The Church of Infant Jesus, Bangalore

21 May

It was quite by chance that we drove by the Church of Infant Jesus in Viveknagar over the weekend, and heard some beautiful singing. We decided to stop and pay the church a visit. The husband told me it is one of the most famous churches in Bangalore city, but I had never visited it before. Neither did I know its history.

The church, which is a beautiful structure in itself, was festooned with colourful streamers. We were told it was the day of the English mass, which is, apparently, quite popular with the locals. The church’s parking lot was full and, predictably, the church too was full. There was a sense of serenity and deep piety within, as if the devotees were echoing the very words of the Lord etched outside the church building: ‘The more you honour me, the more I will bless you.’

Colourful streamers hung up outside the church

The Church of Infant Jesus

The Church of Infant Jesus was built in the year 1971, so as to commemorate the famous Infant Jesus of Prague.  It is a Roman Catholic church that has grown extremely popular over the years, thanks to miracles that have happened in the lives of a number of people who have prayed here. Many an ailment prayed for with a sincere heart in the church – from health problems to career problems and family and relationship problems – have been resolved. People from all religions flock the church, especially on Thursdays, which is a special day dedicated to Infant Jesus.

A mural outside the church

A statue outside the church

Behind the church is a metal grid on which many have tied pieces of clothes and threads or secured locks. I am assuming this is their way of requesting the Lord for a miracle in their lives. There are also small statues placed nearby, which, I think, is the devotees’ way of offering thanks for the good that has come to them.

Locks, pieces of cloth and thread secured to a metal grid behind the church

A small statue of Infant Jesus placed by a devotee outside the church

In the year 2005, a new structure was added to the church, which is presently used as a shrine to Infant Jesus. The tradition is to light a candle, purchased from one of the several vendors selling them outside the church, at the shrine and/or put a garland on the statue.

A vendor of candles and garlands outside the church

Every year since 1971, a feast for the devotees is held on January 14, which is attended by thousands from across the city.

The 1984 Tamil movie Kuzhandai Yesu (Infant Jesus) was based on this church, post which there was a further rise in the church’s popularity.

This church was, apparently, started in a small tent. Today, it has grown so much in popularity that it has become a major Bangalore landmark.

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13 Responses to “The Church of Infant Jesus, Bangalore”

  1. Deeps May 21, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    I have been to Infant Jesus Church a couple of times. It used to be a definite stop whenever I used to come to Bangalore when my father-in-law lived there. Its one place that has always given me immense calm and peace from within! I even recite the novena everyday :)

    I’m so glad you visited the church TGND :)

    • The Girl Next Door May 21, 2014 at 6:05 am #

      @Deeps

      I’m glad I could visit the church, too. :)

      You recite the novena every day? Wow! What exactly is a novena? How does it help? Could you please share it with me?

      • Deeps May 21, 2014 at 6:08 am #

        Arre its a small prayer which I started reciting ever since I got to know about Infant Jesus. It was a time when I was praying really hard for a baby, I have told you about that phase, havent I? And it really helped to stay calm. I’ll mail you.. :)

      • The Girl Next Door May 21, 2014 at 6:17 am #

        @Deeps

        Yes, you did tell me about that, Deeps. It’s so nice to hear that the prayer helped you calm down. :)

        Looking forward to your mail.

      • Deeps May 21, 2014 at 6:23 am #

        Done. Check FB messenger :)

  2. Pepper May 21, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    I love churches, you know. So needless to say, I loved this post. I generally find them to be quieter than temples, and that is what I like. The vibes are calming. Mount Mary is my favourite church in Bombay. It lies on a hillock and has some majestic charm to it. Maybe you should visit sometime if you are here.. :)

    • The Girl Next Door May 21, 2014 at 9:04 am #

      @Pepper

      I love the calm in churches, too. :)

      Thank you!

      I have never visited Mumbai, you know? I mean, really, properly visited and explored it. I should. Would love to include Mount Mary in my itinerary whenever I do visit.

  3. greenboochi May 21, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    I have heard a lot about this church, loved reading your post TGND. I should visit it sometime soon.

  4. Nish May 21, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    have passed by this church so many times, but never visited. Will make a point to look in and see one of these days.

  5. Bikramjit May 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    you know I have never been to a church.. :( I should visit one .. there is one just 4 doors down the road ..

    • The Girl Next Door May 23, 2014 at 5:05 am #

      @Bikramjit

      Arre, go na. It’s a beautiful experience in India and, I am guessing, must be even more wonderful in the UK. Why don’t you try to go to the church near your house over the weekend? After all, it’s so close to your place!

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