The legend is that at the beginning of the 16th century, a ship carrying a group of Portuguese Franciscan missionaries was hopelessly lost in the
In thanksgiving, the Franciscans built this church in 1516 and dedicated it to ‘Our Lady of Light’ (Nossa Senhora da Luz). Some historians dispute the date but it is the official view of the Madras Mylapore Diocese under which the Luz Church comes. Anyway, it is considered to be the oldest existing Catholic church in Chennai. I saw a mention on the Internet that Marco Polo had visited a church in Chennai. Perhaps there was one built by early Christians of the place at the spot where
The original church building at Luz was damaged during attacks by the
The Luz Church is small but beautiful. The exterior is modest but the interior, particularly the alter, is grand. Some pictures are reproduced below from http://luzchurch.org/ with permission of the parish priest.
On the left is
Fr. A. John Andrew, Vicar.
The feast of Prakasha Matha coincides with Indian Independence Day – August 15. Thousands participate in the celebrations regardless of caste and creed.
Also see: A historic church is no more.