Aruvithura Church St. George of Irapeli, Kerala, . en.wikipedia.org
Aruvithura St. George's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church is located on banks of the Meenachil River at Aruvithura, Erattupetta in the state of Kerala. St.Thomas, one of the well-known disciples of Jesus Christ, visited Irapeli (now Aruvuthura) and established the first building of the Church which very much resembled the Hindu temples. The basic building was made of granite stones available in plenty in the nearby areas. The great apostle began to preach the essence of Christian faith in many villages in the Malabar areas of Kerala and had favorable support from the local Hindu kings.
At Irapeli there was a small Jewish community engaged in trades and business. At many place St. Thomas was busy converting people to Christianity, in particular small Jewish communities living in scattered places. Here there lived a well-known Jewish business family ''Thengummoottil.'' St. Thomas converted this prominent Jewish trader and his family to Christianity and laid a cross on the banks of the Meenachil River, making the church of Irapeli the half church. This is the first church built in the 1st century in the Palai diocese in Kerala. Later St. Thomas founded seven and a half churches in this region including an area in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, the half church being the one at Irapeli.
|Aruvithura Syro-Malabar Church St. George of Irapeli, Kerala, .Ariel flower showering.www.nasrani.net|
|St. George Forane Church, Aruvithura altar, Kerala.www.nasrani.net|
Ever since the arrival of the statue of St. George, so many miracles had happened through the intercession of the saint and the devotees had unshakable faith in the divine and mystical powers of St. George who bestowed them with favors. Because the miracles kept happening after the arrival of the statue, the church, in the 16th century itself was dedicated to him, thus St. Mary’s church of Irapeli came to be known as St. George’s Church of Irapeli. St. George was so much revered and venerated, the natives used to call him affectionately “Valyachan” - grand Uncle or grand Papa.
Since the building was too old, except a part of the building, where the statue of St.George is enshrined, other portion was demolished. It was later rebuilt in 1952. The church is a cruciform building in the Gothic style, facing to the west towards Jerusalem according to the Oriental liturgical tradition.
01. This historical church is one of the oldest churches in the world.
02. Irapeli had an trade with the Tamil countries lying beyond east of Western Ghats.
03. It is located about 25 miles east to Kottayam, an important town in the state of Kerala.
04. Initially this Church of apostolic origin was called St. Mary's Church - Virgin Mother assumed into heaven..
05. The ancient name of the place was Irapuzhai or Irapeli. Now this place is called Aruvithura.
06. Friday is believed to be the day on which the Saint George suffered martyrdom. Hence, Friday is observed as a special day of devotion and the Friday mass is quite famous. The services are mostly in the local language - Malayalam.
07. In accordance with the age old tradition of the Syrian Church that was prevalent at Irepeli prior to the 17 th century, the feast of St.George is still celebrated on 24th April every year.
"St. George Forane Church, Aruvithura". www.aruvithurapally.com. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
"Aruvithura Palli"-The Historical Church of Kerala... [PART-1]". You Tube: JOMS DigiMedia. Retrieved 6 January 2015