Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Church

Overview of Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Church – Tuticorin

Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Snow or Our Lady of Snows Church in Tuticorin is dedicated to Mother Mary. The place is believed to have been graced by the visit of Saint Francis in the year 1542. The church was built by the Portuguese on a cliff in the year 1711 and was opened in the year 1713. The church houses the statue of Our Lady that was bought to Tuticorin in the year 1555. The shrine was later raised to the statue of Basilica.

Architecture of Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Church

Our Lady of Snows, built in an ancient architectural style is a famous Christian religious center in Tuticorin. The beautiful church boasts a magnificent Portuegese architecture and an impressive carving of the shrine of Our Lady of Snows. The church is a prominent Catholic pilgrimage site and also one of the top tourist attractions in Tuticorin. The place is thronged by a large crowd of devotees during the annual festival days.

History of Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Church

The history of the church is connected with the conversion of about 22 villages constituting around 30,000 people who embraced Christianity. These native people of the Pearl Fishery Coast had a sharp dispute with the Muslims regarding the right of Pearl Fishing. They converted to Christianity as a token of gratitude to the Portuguese who rescued them from the cruelties of Muslims.

There are many miracles associated with the statue of Our Lady of Snows. According to history, the statue was taken away and installed in a nearby island for a few years. It was returned to the church in the year 1610.
She is fondly referred to as the Mother of Refuge for the coastal villages Vembar, Vaippar, Tuticorin, Punnaikayal, Virapandian patinam, Thiruchendur and Manapad.

The Basilica of Tuticorin

Basilica is a Greek term signifying a Royal Hall, which in time has come to mean a large and beautiful hall. It is the greatest honour for a church to be raised to the status of a Basilica. The 400th Anniversary of the Church of Lady of Snows was marked by Paul John Paul II raising it to the status of Basilica through his apostolic letter dated 30th July 1982.

The Shrine Basilica at Tuticorin has pointed arches, buttresses and ribbed vaults in Portuguese architectural style.

Mass Timings in Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Church

The church is open on all days. The mass timings are as below:

  • All Days – 5:30 AM, 6:30 AM and 5:30 PM
  • Saturdays – Novena Mass at 11:30 AM and Novena and Benediction at 6:30 PM
  • Sundays – 5:00 AM, 6:30 AM, 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM ad 5:30 PM

How to reach Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Church

Tuticorin is well connected by road to all major cities across South India. The nearest railway station and airport to the Church is at Tuticorin.