Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Historical Kundara St. Mary's church of 1871 - brief review


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Kundara St. Mary's church, Kollam,Kerala. www.syriacchristianity.info
The Syrian Jacobite Church in India has a long history dating  as far back as  the first century when  St. Thomas, the apostle  during his visit to Kerala coast in 52 A.D established 7 and a half churches.He came to India on instruction from Christ to spread Christianity among the natives. He preached gospel in certain parts Kerala and established places of veneration including Kollam District. Later he traveled to the north for the same purpose.

Holy Altar of Jacobite Syrian Cathedral Kundara,Kerala..en.wikipedia.org
In A.D 822 Mar Sabor and Mar Proth visited Kollam and the reigning ruler of Kollam  gave them Tharisapalli plates or Tarsishapalli sasananga - documents pertaining to grant of lands.  Marco Polo, the famous Catholic traveler passed  through Kollam on his return journey to Venice, and gave an interesting account of the flourishing Christian community in and around  Kollam in the 12th Century that is far ahead of the arrival of Europeans and the British to the Indian sub continent.
Holy Girdle of St.Mary's Jacobite Syrian Cathedral Kundara.en.wikipedia.org
St. Marys Jacobite Syrian cathedral located in Kundara, Kollam District of Kerala, India is one of the oldest churches in India. The King of Travancore granted permission to build the church that was established in 1871.The legend has it that The Holy Girdle (or) Holy Soonoro , Girdle of Thomas, Holy Belt of Virgin Mary that is kept in the form of a "girdle"( knotted textile cord used as a belt), was actually dropped by the Virgin Mary from the sky to Saint Thomas, the Apostle  around the time of the Assumption of Mary to heaven. It was discovered from the church by the Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem I Barsoum and in  the presence of His Eminence Alexandros, the Greek Orthodox bishop of Homs, Syria. It was  Ignatius Zakka I, Patriarch of Antioch who proclaimed church as St.Mary's Jacobite Syrian Cathedral on the last visit to the Malankara Church in October,2008.


All the members of this church were the descendent's of Pakalomattam Family relocated to Kundara, in Kollam district St. Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Cathedral belongs to Universal Syriac Orthodox Church and theSupreme Head of the Church is Patriarch of Antioch.

Ref:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobite_Syrian_Cathedral_Kundara