Welcome to Our Lady of Snows Basilica Church
The history of Shrine Basilica is closely connected with the history of the conversion of the people (Tuticorin), the indigenous people of the Pearl Fishery Coast. In fact, Our Lady of Snows, was fondly called in Portuguese Nossa Senhora das Neves which means Our Lady of Snows. She has been given the unique title of Yelu Kadalthurai, Yega Adikala Thai in Tamil which means the Mother of Refuge for the seven major coastal villages, viz Vembar, Vaippar, Thoothukudi (Snows Basilica, Tuticorin), Punnaikayal, Virapandianpatinam, Thiruchendur and Manapad (Thoothukkudi District).Once the people of Pearl Fishery Coast had a sharp dispute with the Muslims of this area regarding the right of Pearl Fishing. The Pattankattimar (The leaders of Parava villages) requested the Portuguese to rescue them from the cruelties of the Muslims and the Portuguese agreed on condition of converting to christiantity and the Portuguese routed the Muslims. As a token of gratitude to their redeemers, the Portuguese, the people from about 22 villages numbering about 30,000 embraced Christianity in the year 1535-37. In October 1542, St. Francis Xavier arrived on the shores of the Pearl Fishery Coast to catechize them and strengthen them further in their faith.