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In 1616 A.D. Madurai mission came to Trichy. It paved the way for Christian faith also to enter. In course of time the Jesuit missionaries got the righteous support of Madurai Naicker of the lineage of the Madurai kings. King Naicker shifted the capital and throne from Madurai to Trichy. Already the king's military officers and soldiers had been converted by Robert-De -Nobili, a missionary. Through them Christianity found its way to spread in Trichy. Earlier Christianity spread through St. Francis Xavier also.


Trichy remained a sub mission station in Madurai religious province. There were a large number of Christians in the three areas of Palakarai, Dharmanathapuram (Hirudhayapuram) and Varaganeri. Even before Holy Redeemer's church was built there were about 7500 Christians. They had to go to St. Mary's Cathedral built by the Jesuits, for Holy mass and the sacraments. The way was full of grass and bushes without any facility for travel. Moreover secessionist groups carried out propaganda against faith.


Though our Lady of Sorrows Church (at present known as Palayakoil) was nearby, they could not even go there because it was in the possession of the Portuguese priests. Even in the midst of all this, the people remained firm in their faith. Therefore, it became indispensable that a church had to be built in Palakarai area.


In those days of the British rule, Trichy was under the rule of Diwan Kanjamalai Mudaliar. The place where the Holy Redeemer's Basilica is built and the land surrounding it, was given by Diwan KanjaMalai Mudaliar as a token of gratitude to Rev. Fr. Koris for a favour done to the Diwan.


On February 9th 1880, MSGR Canoz laid the foundation for the new church. On June 29th, 1881, a new church -well built sturdy, full of artistic paintings and which filled the onlookers with wonder - was elegantly built and was blessed by Pondicherry Archbishop MSGR Lovenan in the presence of MSGR. Canoz. That such a wonderful church was built in just 16 months is one of its special features.


In 1957, when Rev. Fr. A. Thomas was the parish priest, the novena to Mother of Perpetual Succour was started by a Redemptorist priest Rev. Fr. Francis. As many miracles took place through Mother of Perpetual Succour, people from different religions started coming there every Wednesday. There was an awakening in the people's spiritual life. In 2006, through the efforts of Rev. Fr. A Gabriel who was the parish priest then and the recommendation of Rt. Rev. Dr. Antony Devotta the Bishop of Trichy, Pope Benedict XVI raised this church to the status of Basilica on October 12th 2006.


The wonderful picture of Mother of Perpetual Succour is explained:


The wonderful picture of Mother of Perpetual Succour is an exquisite portrait drawn according to the norms of Eastern art. Tradition says that this picture was drawn by the evangelist St.Luke.


On the right side shoulder of the blessed mother these abbreviations can be seen.


"M. R." This is 'meter', the short form or mother. Its meaning is "Annai", "Amma", and "Mother". On the left side of God's mother these are the letters "TH.u" the short form of the word "Theou". It means "God's". When these two words are put together we get the full word "Mother of God". Let us know that God's mother is a mother of each and every one of us.


Opposite to infant Jesus' head, the following Greek letters can be seen. "IS Chs" is the abbreviation. Its expansion "Iesous Christos" means "Jesus Christ".


God's mother holds baby Jesus very carefully and safely in her left hand. On seeing the devil, Jesus is filled with fear - the slipper falls off from one leg- clutching the mother. We can see infant Jesus seated on her hand. That Jesus and mother Mary will triumph over the reign of the devil and establish divine rule is a truth mentioned in the history of salvation. (Genesis 3:15). When we are under the protection of Mother of Perpetual Help we need not be afraid of the devil and the evil of the world.


Archangel Michael is on the left side of the picture. On the right side is the archangel Gabriel. The abbreviations "0, ARM' =01; "O, ARG" = a 1 these help, us to know this:


Archangel Gabriel can be seen holding a cross, used in ancient Greece and four iron nails. Archangel Michael can be seen holding a spear, a vessel full of sour vinegar, and a stick with sea-sponge at its tip. This indicates Jesus' death on the cross. Let us understand that his death on the cross has paved the way for the redemption of all people.


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