A novel feature atSt. Thomas Basilica

flying high:The flag mast, at Santhome Basilica, was blessed by Arch Bishop A.M. Chinnappa.Photo: S. ARUL ANAND  

A 90-feet-high flag pole has been erected in the precincts of St. Thomas Basilica (Santhome Church). Made of panchalogam, it has been coated with a special kind of brass which will protect it from corrosion for the next 10 years.

At the bottom of the flag mast, figures of Jesus, Mother Mary, St. Thomas and St. Antony have been carved.

On July 2, after a grand procession, this panchalogaflag mast was blessed by Arch Bishop A.M. Chinnappa. Also the festivities of St. Thomas feast, which began on June 24 ends today. To mark this event, Dr. Rev. Lawrence Pius will lower the flag and conclude the celebrations.

This flag mast has been donated by a real estate businessman, Maria Robin of Tirunelveli. According to Mr. Robin, his business started flourishing after he began to frequent the basilica. As a thanksgiving gesture, he has put up this flag mast at a cost of Rs. 12 lakhs.

“This is the first time such a mast is being put up in the Arch diocese of Madras-Mylapore,” says Rev. Fr. Kanickai Raj, Rector & Parish priest of the National Shrine of St. Thomas Basilica.

Explains the priest: Now we can hoist the flag during festivals. It is a sign of carrying forward our prayers. It also denotes that all those who grace the festival are part of the celebrations and will be praying for the welfare of mankind.