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Malayattoor - Church - Cochin

Malayattoor (A meeting place of land, mountain and river) shot into prominence when she was blessed by the missionary work of St. Thomas the apostle of Jesus Christ. After receiving wholeheartedly the mandate to evalgelize the world, St. Thoams set out on an arduous journey which saw him land in the land of spices. He set foot at Kodungalloor, the famous port of yester years, in AD 52. The burning zeal within him to spread the good news carried him across the length and breadth of the land and founded the seven churches in Kodungalloor, Quilon, Niranam, nilakkal, Kokkamangalam, Kottakavu and Paalayoor.

Malayattoor Church

His journeys missionary expeditions took him far and wide and while traversing through the famous Caravan route St. Thomas came to Malayattoor. A hostile reception was in store and his life was in danger. He was forced to flee to the top of the mountain and he spend days together in prayer. According to the Ramban paattu, St. Thomas emulated his Lord and deliberately went up the mountain to converse with the Lord. Tradition has this story that, in deep anguish and agony, St. Thomas prayed to the Lord and upon touching the rock blood sprang forth from it. The Mother Of Our Lord, Blessed Mary appeared to console and strengthen Him. He descended from the presence of the Lord and baptized many. His zeal for the Lord took him to Mylappoor and later died a martyr's death in AD72.


Kurisumudi Church

Kurisumudi (where they found the cross) as it is popularly known, is 1269 feet above the sea level. Set in serene conditions, one cannot miss the divine. Mountain peaks gently caressing the clouds, the shimmering sheen of the Periyar below, the steep cliffs and the winding roads, all provide an ambience that is truly heavenly. Right from the time of the golden cross was found, the locals began a practice of lighting an oil lamp and whenever the lamp gave in for the wind, a herd of goats came down wailing and people used to climb the mountain and light the lamp again. Pilgrims who climb the mountain, even today carry with them seasamum seeds to feed the goats, even though goats are a rare sight.

The church at the hill top stands above the cross that St. Thomas had erected during his days of intense prayer. It is the source of comfort for the millions who climb the hill with earnest devotion. Even though the principal feast commences eight days after Easter, people start flocking the mountain from the beginning of the season of Lent. The Holy Week witnesses pilgrims thronging the mountain in very large numbers, in reparation for their sins, reciting the Way of the Cross all along the Way. A sixteen foot long cross was built over the golden cross to protect it from the wild animals and a chapel was constructed over it.

A stroll forward and you will find the footprints of the great saint embedded in the hard rock. Pilgrims flock to this Kaalpadam (footprint) to receive favours and miracle cures from the saint. A good 150 ft eastward is the oldest chapel which has stood the ravages of the time and pilgrims can still find the bearings of the tuskers who tried to demolish it. Miraculous it is indeed, to find water running down a stream, way up 1629 ft above the sea level, to quench the thirst of the pilgrims. At the foot step of the hill, is the statue of St. Thomas erected in 1938, perched on a rock to protect it from the menacing trunks of the elephants.


Malayattoor once had no access to the other parts of the state by road and the principal gateway was the waterfront. It was imperative to build a church for the pilgrims and the faithful and thus in AD 900 the present church was built. It was later renovated according to the needs of the times. The church is spacious enough and is decorated beautifully with exquisitely hand altars.


The seeds of faith sown by St. Thomas was reaping hundredfold yield and surge in population in and around Malayattoor necessitated the erection of a few other churches in the vicinity of the great pilgrim center. In 1972, a church was built in the name of the Immaculate Mary at Vimalagiry, Sacred Heart Church in the year 1977 at Illithodu and another church in the name of St. Sebastian at Sebiyoor.


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