Postal Stamp Image : CHURCH OF ST. THOMAS MOUNT, MADRAS 0687 Indian Post
Stamp Issue Date : 03/07/1973
Postage Stamp Dinomination : 0.20
Postal Stamp Serial Number : 0687
Stamp Information : The arrival of St. Thomas in India was a matter of great significance. There is a general belief that Christianity was brought to India by Western countries, which is not borne out by history. The very same time St. Peter and St. Paul proceeded West, St. thomas had proceeded eastwards to India. Soo after he death, resurrection and ascension of HJesus Christ into heaven, His disciples assembled to discuss teir future plans in the light of Christ's direction to "go out all over the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation". It is said that the desciples cast lots to decide which way each of them should proceed to execute their Master's orders and it fell to the lot of St. Thomas, to go East. The tradition is that St. thomas first proceeded tothe north-western parts of India, the land of the Parthian king Gondophares during the second quarter of the first century. There is little trace at present of the activities of the saint in these regions. Perhaps his mission was short-lived as history tells us that during the Kushan invasion around 47 A.D., King Gondophares had to flee and his dynasty ended. St. Thomas also had to leave. During that period the coast of Kerala was famous all over the world for its enormous supply of spices. There were regular sailings from the Middle East to the port of Muziris near presentCranganore, about 10 miles north of Cochin. St. Thomas sailed from Arabia to India and landed at Cranganore about the year 52 A.D. The traditional belief is supported by strong evidences of the activities of St. Thomas is South India. In Kerala he founded seven churches at Palayur, Cranganore, Kottakavu (Parur), Kokkamangalam, Niranam, Nilakal and Quilon. After his evangelisation on the west cost, he shifted his activities to the Coromandel coast in tehe East. Three places are outstanding in their conectin with the missionary laboures of St. Thomas in this part viz. Mylapore, Little Mount or Periamalai. Here he was the favorite of thew local king Mahadevan. But he was ever in danger of losing his life by the scheming ministers of the king. St. thomas had to hide in the jungles of the Little Mount to escape persecurion. From Littl;e Mount he shifted to St. Thomas Mount, a very dificult place of access in those days. But the marauders sought him there, and were on the point of seizing him. Unbroken tradition maintains that while the Apostle was praying before the cross carved by him on a stone, which is seen to this day, an assasin procured by King Mahadevan's ministers abd priests, crept up stealthily and pierced him with a lance from behind. Thereupon, the Apostle is reported to have fallen on the stone cross and embraced it, his blood wetting it and the space around. This was in te year 72 A.D. This cross was accidentally discovered as the Portiguese were digging up the foundations of a new church on the ount. It is now installed in this church. This cross is specially adopted for design of this stamp, being closely associated with the death of St. Thomas. The Posts and Telegraphs Department are privileged to bring out a stamp commemorating the 1900th death anniversary of St. Thomas.
Philatelic Stamp Description : The stamp is vertical and depicts the cross in the church on St. Thomas Mount, Madras.
Stamp Currency : P
Stamp Language : English
Stamp Overall Size : 3.91 X 2.90 cms
Postal Stamp Print Size : 3.56 x 2.5 cms.
Number of Stamps Per Sheet : 35
Stamp Perforations : 13 x 13
Postal Stamp Shape : Diagonal
Postage Stamp Paper : Unwatermarked adhesive stamp paper
Indian Stamp Process : Photogravure
Number of stamps printed : 15,00,000
Stamp Printed At : India Security Press
Indian Stamp's Color : Raw Sienna
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