Our Lady of Sorrows Church (Viagula Madha Church), Thanjavur
Our Lady of Sorrows Church, known also as Viagula Madha Church, is a prominent attraction of Thanjavur located in Pookara Street. This is the oldest church in Thanjavur District, which is believed to have been erected even before the period of Veeramamunivar or Constanzo Beschi (1740 A. D.), an Italian Jesuit priest and Missionary of South India and a famous Tamil poet.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church is famous for the annual car festival which is held on the third week of September every year. It is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety regardless of religion or caste. This church is one of the symbols of religious harmony in the temple town of Thanjavur.
The Jesuit Annual letters testify that this church was in existence at Pookara street several years before the time of Veeramamunivar (1740 A. D.) who rendered wonderful service for the development of Tamil language. 'Serfoji the Great' (1798-1832 A.D.) the great Maratha ruler of Thanjavur had contributed generously both in terms of money and lands to this church, just like he helped other churches in Thanjavur.
People teem in thousands to attend the annual car festival of this church which is celebrated every year with pomp and gaiety in the third week of September. Christians as well as people of other religions jubilantly join in the celebration and every Saturday we see people praying in this church without any discrimination of religion or caste. Even today it stands as a symbol of religious harmony in this temple town.