St. Philomena's Church

Weather :

Timings : 5:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee

St. Philomena's Church, Mysore Overview

Recognized as the second tallest church of Asia, St. Philomena's Church was constructed to pay tribute to the Catholic Saint and martyr of Roman Catholic Church, Saint Philomena. It is one of the most important historical sites in Mysore and is frequently visited by tourists from all over the country. The church is beautiful and one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city. It looks even more beautiful in the evening sky and is given religious importance having a Neo-Gothic style of architecture which makes it all the more famous amongst masses.

The foundation for the church was laid in the year 1933 by the then king of Mysore, Sri Krishnarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur IV for the European residents in the city. After the construction went on for about eight years, the church started functioning in the year 1941. The remains of Saint Philomena have been preserved here and are present even today. 

Saint Philomena was the daughter of the monarch of Greece and had always been a devotee of God and believed in him. She was taken to meet the Emperor when she was 13 years old, after which, the Emperor on seeing her beauty offered to marry her. However, she refused and the emperor ordered to have her executed. The church stands as a symbol of the secular viewpoint and the religious accord of Mysore.

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History of St. Philomena's Church

St. Philomena's Church was built in the year 1840 and was then known as St. Joseph Chavez. It started off with being a small church and got its present form under the rule of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV in 1933. The spectacular church was constructed for the European residents of the city. However, with the increasing number of people, a bigger church was needed. Its construction began in 1933 and was completed after a long period of 8 years in 1941. One can find the remains of St. Philomena is preserved in the church even now.

St. Philomena was the daughter of a monarch of a small state in Greece. The monarch and his wife had been childless, and after a lot of prayers, they were blessed with a baby girl who they named Philomena. The girl was devoted to God since birth. The monarch took his daughter along with him to Rome when she was 13 years old to seek some help from Emperor Diocletian. The emperor was mesmerized by the girl's beauty and wished to marry her. However, Philomena refused to marry him for she was a follower of God. The emperor who could not handle this rejection went ahead and ordered to torture her and then got her executed. St. Philomena's Church, as the name suggests, is dedicated to the girl.

Architecture of St. Philomena's Church

The church follows the Victorian (Neo-Gothic) style of architecture and follows the pattern of the Cologne Cathedral of Germany. The church is designed by Daly who was a French artist. The design is a cross with the congregation hall being the longest end of the cross, the transepts being the two arms of the cross, altar being the upper part of the cross and the choir is the crossing of the cross. The church has twin spires which are 175 feet high and can be seen even from a mile away. The spires resemble those of St. Patrick's Church which is located in New York. There is a cross of 12 feet of height present on each spire.

There is a statue of St. Philomena present on the altar which is made up of marble. In the catacomb which lies beneath the altar, the remains of St. Philomena are kept. The hall of the church is large enough to accommodate 800 people. The sanctum comprises of stained glass windows and beautifully drawn paintings depicting events such as the birth, crucifixion, resurrection and last supper of Jesus Christ. These glasses were made in France. The church has three front doors along with few small side doors which open up in the prayer halls. Pillars of the church are adorned with beautiful flower patterns.

Patron Saint of St. Philomena's Church

St. Philomena was a Latin Catholic Saint and died as a martyr in the Roman Catholic Church. She was a Greek Princess in the 4th century who was also a disciple of the Lord. Her remains were found out in the catacombs of Saint Priscilla in Rome on 24th May 1802. A vessel containing dry blood along with some other symbols linking to her death were found in the tomb. From all these remains it was therefore concluded that a Christian known as Philomena was buried in the grave with the vessel of her dry blood proof of her death as a martyr.

St. Philomena's Church Timings

The church remains open from 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days of the week.  

The mass is held in the morning from 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM and in the evening from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM on weekdays.

On Sundays, the timings of the mass are from 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM, 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM in the morning and from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM in the evening.

Best Time To Visit St. Philomena's Church

The best time to visit the church is between the months of September to February since at this time the weather is pleasant and worth enjoying.

Tips For Visiting St. Philomena's Church

1. Visitors are not allowed to take photographs in the church.
2. Holy Mass is conducted every day in the morning as well as evening. An annual feast is organized by the church on every 11th August.

How To Reach St. Philomena's Church

St. Philomena's Church lies at a distance of about 2 km from the Mysore Palace and 3 km away from the local city bus stand on Mysore's Ashoka Road. Tourists can take an auto-rickshaw or hire a taxi to reach the church.

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