St. Philomena’s Church, Mysore

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.

Kesava Temple at Somnathpur
Ganesha Idols from Pottery Town, Bangalore

29 Responses to “St. Philomena’s Church, Mysore

  • what a beautiful church! i’d love to go there. 😀 i have a novena to st. philomena.

    The Stove
    Stalking the Bees…Again!

  • very interesting post enhanced by beautiful photographs..

  • Beautiful pics Indrani and a very interesting information about the Church which i am reading for the first time.

  • fantastic building and those vitro are amazing

  • you have captured the interior of the church very well!

  • those are beautiful stained glass windows. i love the colors 🙂

  • Hello !

    Cette cathédrale est très haute, et les vitraux sont très jolis…

    Belles photos.

  • The church is a majestic and beautiful building which I wish to visit!

  • The story of the beheading is rather gruesome, but the church itself is glorious.

  • That’s a beautiful church and a very interesting post.

  • What a mighty church!

  • The post reminds me of GOA.
    Thankyou !!!

  • beautiful Church! would love to see that with my own two eyes!

  • the stained glass is so awesome

  • beautiful church!

    MINE is here.

  • Such beautiful architecture and stained glass. Thanks for such an interesting post.

  • Whoa, this is one brilliant and massive church. Fantastic architecture and well-captured.

    I agree with Hobo. Reminds me too of Goan churches.

  • Top of my list on my next visit to Mysore – thanks to you, Indrani. Great pictures with interesting details in text.

  • Marvelous coverage…. missed seeing her statue and little bone,
    in underground chamber. Will do that next time 🙂

    Philomena’s Father shouldn’t have taken her to the Emperor. Poor child.

    A bit undecided whether to congratulate you or Canon EF-S55-
    250mm IS lens – for the superb pics 🙂

  • Thanks for the story about the church. Those glass paintings are really striking!

  • The pictures are brilliant as usual..and the story is very good..Ive stopped by at this church many times and looked at its beauty..

  • I’ve been to this Church a few years back and recall the beautiful stained glass paintings and its fabulous architecture. Thank you for a lovely post that brought back those memories.:)

  • Oh NEAT NEAT NEAT! Now that architecture is indeed art.

  • A very interesting information about the Church & beautiful stained glass paintings make it more wanted.

    And I liked your post on Ganesha too.

    Keep posting.

  • Nice story and pictures. That first photo is making my head spin a little 😆

  • Magnificent church. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  • Beautiful church building. Though I don’t belong to catholic congregation I still love St. Philomena because my paternal grandmother was named after the saint. Thanks for sharing its my first time to hear about the saint’s story,and a big Hello to you.

  • I absolutely love this church.. It’s so huge, and quiet and serene.. You can find any corner to sit in and look around.. I’m not a religious person, but of all religious places, I like churches the best, and this is one of the nicer ones 🙂

  • The interior of this church is very beautiful and the architecture is exquisite. The stained glass windows depict good craftsmanship, though not comparable to those we see in Notre Dame in Paris, nevertheless show the French influence.

    No talk on this church is complete without mentioning the college that bears the same name and is near to this church. The clergy of this church contributed immensely to the academics of the college in science, humanities and languages. For a time in 1950s and 60s, the clergy, both the ‘fathers and ‘mothers’ were the ones who knew French ( most of were either French or Europeans who knew French well) in the city and they gladly spared their time in tutoring French free of cost-yours truly was one of their students! It was sheer pleasure when I bumped into my ‘French Guru’, the’ mother’ of St Philomena’s church in 1960s, years later in 1980s
    in Notre Dame! She was truly a saint.

    For a long time, St Philomena’s Church and St Philomena’s college together with the Forbes transformer Station ( where 60Hertz power from Shivasamudram Hydroelectric station was converted to 50Hertz power for distribution to Mysore city) formed the city limit when one left Mysore towards Srirangapatna, Mandya or Bangalore.

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