Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: On the occasion of the Feast of St. Thomas, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi launched the Rs.30-crore project to produce a feature film on the life and ministry of Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, known as the apostle to India.

The feast day of the saint is usually marked with a colourful car procession and a special mass at the St. Thomas Basilica at Santhome, where the saint’s tomb is believed to lie. This year, the basilica had an added edge of celebration with the inauguration of the film project.

Thomas is believed to have brought Christianity to India, founding seven churches in Kerala before being martyred in Mylapore in 72 AD. The Chief Minister expressed his admiration for Thomas’ life of service and martyrs’ death, saying that any believer in God should follow his example.

Project co-ordinator Father Parulraj Lourdusamy showed a trailer of the proposed film which aims to match earlier Christian epics such as Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments and Annai Velankanni. The Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore A.M. Chinnappa said that the film was not being produced to make money or convert people, but rather to spread awareness of Thomas’ life and provide wholesome entertainment. The two and a half hour film is expected to present the central elements of the Christian faith through the preaching of the apostle at different places in India.