The church is impressive. The granite building with its towers and domes lure you to enter the ‘God’s house’. And once you enter you are bewitched. The stone towers, the belfries, the Tuscan pillars, the central pediment with its beautiful lotus motif- the church laid like a cross is an architectural beauty.As you go nearer you see the stations of cross and sight the beautiful stained glass windows. The whole atmosphere of St Francis Xavier Cathedral with its schools, chapels and the gardens is quite soothing and refreshing. Here is a peek in to its history.
History of St Francis Xavier Cathedral:
The church has a history of more than a 100 years and is named after the patron saint of Goa- St Francis Xavier. The site where the church stands today belonged to the widow of an English Commander named Captain Watkins. She sold it to Father Chevalier, the first Parish Priest of Saint Francis Xavier. The parish existed way back in 1851 as a small structure.
It grew under Father Servanton who was appointed to the church sometime in 1898. Father Servanton, a zealous priest known for his hard work and commitment- he is said to have never taken a holiday, build the present church in 1932. The foundation stone was however laid much before in 1911;due to first world war the building came up much later. Servanton raised funds, going from house to house, organizing concerts …. The total cost of the structure came to be about one lakh rupees. The church was designated as a cathedral in 1940. For his passion and work , the Bangalore corporation has named a circle after him.
What to look out for?
The church can be termed as one of the best churches in Bangalore. A couple of things to watch out for in this Indian Church are
- The relic of Francis Xavier installed near the altar.
- Stained glass painting adorning the windows. Most of them are Biblical themes.
- The architect of the present building, Father Vissac is buried in the cathedral and so is Bishop Pothacamury who consecrated the cathedral.
- Central pediment with their engraved motifs.
The church compound boasts of a chapel, St Anthony and St Rock schools, Father Servanton community hall, youth center and a beautiful garden laid with trees. The mass is held in three languages Kannada, English and Tamil.
How to reach the church?
The church is located in Fraser Town in Cleveland Town near Father Servanton Circle. Cantonment bus stop and railway station is located nearby, 1.7 km to be precise.
Website of the church: