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St. Aloysius Chapel - Witness the Life and Times of the Lord

June 16, 2015

St. Aloysius Chapel which is also called the chapel of St. Aloysius is a major attraction in the city of Mangalore. The city is located in the Southern part of Karnataka and has a long history of Christianity. The Portuguese, the French and the British all colonized this part of the country or at least assumed great control during some part of the 19th century. This had immense influence on not only the culture and religion of the city but also on its food, mannerisms and architecture. No part remains untouched and the modern Mangalore that we see today is a conglomeration of all its parts.

The astonishing St. Aloysius Chapel in Mangalore which has been popular round the world for its rich architecture was built by Jesuit Missionaries in year 1880. Many other artists were also involved in the decoration of the interiors. One mentionable name in this regard is that of Antonio Moscheni who was a 19th century Italian painter of fame. The Italian connection of Christianity in India originates from Mangalore. In other parts of the Southern India Portuguese were the first to introduce Christianity.

St Aloysius Chapel Mangalore

St Aloysius Chapel Mangalore | Image Resource : holidayiq.com

The Italian Jesuits came to Mangalore on Multiple missions starting from 1860. The mission of 1878 was extremely important and Aloysius College and Church were established during this mission. The Jesuits had immense love for India and were deeply affected by the social evils that existed in our society. I have always believed that Christian missionaries did a lot of good in India while developing schools of international quality and similar hospitals.

These Mangalore Aloysius Church is known for its portrayal Jesus’ life and other saints in the form of numerous oil paintings. The popular paintings include those of the St. Thomas the St. Francis of Assisi who was a leading environmentalist of his era and that of St John de Britto, who embraced Sanskrit and the Sanyasi Culture.

The paintings on the rear wall display the life and times of Jesus in more than one form. Some of these paintings have been recently restored in order to develop the Aloysius Church as an important tourist destination but many demand more restoration. Some famous paintings on the rear wall include the birth of Our Lord on Christmas night and the Crucifixion of Jesus. These paintings have a rich use of light and shade.

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