“A Lamp Placed in Darkness”

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“Thomas was a lamp placed in darkness to illuminate the earth filled with the smoke of false sacrifices.
It was to a land of dark people he was sent, to clothe them by Baptism in white robes.
His grateful dawn dispelled India’s painful darkness.
He, one of the Twelve, like a great lamp with oil from the Cross replenished, flooded India’s dark night with light.It was his mission to espouse India to the One-Begotten…
Edessa thus became the blessed city by possessing the greatest pearl India could yield.
Thomas works miracles in India, and at Edessa Thomas is destined to baptize peoples perverse and steeped in darkness, and that in the land of India.”
(From the “Hymns of Saint Ephraem (Ephrem) the Syrian, on Apostle Thomas and India” – Ephr. Hymni et Sermones, IV)

Christianity is India’s third-largest religion, with approximately 24 million followers, constituting 2.3% of India’s population.
The works of scholars and Eastern Christian writings state that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who visited Muziris (Kodungallur ) in Kerala in 52 CE to proselytize amongst Kerala’s Jewish settlements.
As with early Christianity in the Roman Empire, it is assumed that the initial converts were largely Jewish proselytes among the Cochin Jews who are believed to have arrived in India around 562BC, after the destruction of the First Temple.
Many of these Jews presumably spoke Aramaic like St. Thomas, also a Jew by birth, who is credited by tradition with evangelizing India.
Therefore Christianity in India is almost as old as Christianity itself and spread in India even before it spread in many predominantly Christian nations of Europe.
Today most Christians in India are Catholic following the Latin rite.
The Christian Church runs thousands of educational institutions and hospitals contributing significantly to the development of the nation.

This picture was shot at All Saints Cathedral ( known as Patthar Girja Ghar) in Allahabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, it was built in the 19th century in Gothic style and designed by Sir William Emerson, the eminent architect who designed the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata and it figures among the finest Cathedrals of India.

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