|St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Bangalore. xplore|
|St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Bangalore. www.polkacafe.com|
It was in 1851 the first church of St. Francis Xavier was built on a plot of 550 feet square by Fr. Chevalier who happened to be the first Parish Priest. He became the Bishop of Mysore in 1873 upon the death of Bishop Charbonnaux. Earlier, this plot was owned by Mrs. Zulime Watkins, a French Catholic and the widow of an English Commander, Capt. Watkins and Fr. Chevalier paid a sum of Rs.1,000/- for the plot. At that point of time, the church was good enough for a small population of Christians in Bangalore. As there had been continuous increase in the population of the Christian community, there was a demand for a bigger church that could accommodate more people. In 1911, the foundation stone was laid for a new church and it was inaugurated, after a long delay, on 26 May 1932. It was Fr. Servanton who took keen interest in the Parish and was instrumental for the construction
a new building. In 1905 the cross on the old tower fell and it
was interpreted as a sign to build a new place of worship. Fr. Servanton, raised funds for the new church. For fifty years till his death in 1948, he was closely associated with the church and its activities. The church became a cathedral in 1940. After his hectic life dedicated to the glory og Christ, Fr. Servanton was buried in his own Church. The Corporation of the City of Bangalore honored him after his death, by naming the Circle in front of St. Germain High School as "Father Servanton Circle".
The cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bangalore was initially the seat of the diocese of Mysore from 1886 to 1940. The cathedral saw its platinum jubilee in 2007 and is located near Coles Park in Cleveland Town. Additional domes were built in the front in 2009. Within the enclave, there is a shrine dedicated to St. Anthony and St. Rock, the latter possesses healing powers. In 1898 there was a threat to to the people caused by the spread of the bubonic plague and Father Servanton had a chapel built in 1909 in honor of St. Rock, the patron of the plague stricken with a prayer to the latter to care for the parish. Father Servanton stayed in India continuously and never had he gone back to his country since his arrival in India. It is said that he never took a day off to attend to his personal matters. He loved the poor very much and helped them a lot by being generous to them.
This church is one among the many beautiful churches in this area. Lots of people visit this church daily for blessings and prayers.