Santhome Cathedral is the main church of the Madras-Mylapore Catholic Archdiocese. Located at the souther end of Marina beach in Santhome, the church attracts numerous devotees from all over the world. It was built by the Portuguese Voyagers in the sixteenth century and is dedicated to Saint Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. It was erected on the tomb of St. Thomas and possess a small hand bone of St Thomas and the head of the lance that brought him down. Later it was rebuilt by the British in 1893 with a purpose to showcase Neo-Gothic architecture. In the year 1956, the church was given the title of a minor Basilica by Pope Pius XII celebrating its chronological importance and aesthetic value. The word Basilica signifies a royal house or palace. The title Basilica is a measure of the beauty of a church and is conferred on those churches which are antique and hold historic importance. It received the tag of the 'International Shrine' on 11th February in the year 2006 by the Catholic Bishops Conference Of India.
There is a beautiful stained glass window inside the church which depicts the story of St. Thomas. Scenes taken from the last few days of the Christ have been beautifully depicted on the fourteen wooden plaques inside the central hall of the church. Within the church is a beautiful 3ft. High statue of Virgin Mary, the sight of which infuses a peaceful feeling in heart. It is believed that it was brought from Portugal in the year 1543.