tangasseri during his visits in 1544 and 1549. Finally, in 1614, the Infant Jesus church was established in its present location by the Portuguese.

Since 1886, Infant Jesus Church has been serving as the pro-cathedral of Kollam Diocese. The holy mortal remains of the former Bishop of Quilon, Fr. Bishop Jerome M. Fernandez, are also buried in the Infant Jesus Cathedral.

Architecture of Infant Jesus Cathedral

The Infant Jesus Cathedral is large, airy and beautifully constructed. The walls are complete with stained glass windows and mosaic painting, which artistically depict the various stages of Lord Jesus' life. The most significant glass painting here is that of the patroness of the Diocese of Quilon, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The church also houses a considerable bell tower which has three bells in all, and a small shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph.

A new and modern parish house, complete with a guest house, is located right next to the cathedral and serves to accommodate the incoming guests in addition to serving as the residence of the parish priest. The small chapel located under the cathedral is used for small prayer meetings and masses as well. In 2015, the bell tower of the church was renovated, and three new shrines dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Sebastian, Saint Francis Xavier and blessed Devasahayam Pillai were concentrated here.

Infant Jesus Cathderal Mass Timings

Morning Holy Mass: 6:15 AM every day
Evening Holy Mass: 5:30 PM every day
Sunday Morning First Mass: 5:45 AM
Sunday Second Mass: 7:30 AM
Sunday Catechism Mass: 9:00 AM
Sunday Evening Mass (in English): 5:00 PM

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