Tuesday, May 13, 2008

SAINT THOMAS FOUNDED SEVEN CHURCHES

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SAINT THOMAS LANDED IN MALABAR IN 52 AD.
HE FOUNDED THE SEVEN AND THE HALF CHURCHES
[CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES] IN VARIOUS PLACES OF
KERALA.
THEY ARE KODUNGALLUR[CRANGANORE], PALAYUR,
KOKKOMANGALAM, KOTTAKKAVU OR PARUR, NIRANAM
[THRIPPALESWARAM], QUILON [KOLLAM], CHAYAL
[NILACKAL] AND MALAYATTOR/THRIVUAMKODU. ALL
THESE PLACES WERE WELL-KNOWN TRADE CENTERS FOR
SPICES IN THE FIRST CENTURY.
1.KODUNGALLUR [CRANGANORE] CHURCH:
THIS HARBOUR CITY WAS ALSO KNOWN AS MUZIRIES OR
MALINKARA. IT IS 40 KILOMETERS FROM TRICHUR, KERALA
STATE. MALIANKARA IS THE FIRST CHURCH ESTABLISHED
BY SINT THOMAS. JEWS HAD ALREADY SETTLED THEN AND
THEY WERE THE FIRST ONES TO BE CONVERTED TO
CHRISTIANITY.
2. PALAYOOR CHURCH:
THIS WAS A MAJOR TRADE CENTER AND COLONY OF THE JEWS
AND MANY OF THEM HAD SETTLED IN THE 6TH CENTURY B.C.
THEY REACHED PALAYOOR IN ORDER TO ESCAPE FROM THE
PERSECUTION OF MEDE-PERSIAN KING CYRUS. ST.THOMAS
PREACHED THE GOOD NEWS AMONG THE JEWS AND THE
BRAHMINS. TODAY THE CHURCH IS KNOWN AS SAINT THOMAS
ARCHDIOCESAN SHRINE, PALAYOOR, CHAWAKAD, TRICHUR.
3.KOKKOMANGALAM CHURCH:
THE ANCIENT CHURCH IS FOUNDED ON THE WESTERN SHORE
OF THE LAKE VEMBANATTU, IN CHERTALAI. IT IS 32 KILOMETERS
FROM KOCHI, AND ON THE WAY TO KOTTAM VIA THANNIR-MUKKAM
BUND. SAINT THOMAS ESTABLISHED A CROSS FOR THE
NAMBUDHIRIES TO PRAY, WHO WERE CONVERTED BY HIS
APOSTOLATE HERE OVER ONE YEAR. HE BAPTIZE ONE THOUSAND
AND SIX HUNDRED PEOPLE.
KURUPPUMVEETTIL GOPALAPILLAI, IN HIS BOOK
KERALA MAHACHARITHRAM SAYS, "KOKKMANGALAM WAS AN
IMPORTANT TOWNSHIP IN THE VILLARVATTOM KINGDOM
WHICH HAPPENED TO BE THE ONLY CHRISTIAN KINGDOM IN
ANCIENT KERALA."
THE CHURCH WAS ALSO BLESSED BY THE ARRIVAL OF SAINT
FRANCIS XAVIER IN THE YEAR 1542.
4.PARAVUR [KOTTAKKAVU] CHURCH:
THE CHURCH IS KNOWN AS PARAVUR KOTTAKKAVU FORANE
CHURCH. IT IS VERY NEAR TO KODUNGALLUR WHERE
SAINT THOMAS LANDED AND IT IS ON THE SHORE OF
VEMBANATTU BACK WATERS. 1170 PEOPLE WERE ATTRACTED
BY PREACH OF SAINT THOMAS AND RECEIVED BAPTISM.
5.NIRANAM [THRIPPALWARAM] CHURCH:
SAINT THOMAS FOUNED THE CHURCH IN THE YEAR 54A.D. AND
GAVE IT THE NAME ST.MARY'S MOTHER OF GOD. THIS PLACE
IS ALSO KNOWN AS MELKUTTANADU. IT IS LOCATED BETWEEN
THE TWO BRANCHES OF THE PAMBA RIVER NEAR THE PRESENT
