St. Ignatius of Loyola

(October 23, 1491 - July 31, 1556)

The Founder of the Jesuits


Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve;

to give, and not to count the cost,

to fight, and not to heed the wounds,

to toil, and not to seek for rest,

to labor, and not to ask for reward,

except that of knowing that we are doing your will.

-St. Ignatius of Loyola

The chequered history of the Church in Dhyana Ashram ”MA DE DEUS” (Mother of God ) Begins with the arrival of St. Francis Xavier at Mylapore in 1545. He stayed for a few months in San Thome Area. When he bade goodbye to San Thome, the local people begged him to send some missionaries to live with and work for them. Accordingly in 1547, Fr. Alphonso Cyprian arrived and took his residence at San Thome. The Bishop and the Governor of San Thome gave the Jesuits five acres of land which is now the present campus of Dhyana Ashram.

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Dhyana Ashram is a Spiritual Retreat House run by Jesuits to promote renewal of life of Laity, Religious and Priests for an Integral Mission of God.

It attempts to achieve this :
  • By contextualizing the challenges of the Gospel of Christ Jesus
  • By contemporizing the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
  • By concretising The Church Responses to the realities of Tamilnadu/ India today.
  • 1547 : St. Francis Xavier sends Fr. Cypriyan S J who becomes Parish Priest in Dhyana Ashram
  • 1576 : The Portughese build the church
  • 1958 : Jesuits undertake retreat ministry
  • 1999 : The new Church is built.
  • Great men like Francis Xavier, St. John De Britto, Robert De Nobili and Joseph Beschi have left their vestiges on the holy ground of Dhyana Ashram.