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LITTLE MOUNT &  MOUNT OF ST THOMAS

LITTLE MOUNT & MOUNT OF ST THOMAS

A ROCK—HEWN CAVE on Little Mount is believed to be the place where, in AD 72, the mortally wounded St Thomas sought refuge. Near the modern Church of Our Lady of Good Health is the older Blessed Sacrament Chapel built by the Portuguese over the cave. Inside the cave is the opening through which the fleeing saint is said to have retreated, leaving behind a still visible imprint of his hand near the entrance. At the rear end of the cave is the Masonry Cross before which St Thomas is said to have prayed. By the Church of the Resurrection is a perennial spring with curative powers. Legend claims that the springs originated when St Thomas struck the rock with his staff to provide water for his thirsty congregation.

About 3 km (2 miles) southwest of Little Mount is the 95-m (312-ft) high Mount of St Thomas or Great Mount. A flight of 132 steps leads to the summit and the Church of Our Lady of Expectadons, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The most important relic here is the ancient stone cross embedded into the wall of the altar. Said to have been engraved by the saint himself, this is the legendary “bleeding cross” that miraculously bled between 1558 and 1704.

Below the eastern flank of the Mount is the Cantonment area, with its shady streets lined with 18th-century Neo-Classical bungalows.

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