THIRUVALLA AND EDATHUVA IN THE DISTRICT OF ALLEPPEY.
SAINT THOMAS DID HIS WORK MAINLY AMONG THE JEWS.
THERE WERE TEN LEADING BRAHMIN FAMLIES. THEY RECEIVED
BAPTISM. HE ESTABLISHED A CROSS FOR THE NEW BELEIVERS.
EVEN TODAY WE CAN SEE THE CROSS AND THE CHURCH FOUNDED
BY THE APOSTLE.
6.QUILON [KOLLAM] CHURCH:
KOLLAM WAS A FAMOUS HARBOUR AND TRADE CENTER.
THE CHINESE AND THE JEWS HAD COMMERCIAL RELATIONS
WITH IT. THE APOSTLE PREACHED GOOD NEWS AMONG THE
JEWS AND THERE AFTER WENT TO THE LOCALS. MANY OF THEM
RECEIVED BAPTISM. INTHE 16TH CENTURY THE PORTUGUSE
ARRIVED, THERE WERE SIXTEEN THOUSANDS ST.THOMAS
CHRISTIANS FAMILES. TODAY THE CHURCH IS KNOWN AS
KOLLAM PORT CHURCH OR CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF
PURIFICATION, WHICH IS TWO KILOMETERS AWAY FROM THE
KOLLAM RAILWAY-STATION.
7.NILACKAL [CHAYAL] CHURCH:
NILACKAL IS A FOREST, ALMOST 52 KILOMETERS EAST TO RANNI
NEAR SHABARIMALA. IT WAS A MOUNTAIN ROUTE OF TRADE
BETWEEN KERALA AND TAMIL NADU. SAINT THOMAS ACCOMPANIED
BY HABBAN CAME OVER HERE PREACHED GOOD NEWS AND
BAPTISED 1100 PEOPLE. TODAY TERE EXIST THE NILACKAL,
ST.THOMAS CHURCH, ECUMENICAL CENTER TRUST AND THE
CROSS ESTABLISHED BY SAINT THOMAS THE APOSTLE. NILACKAL
IS 5 KILOMETERS AWAY FROM PAMBA ON THE WAY TO SABARIMALA.
8.HALF CHURCH: MALAYATHOOR / THIRUVANKODE
SAINT THOMAS FINISHED HIS FIRST ROUND OF MISSION IN THE
TAMILN COUNTRY AND THEN AFTER RETURNED TO KERALA
TO VISIT AND ORGANIZE THE SEVEN CHURCHES HE ESTABLISHED
HERE. AT THE TIME THE MAIN LAND ROUTE WHICH CONNECTS THE
TWO COUNTRIES, WAS THE MOUNTAIN PATH NAMED CARAVAN ROUTE
WHICH GOES THROUGH MALAYATHOOR. MALAYATHOOR - KURUSUMUDY
IS AN INTERNATIONAL PILIGRIM CENTER DEDICATED TO SAINT THOMAS.
IT IS NEAR ANGAMALY, ERNAKULAM.
THIRUVANKODE IS IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT, TAMIL NADU NEAR
THAKKALA ON THE NATIONAL HIGH WAY FROM KANYAKUMARI TO
KOVALAM, TRIVANDRAM. SAINT THOMAS PREACHED GOOD NEWS
AND ESTABLISHED A CROSS AT THIRUVANKODE. THE ANCIENT CHURCH
REMAINS TILL TODAY. THOSE CHRISTIANS WHO WERE BAPTISED BY
SAINT THOMAS ARE CALLED THARISAYAS. 64 FAMLIES RECEIVED
BAPTISM FROM THE APOSTLE.

KINDLY Donate for Reconstruction of the St.Francis Xavier Cathedral Church › kindly visit the page: 
http://palayamkottaicathedral.org/ 
Thankyou
REFERANCE BY THE BOOK: ST.THOMAS. LIFE-MISSION -MARTYRDOM.
AUTHOUR: REV.FR.PAUL THEKKANAT.