|St. George Forane church , Edapally, Kerala. metrovaartha.com|
|St. George's Church, Edappally, Kerala. www.youtube.com|
Among the Indian states, the southwestern state of Kerala has lots of churches of great antiquity and all of them were Catholic churches. Kerala is home to seven and half churches established by St. Thomas in 52 AD. The St. George church, Edappally established by the descendants of those who were converted to Christianity,in the bygone era is a popular one.
St. George Syro-Malabar Forane Church, which is 1400 years old (was built in 594 AD), is located in Edappally, about 10 km from the city of Kochi, Kerala, South India. In the past centuries ago, it was a small village and was part of the princely kingdom of Elangalloor. The 14th Centenary Celebrations of the founding of the Church was held with great fanfare, religious fervor and solemnity by the parish on 18 January 1994. A public meeting was also held under the auspices of the Church which was graced by revered, noble soul - Mother Theresa of Calcutta. The new Church is considered as the largest and most impressive Church in India with a built up area of over 85100 square feet. It has the honor of being the biggest of all the Churches of the Syro-Malabar Sabha (Syrian Catholic Church) in the world and it can accommodate 5,000 people at a time in the main chapel.
|St. George's Church, Edappally,Kerala. photo.webindia123.com|
The oldest church was first built by the the descendants of the people converted into Christianity by St. Thomas, the Apostle who came to India in 52 AD. During his time the Christian community was small in number and when it grew larger, there arose a necessity to enlarge the old church for additional accommodation. In A.D. 1080 a new church came up with renovated altar, adoring the picture of Virgin Mary which was surrounded by sculptures, angels and vines. Today all we can see is the altar, which stands in the second church. The second church with its intricately carved and painted wooden altars and artifacts has been converted into a museum.
|Oldest building.St.George's Church,Edappally, Kerala. planbox.wordpress.com|
The present Church was built over a period of 15 years and was consecrated in April 2015, The work began on 1 January 2001 with blessings from Pope John Paul II. The early Church was built about 300 years after the martyrdom of Mar Geevarghese who was a Syrio Palaestenian ( about 275 AD and 285 AD). Being a soldier he was an ardent follower of Christ and during the religious persecution under Emperor Diocletian at Nicomedia he vehemently stood against the enemies. But, unfortunately he was put to death and upon his demise he became St. George and thousands of churches came up across Europe and parts of the East in his honor. He was officially recognized as the Patron Saint of England.
|Edappally-St George's Forane Church,-www.panoramio.com|
The Edappally Church also came to be known as the St. George's Church and St. George is venerated here. He is also known as Gee Varghese Sahada / punyavalan).The statue here is symbolic of courage and faith and devotees who come over to this church from various places consider him a great symbol of strength
|The newly-built St. George Church at Edapally, Kochi, shevlin's world|
and succor. He is believed to have protected the people from wild animals particularly poisonous serpents. Among all the Patron Saints of the Christian devotees of Kerala and elsewhere, St. George is one of the most important saints.
St. George's Church consecrated..
(Modified October 29, 2016)