Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Our Lady of Snow Church, Pallipuram, part of Muziris monument site, Kerala


Our Lady of Snow Church,Pallipuram Kerala. en.wikipedia.org
Our Lady of Snow Church  was built 500 years ago at Pallippuram by the Portuguese. Previously it was minor Basillica  and  became a Basillica of Our lady of Snow on 27th August, 2012. First major renovation took place in 1931 and then in 2006. It is part of the Muziris heritage site which dates back to almost first century.
 The  biggest ever flood known in the history of Kerala (in 1341) changed the topography of the area, including the famous harbor Muziris. This harbor and the surrounding area  became submerged in the deluge,  and later a new Island emerged called Vypin, near present day Kochi  in the Vembanad Lake. Soon people began  migrating to the new land. Later during the Portuguese rule, they built a fort in 1503 to secure their trading activities at Pallipuram and it is the the oldest existing European fort in India. With the growth of Portuguese settlement as there was a necessity for Christian services,  they  built a church for the Christian community living nearby and dedicated it to Our Lady.

During the the 18th century, Tipu Sultan of Mysore invaded Kerala, including part of Travancore state and damaged the churches and Hindu temples on his way. He was against the British rulers and the rulers who supported them. To avoid pain and death,  the panicked people took shelter in this Church and prayed for their safety. Responding to their mass prayer  a miracle  had happened and from no where thick fog enveloped over the area, causing  almost invisibility.  Besides, the nearby river was suddenly in spate, threatening flooding.
The  invaders from Mysore, being  unable to see anything farther, stood there dazed. Tipu who camped at Challakkudy left the place with his army.  

It was the unexpected  miracle, a sort of divine dispensation,  that changed the name of Our Lady to Manjumatha (Our Lady of Snow).

Ref:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_Our_Lady_of_Snows,_Pallippuram