|Manarcad Marth Maryam Cathedralen.wikipedia.org|
The Church, one of the oldest in Malankara and founded by Padathu Mappila, is caught between two groups - the Orthodox Syrian Churches and Jacobite churches over the authority of the church.
In the late 16th century, in order to fulfil the desire of the Christian community to build a church in the present place for prayer and worship, the local preacher Padathu Mappila and the faithfuls intensely prayed to Virgin Mary. The preacher soon had a dream in which he saw a cow and a calf together in a particular spot - a wooded area. They soon located the cow and a calf in a remote place. That spot was chosen for the proposed church. Padathu Mappila wanted to approach the ruler of this place as the land belonged to the Hindu temple board and the local Hindu chieftain might object to it. The ruler Thekkumkur king happened to be secular and was sympathetic toward the Christian community.
Padathu Mappila requested the ruler of this place. and the king allotted the land in favor of Christian community after long deliberations and the site was marked out for the church around the spot where the cow and calf were found.
Edathil Thampuran, the local Hindu Chieftain, who was unfriendly to the christian community there, objected to it and thrice pulled down the church, each time it was rebuilt . The chieftain was furious against the ruler for not getting his approval for the proposed church in his area. Purposely, he gave trouble to the ruler and the people who wanted to build the Church. The king had to depend on his army of trained men in case of war; it was a delicate position for the jest king. Padathu Mappila, at the fag end of his patience, was about to give up on his church project and the odds were against the church. Besides, his financial situation was not in a favorable position. At last, help came from Kallakkadampil family with their financial assistance and the Manarcad Church was finally completed after passing through several impediments.
The construction was finally completed between 1585 and 1590 AD. Not willing to depend on others to complete the work, Padathu Mappila voluntarily decided to give up his control on the church. The parish compensated him financially besides granting him even special rights in the church in view of his sacrifices and hardship faced by him in establishing the church. The successive generations of his family continued to enjoy these rights until the church came to have its own constitution in 1958. The only right the family today is entitled to is to stand close to the offertory box at the church as its symbolic custodian on festival days. The present church came into being in 1954. The church front is close to that of Orvieto Cathedral and remains in faith with the Holy See of Antioch.
The church, in the past, drew the attention of the media and it became a big scoop for them. Their sensational reports in the news paper created curiosity among the public and they made a beeline to this church. What was the fuzz all about? The wooden cross on the church premises was oozing scented oil after fasting and the feast. Devotees came n large number to the church at late night to witness the divine incident.
The church becomes very active and crowded in the month of September because of feast and fasting.