Mount Festival

 

Bleeding Cross of St. Thomas

Today, the 18th of December, is celebrated as Mount Festival. The festival is celebrated at St. Thomas Mount, Chennai. The belief is that St. Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ who lived on this Mount around 72 AD, had carved a cross out of a rock and used to pray in front of it. One day while he was praying before the cross, a local priest came from behind and pierced him with a lance and killed him. It is believed that the cross was stained by his blood. This cross was accidentally found by the Portuguese who dug the site to lay the foundation for a new church in the year 1547. According to ancient records, the cross sweated blood during the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Gasper Coelho on 18th December 1558 and that it continued to sweat blood on regular intervals. The last recordings of the cross sweating blood were in the year 1704. So every year the 18th of December is celebrated as the martyrdom of St. Thomas at this site.

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