India's powerful living traditions of St. Thomas in India
India was Asia's cradle for Christianity. Christianity came to India long before England, Western Europe or the USA. Almost 30 million Christians living in India (the world's largest democracy) today begs the question, "what accounts for such a large presence in an ancient Hindu country?"
There are no biblical records. Nevertheless, living traditions are strong enough to prompt scholars to argue that it is more likely, than not likely, that indeed St. Thomas spent time in India.
Our tours focus on India's two southern states (Tamil Nadu and Kerala) which reveal the 20 year living traditions of St. Thomas in India after the death of Jesus Christ. The tours explore his arrival in Kerala and his death in Tamil Nadu. One becomes acquainted with the sites and current people of Thomas' life in India, the Hindu culture, the phenomenal expressions of Christian faith in India, and the sheer tropical beauty of these states.
INDIA RESOURCE: Pre-tour/On-tour
This incomparable 8-panel color tour resource was acclaimed by a university professor and an Indian airline executive as "brilliant." It is not! But, it is innovative. In concise form, the laminated accordion-folded resource explores the living traditions of St. Thomas' 20 years in India after Jesus' death. It features: three India maps, ancient ocean trade routes (Hippalus), India languages, India states, India symbols, "How Far Is It" - India cities to St. Thomas sites, India chart of world religions, primary Hindu gods, India Christian chronology, Living Traditions: seven churches, apocryphal records, realty records, maritime traditions, pre-Christian presence, ancient world influence, literary traditions, ancient testimonies (Eusebius, Jerome, Pantaenus), and living traditions of the 21st century.
Each tour participant receives a lifetime copy. Click here for more information.
Option: At the end of the tour one may choose to fly to Delhi (a 3 hour flight from Chennai) to visit the humble grave of Mahatma Gandhi. Then continue to Agra to visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Red Fort and the legendary wonder of the world: Taj Mahal.
Catholic Option: At the Vailankanni Shrine (Our Lady of Good Health) in Tamil Nadu, the remarkable shrine is described as "a place that is gaining a reputation as the Lourdes of the East." A Mass is celebrated at 10:00 A.M., daily in English. At Goa (bordering Kerala), the tomb of the patron saint of missionaries, St. Francis Xavier, is available to tourists.
The normal tour of The Living Tradition (of Christian Passages in India) takes 14-16 days. Add another 2-3 days for the Taj Mahal. And remember, India is half-way around the world from the USA!