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Updated: December 26, 2012 12:26 IST

St. Mary’s Church awarded ‘Minor Basilica’ decree

Staff Reporter
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The St. Mary’s Church in Secunderabad. — Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
The Hindu The St. Mary’s Church in Secunderabad. — Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

The church built in Indian Gothic style in 1840 is one of the oldest in the city.

This Christmas has brought along good news for Andhra Pradesh. After many efforts, St. Mary’s Church, Secunderabad, is now awarded with the ‘Minor Basilica’ decree by Pope Benedict XVI, thus, making it the first church in State to get the decree.

Basilicas are Catholic pilgrim sites, which receive large number of visitors every year and only the Pope can create a Basilica by a special decree, said Most Reverend Thumma Bala, Archbishop of Hyderabad, at a press conference here on Sunday. A formal announcement would be made on Christmas.

Built in 1840

The church built in Indian Gothic style in 1840 is one of the oldest in the city. The four bells installed here were brought from Italy in 1901. Factors like number of visitors, heritage importance, relics or sacred images are looked into before declaring it as a Basilica, he said.

As part of the expansion works, a new 24-hour small adoration chapel will be built in the church, besides a special museum depicting the basilicas history is also to be set up.

Vijayawada

Visakhapatnam

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