Another majestic cathedral we visited at Mysore was The St. Philomena’s Church. A massive structure with twin spires 175 feet tall, it is visible from miles around. This church is one of the largest in our country; it was designed by French architects and the work commenced in 1933 with the laying of foundation stone by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. However due to the independence struggle then it took a long time to complete the church.
We could not enter the church as the Sunday prayer was in progress and the church was crowded. We had to be content peeping from outside and getting few glimpses of the interiors. The statue of St. Philomena is placed in an underground chamber and a piece of her bone is preserved here at the centre of a beautiful shield.
There is an interesting story of how Philomena the daughter of the monarch of a small state in Greece was given sainthood. “The story of St. Philomena dates back to the 3rd century A.D. Philomena was the daughter of the monarch of a small state in Greece. Her parents were childless. They prayed to God and asked Him to bless them with a child and promised to convert to Christianity if their wish was granted. The next year Philomena was born to them. Even in her childhood Philomena showed signs of piety. When Philomena was 13 years' old her father took her to Rome to obtain the favour of Emperor Diocletion. The Emperor was enthralled by her beauty and wanted to marry her. But she refused and vowed to give herself to God. As she refused to marry the Emperor she was tortured and beheaded in Rome. But people's devotion for her spread near and far and she was given sainthood. There are a number of churches dedicated to her all over the world.”
The church is today a major tourist attraction. The windows of the church have lovely stained glass paintings depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, the Last Supper, and the Crucifixion. These shots were taken standing outside the church, standing at the exit points. I used the Canon EF-S55-250mm IS lens.