Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Marthoma Pontifical shrine, Muziris heritage monument, Kodungallur

The Marthoma Pontifical shrine. www.alamy.com
 The Marthoma Pontifical shrine is a major pilgrim center that comes under The Muziris Heritage Project undertaken by the Kerala government to preserve the ancient monuments that date back to as far as 1st century. The Marthoma Pontifical shrine, an important  pilgrim center  on the banks of the River Periyar is an integral part of the project and this church is located  about 6 km from  Kodungallur, in the village of Azhikode in Kerala.The fascinating historical fact about this place of worship is, it is believed, that St. Thomas, the apostle (one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ),  landed in Kodungallur (then known  as Musiris) on November 21st, 52 A.D and  founded   seven  and half churches in the coastal area of  Kerala;  the first one being in Kodungallur itself.  One of these churches is in the Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu.
The Marthoma Pontifical shrine. www.justkerala.in
  The bone of the right arm of St. Thomas was specially brought from Ortona, Italy and enthroned in the present Pontifical shrine on December 6th, 1953. The holy relic of St.Thomas was entrusted by the Holy See - official seat of Vatican to the C.M.I. fathers of  Devmatha Province, Thrissur. The relic is kept  in a  glass case and exhibited  daily from 9 am to 6  pm for veneration of the faithful with befitting briefing.  Special prayer services (Novena) is conduced on request every Sunday. This is the reason why this shrine at Azhikode which  is built on the model of St. Peter's Basilica, Rome has become  a great pilgrimage center  for the Christians as well as people of other faiths.

The 'Marthoma Smruthi Tharangam' (in Sanskrit language  meaning 'the creation of waves of memories regarding St. Thomas' adjacent to the shrine), offers a memorial presentation, lasting 30 minutes of the mission of the Apostle. The major episodes in the life of St. Thomas are presented with audio visual theatrical effects. in a building built in Indo-Persian style.

Ref:
The Marthoma Pontifical shrineen.wikipedia.org

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