History of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Sailing in an Arab merchant vessel, St. Thomas is believed to have landed at Kodungallur port in Kerala, in 52 AD. A hostile reception was given and his life was in danger. He was forced to flee to the top of the mountain and had spent days in the abode of God. In deep anguish and agony St. Thomas prayed to the Lord and upon touching the rock, blood sprang forth from it. In 52 AD he reached Malayattoor and selected the place for prayer and worship. His zeal for the Lord took him to Mylapore and later died a martyrs death there in 72 AD.
Later, while on hunting the local people found a divine light emanating from the hard rock and upon examining the source they found a golden cross. They later discovered the footprints of the great saint and when this extra ordinary piece of news reached the plains, people began to flock the hills of Malayattoor.
Structure of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
The church has a combination of Greco-Roman architecture with the altar designed in traditional Greek style, and the front portion of the church following the traditional Roman Catholic Church architecture. Behind the central altar, one can find the carvings, designs and paintings, which include the 5 joyful mysteries of Jesus Christ. The church has separate facilities for confession and adoration. The church also has an ancient pond that was used for baptism purposes and a traditional pulpit that is considered to be of much historical significance.
Festivals at St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
The big and auspicious occasion is the feast of St. Thomas, which is observed on the first Sunday after Easter, when thousands throng the shrine for his blessings. Thousands of pilgrims gather here for the annual festival of Malayatoor Perunnal, held during the months of March or April.
Places to Visit at St. Thomas Mount
Besides the main shrine, visitors to Malayattoor can also find interesting sites in and around the hill top, namely
How to Reach St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Malayattoor Church is easily reachable from anywhere in Kerala and Cochin as the place is well connected by a wide network of roads. The nearest railway station is Angamaly which is about 17 km away and the nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, about 15 km from the church.
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