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St. Thomas Mount National Shrine is located very close to the International Airport, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The National Shrine comes under the Catholic Diocese of Chingleput, which is under the pastoral care of Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. A. Neethinathan. This shrine is dedicated to "Our Lady of Expectation" and was rebuilt in 1523 on top of the mount. The altar of this Shrine was built on the spot, where St.Thomas was martyred in 72 AD.

This Holy Shrine was proclaimed as National Shrine on 8th January, 2011, in the August presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to India, the President of Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, 118 Bishops, 200 priests, 1,500 religious and 30000 people.

St Thomas Mount soars some 300 feet (about 91metres) high above the sea level in the southern part of the city of Chennai, close to the airport. It commands a magnificent view of Chennai city and suburbs for miles around. It has definite and concrete historical foundations and undiluted religious focus.

The Mount vibrates with divine touch and devotional charm The Mount was a grant to the church by the Kings of Bisnaga, or Vijayanagar, who called the place in Telugu "Fringy Kondah" meaning "European Hill" The Portuguese called the place Monte Grande (Big Mountain) while the locals named it "Parangi Malai" because of its occupation by foreigners.

The English who came to India in the 17th century transferred the garrison to this hill and called the place St Thomas Mount and the principal road that proceeds from this Mount into the heart of the city was termed Mount Road. Though the Mount is a proud heritage of the Christians, it has remained the attraction of tourists from within the country as well as abroad.



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