Only few churches in the world are blessed with panoramic pastoral setting. Poondi madha basilica , in Thanjavur district in Tamilnadu , is one of the blessed church. The church is located in a beautiful area, surrounded by paddy fields. The visitors will enthralled by the natural beauty.
This place is also known by the name Alamelupuram poondi . it is a small hamlet of Christians and hindu on the delta of rivers Cauvery and Coleroon . The church of OUR LADY attracts thousands of pilgrims ,including hindu pilgrims .
The legends says that the church was built in 18 th century . An Italian Jesuit Fr. Beschi , built the chapel in between 1714 and 1715 . the chapel dedicated for our lady Queen Mary of immaculate conception . The statue of our lady had brought by the French missionaries in 1858 . The earlier times , poondi and Michaelpatti are in same parish. In 1945 michaelpatti bifurcated from the poondi, and the poondi became a separate parish.
In 1950 the villages saw a huge brightness inside the locked church at the night. They opened the church , with the parish priest Fr. David , but they can’t find a single lamp or a fire inside the church. The miraculous brightness was noticeable for many years . The eyewitness says that , they experienced a glowing brightness inside the church in these days . The happiness of the eyewitness beyond the limit.
The words fails to describe the divine
The basilica became popular among peoples from 1955 . At the time Rev . Fr . Lourdes was the parish priest. In 1976 , a piece of original holy cross is brought from Rome and placed under the Altar of Queen mary . The effort for this was taken by the Rev Fr. Rayappar . The pope John Paul 11 raised the poondi church as a ‘minor basilica’ in 3 rd August 1999. Thus it became the fourth minor basilica in tamilnadu. The current director of this basilica is Rev Fr. M. A Sebastian.
Celebrations in poondi Basilica
The annual fest is in between may 6 and may 15 . The birth of queen mary is also celebrated on September 8 .