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News: The Santhome miracle: A post between sea and church kept waves at bay

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  • Fr. John-Brian
    From: Thomas Posted:: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 at IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com For those who doubt the relics at St. Thomas Cathedral Chennai, please read
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2005
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      From: Thomas
      Posted:: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 at IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com

      For those who doubt the relics at St. Thomas Cathedral Chennai,
      please read this recent news:

      The Santhome miracle: A post between sea and church kept waves at bay
      Date: Monday, January 03, 2005

      CHENNAI: Father Lawrence Raj, the parish priest of the Santhome
      Cathedral Basilica has been inundated with inquiries about the story
      of St Thomas' miraculous post, supposed to have kept the sea away on
      December 26. The 450-year-old church, located a few metres from the
      water, remained unaffected by the tsunamis even though buildings in
      line with it on either side were ravaged by the waves. The belief,
      says Father Lawrence, is that when St Thomas planted the post at the
      top of the steps leading to the cathedral, he said the sea would not
      pass that point. ``But that is the legend,'' stresses the
      father, ``nobody knows whether it is true.'' The priest sounds wary
      of declaring it a miracle. Puzzling, considering his job and that he
      gives visitors what he jokingly calls ``credit cards to heaven'' -
      neat little plastic cards laminated with a pinch of soil from St
      Thomas' tomb that fit into your wallet. He offers logical
      explanations, like - perhaps it is because the church is built on a
      higher level. ``But then,'' he reasons, ``the lighthouse is on
      roughly the same plain, and the water reached it.'' Father Lawrence
      says that for the people who have faith, it would be a miracle. ``I
      believe it is'' he adds. He takes you to the terrace from which he
      saw the sea in action, as it surged across the road and flooded the
      huts in front of St Thomas' post. It is an innocuous looking log of
      wood, mounted on a cement pedestal. The story goes that a village in
      the Mylapore area was flooded when a huge tree trunk fell across the
      river. The local king brought a royal pachyderm to lug it away, but
      the task seemed impossible. Then St Thomas came along, removed the
      girdle from his waist and handed it to a bystander and asked him to
      yank the log with it. He did so and the log was moved easily. There
      is a mural illustrating the episode in the cathedral museum. Father
      Lawrence says the post is believed to be from that same log of wood.
      Though there is another story that the post comes from the chapel
      that St Thomas built in 74 AD. ``People have been asking about this
      story. It has always been around but it is difficult to confirm as
      fact something that occurred nearly 2,000 years ago. That is why I
      have been trying to verify the story with other people,'' says the
      priest. Father Lawrence is certainly not alone in believing the story
      about the safety of his church. ``Till December 31, we had about
      2,000 people taking shelter over here. Partly because since it is a
      church, it is a centre point for distributing relief material. I
      suppose it is also because people feel safe here.'' Source:IE

      Posted in Malankaranews.com


      PS: I had the opportunity to participate in procession from St.
      Thomas Orthodox Church, Chennai to Santhome Church. Though it is an
      RC Church, the Orthodox Church allowed to use it on the feast day of
      St. Thomas. The priest entered the altar, raised incense at the tomb
      and conducted prayer service. Many of our bishops and priests
      conducted prayer service here. The world has only two churches built
      over tombs of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, namely, St. Peter in Rome
      and St. Thomas in Chennai.
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