The Cathedral Of The Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic cathedral belonging to the Latin Rite and one of the oldest church buildings in New Delhi, India. Together with St. Columba’s School, and the Convent of Jesus and Mary school, it occupies a total area of 14 acres near the south end of Bhai Vir Singh Marg Road in Connaught Place. Christian religious services are held throughout the year. The Sacred Heart Cathedral located near the Gole Post Office in central Delhi is one of the more fascinating cathedrals in the capital. Comparatively, the cathedral isn`t very old, but it still has a place in the hearts of the Christians in the city. The dream of building a cathedral was nurtured by Father Luke who was from Franciscan First Order founded by St. Francis of Assisi. Thus to fulfill his dream, Father Luke bought and acquired the land near the Gole Post Office – the cathedral …
Among the capital’s most prominent reminders of its days as a colonial city are its main churches-of which the bulk is all Anglican churches. This church is one of the major exceptions. This vast Roman Catholic cathedral was also built at the time by the British when New Delhi was coming into being. Father Luke the parish priest of the Catholic Church in Delhi during the 1920s provided the initial impetus for the construction of the church.
It was thanks to his encouragement that designs were initially invited for the church. The cathedral was finally consecrated in 1935. The archbishop of Agra presented the vestments, the church bell and fittings for the altar while Sir Anthony de Mello donated the Carrara marble of which the altar is carved. Some of Delhi’s wealthier citizens donated older furnishings for the cathedral.
Total area on which this cathedral is built is about 14 acres and was leased for an amount of Rs 360, in 1920. The lawn of the cathedral is Catholic Cathedral Lawn, in the present day having plenty of pilgrims and tourists moving about. Two schools of Catholic convent, namely the Convent of Jesus and Mary and Saint Columbus are located besides this cathedral. The foundation of this cathedral was laid by Rev Dr. E. Vanni, who was the then Archbishop of Agra, in 1929. It took four years for the completion, starting the same year. The church’s main altar was donated by Sir Anthony de Mello. Made out of pure form of marble, this altar is quite massive. Altar furniture, vestments and the bell were presented by Archbishop of Agra. British officers put in money for many other things.
Father Luke belonged to the first order Franciscan group, which was originated by Assisi’s St Francis and it was he who initiated the church construction along with the Rev. Dr. E. Vanni, the Archbishop of Agra, in the year 1929. Construction started in the year 1930. Main altar inside the church was donated by Sir Anthony de Mello, a structure made out of pure marble. Vestments, bell and furniture for the altar were donated by Agra’s Archbishop. Many of the officers of the british regime gave donations for the project.
Lots of functions are organized by the cathedral, especially on some days. In morning, prayers are done and also in the evenings. Christmas and Easter are the primary festivals and also major ones, being celebrated in the cathedral. During the Christmas festivities, there is the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth and there is also a Christmas Vigil Service, prior to the midnight of the eve of Christmas. Many social and cultural programs are celebrated all through the year.
Henry Medd, who was an architect from Engliand was given the task to design the church and he did his design with architecture of Italian style. White pillars can be seen supporting the canopy, while turrets of circular shapes were present on both sides of the entrance of the cathedral. Roof in the inside is towering and curved, floors are of stone but finely polished and arches are broad.
Transport: – Delhi, air, rail and bus services are connected to all major cities of India. Delhi is connected to domestic and international flights of foreign cities. If so, you can divide your journey into five different groups. Delhi has always been an interesting city where there is a worldwide culture. Delhi is not only the capital of India but also a major center of tourism.