St. Mary’s Cathedral Church The Church of Our Lady of Dolores, popularly known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, is one of the ancient churches in Tamil Nadu. It is known for its architectural splendor with its magnificent spires rising to the skies. The site on which the present Cathedral stands was bought in 1840 by Fr. Joseph Bertrand, one of the four pioneers of the New Madurai Mission. In 1841, Fr. Louis Garnier, built a small church, 32 feet broad, modeled on the Cathedral of Tirchy. He was responsible for resettling thirty Catholic families of Sailors from Puduppatti around the Church. During the period of Fr. Trincal, sj (1855) the number of Catholics rose from 600 to 2,500 and continued to increase. To accommodate more Catholics the church was extended under Fr. Hippolyte Blanc, sj (1879-1885) and provided with two lofty bell towers in the Roman style. The altar piece, a depiction of the Last Supper, is unsigned but is said to betray obvious signs of the Raphaelite school, and it is supposed that Raphael himself painted the central figures. The altar piece was brought to Madras as part of the spoils of war by the British troops who stormed Pondicherry in 1761.