Our Lady of Light Church 156, Luz Church Road,
Chennai - 600 004.
Phone: 044 2499 2568
A Brief History
Eight Franciscan Friars set sail for India from Lisbon with the fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral on the 9th March 1500 AD. Five of them sailed down South, and their ship was beset by angry seas. The Friars, in their fright, prayed to our Mother Mary. Suddenly their eyes were drawn to a bright light which led them safely to land on the shores of Mylapore on the same spot where the ruins of 'Bethuma', the old house of St. Thomas, the Apostle, is located.
As they moved towards the mysterious guiding light, it led them to a clearing in the forest. Here the light disappeared suddenly. Moved and inspired by this experience, Friar Pedro, of the Observance of St. Francis, built this church on the very same spot.
The Church, even today is referred to as 'Kattu koil' or 'Forest Church' by the local people. The forest has long disappeared in the metropolis of Chennai. But the historical importance of the Church is apparent from the fact that the area is officially called 'Luz', the Portuguese word for 'Light'. Luz Church was damaged during the occupation by Golconda forces between 1662 and 1673.
During the occupation of Hyder Ali between 1780 and 1782, the East India Company Forces occupied the Luz Parish Residence for some years.
The Church has survived these troubled times, and today stands proud as a testimony of faith and hope for generations to come. The Church of Our Lady of Light was built in 1516 and is now renovated and restored to its original form.