Christian tradition holds that that St. Thomas arrived in Kerala from Palestine in 52 A.D. preached between 52 A.D. and 72 A.D., when he was martyred on St. Thomas Mount. The basilica is built over the site where he was believed originally to be interred.
San Thome Basilica is the principal church of the Madras-Mylapore Catholic Archdiocese. In 1956, Pope Pius XII raised the church to the status of a Minor Basilica, and on February 11, 2006 it was declared a national shrine by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. The San Thome Basilica is a pilgrimage centre for Christians in India. The church also has an attached museum.
- Roman Catholicism in India
- Saint Thomas of Mylapur