Parish Priest’s Message

The Shrine of St. Theresa of Avila at Mahe is one of the oldest Shrine in India and also the oldest Shrine in Malabar. The early history of this church was shrowded in mystery until recently when a valuable record “De missione Mahinensi in Malabaribus Commentarius by Rev. Fr. Ignatius,H.S. Hippolytes O.C.D. Dated 2nd July 1757 was discovered in the Carmalite Archive in Rome. A copy of the record is also preserved in the Archive of the propaganda in Rome. According to the historical document of Rev. Fr. Dominic of St. John of the cross Italian……came to Mahe and established the Mahe Mission in 1723 when king Bayanor, the Raja of Kadathanad near Badagara was the ruler. In 1736 the church was dedicated to St. Theresa the reformer of Carmalite order. In 1760 the shrine was destroyed due to the war between French and English, later in 1799 the shrine was reconstructed and given the form in which it is seen today by Abbe Duchenin. The clock tower was renovated in 1855 and the clock on the tower gives correct time even now to the whole town of Mahe. The clock said to had been presented by some Fench Marine to the church. The documents do not speak the origin of the miraculous statue of St. Theresa but two traditions are existing among the people.

The miraculous statue was supposed to have been carried in a ship along the West Coast and the ship is said to have stopped at Mahe and would not move whereupon the crew understood that it was the will of St. Theresa of Avilla that this particular statue was to be enshrined at Mahe.

Another tradition has it that this miraculous statue was caught in a fisherman’s net in the sea near Mahe.

Ever since the establishment of the Shrine in 1736 a strange devotion has grown up here to this great saint of God and is specially fostered by the non-christians, Hindus and others. As a result of the great favours and extra ordinary graces that have been and are being granted at this Shrine. Devotees from various part of India as well as foreign countries like Srilanka, Singapore, France, England and America have placed themselves under the care of St. Theresa. During the Annual Feast, 5th to 22nd October devotees flow to the church to realise the power of intercession of the wonder worker of Mahe. The miraculous statue is exposed once in the year during festival Days. It is strange to notice that large member of Hindus visit the Shrine and pay homage during festival days.

The year 2015 is a special graceful year for the people of Mahe region as they celebrate the 500th Birthday of their patroness, St. Theresa of Avila. Spiritual and Material preparations are in their full swing. 500th Birthday celebration begins on 26th March and ends on 28th March. I take pleasure in inviting all the devotees, readers and well wishers to this blessed moments. May the intercession of St. Theresa of Avila/Mayyazhi amma remains with all of you in your sorrows & joys. Devotees who wish to  offer their mass intentions, donation and any other offerings are welcome to visit the great Pilgrim Centre. Being the Parish Priest of this Shrine, I welcome all of you to to pay visit and respect the great saint of St. Theresa of Avila at Mahe.