St. Mary's Church, Manarcad

  • HISTORY

    The Marthamariam cathedral (St. Mary's cathedral) at Manarcad is internationally famous. The ancient practice of 8 day fast and the Feast of Virgin Mary's Birth are celebrated between September 1st and 8th of every year at the cathedral.

    Because of the unseen presence and blessings of Virgin Mary, the Manarcad cathedral, the 8 day Fast and other observances have withstood the passage of time and attained international reputation. During the fast days, hundreds of thousands of people from the far corners of the world reach Manarcad to seek the blessings of Virgin Mary. Around this time all roads lead to Manarcad cathedral which is located just 9km. east of the town of Kottayam .

    Manarcad cathedral is the most important church among the ancient churches of Malankara. The stone inscriptions found at the church reveal that the church was built more than a 1000 years ago. Archeologists have found out that these stone inscriptions were memorial stones set up at the tombs in 910 A.D. and 920 A.D. and the writing on them are in Malayalam and Tamil scripts prevalent 600 years ago.

    Afterwards, on several occasions, the church was rebuilt and renewed. In the 16th century there was not a single church in the land which was not re-built in the Portugese style. It is believed that the Manarcad cathedral also was re-built at that time in the model of the Kottayam Small Church .

    The Manarcad Church has been in existence right from its inception till date under the leadership of the Holy Bava, the Patriarch of Antioch and of all East from the throne of St.Peter and the Blessed Catholic Bava and the Arch Bishop appointed by the Throne of Antioch.

    A great institution

    The Manarcad cathedral and the 8-day Fast, these continue to attract an unmitigated flow of millions of worshippers who seek the blessings of Virgin Mary.

    The Manarcad Parish today consist of over 2500 families spread over 12 contiguous places, which is led by a team of a Vicar and 9 Assistant Vicars.

    The Church has under its auspices a number of educational institutions including the St.Mary's College, religious and social service institutions and a most modern hospital.

    During the 8-day Fast in September, the helpless and the hapless throng the church to pray to Virgin Mary for cure of diseases, for getting children for the childless, for guarding against calamities and for getting the wishes fulfilled. The pray and beg to their Mother with tearful eyes. They place their offerings before her. The testimonials of people who have received blessings are numerous.

    Taking into account the number of worshippers who visited the church during the last 10 years, arrangements have been made to receive an estimated 3 millions devotees this year.

  • Manarcad Marthamariam Cathedral (St. Mary's Cathedral), is a Jacobite Syrian Christian Church located about 9 km from the town of Kottayamin KeralaIndia and a destination for people on annual pilgrimages seeking the blessings of the Virgin Mary. During his 2004 apostolic visit, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas elevated St Mary's to the status of Cathedral and Universal Marian Pilgrim Centre.There are more than 4000 families in this parish and is one of the largest Christian parish in kerala.
  • Address: Manarcadu-Kidangoor Rd, Manarcadu, Kerala 686019
    Phone:0481 237 2700
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  • Administration[edit]

    • Vicar: Kuriakose Cor Episcopa Ittiyadath
    • Co-vicars: Kuriakose Corepiscopos Kizhakkedathu, Kuriakose Corepiscopos Karukayil, Kuriakose Kalayil, Mathews Vadakkedathu, Mathews Manavathu, Andrews Corepiscopos Chiravathara, and M.I. Thomas Mattathil[4]

    The Small Church and the crosses[edit]

    The Small Church was built just opposite the main church on the main road. Eight kilometers east of Kottayam town, on K.K. Road, at Manarcad Junction, lies a Cross of the Church. The church and all church establishments are all only around 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) north of this cross. There is another cross set up half a kilometer west of the Churchyard at Kottayam.

    Schools & Hospitals[edit]

    • St. Mary's CBSE School, Manarcad (established 1993)
    • St. Mary's Higher Secondary School (established 1949)
    • St. Mary's IT College (established 1978)
    • St. Mary's Nursing School (established 1976)
    • St. Mary's College (established 1981)
    • St Mary's Hospital

    Spiritual Organizations[edit]

    Sunday School[edit]

    First Sunday School was established in 1926and now there are 16 Sunday schools under this parish. They inculcate Christian faith in children and to develop the spiritual culture in them. They are also being trained to develop the leadership qualities latent in them. More than 2000 children learn dpiritual lessons from 300 instructors at these Sunday School. These Sunday School jointly participate in VBS, Teachers Seminars and Christmas Carols.

    Vanitha Sanajam[edit]

    They function with the cum of enabling the ladies to attain spiritual enlightenment and nobility of mind. The members visit patients and pray for their recovery. They also extend financial help to poor patients. It is the bounden duty of the members to visit those who are in distress and sorrow and alleviate their suffering by offering them spiritual advice. 18 units of this organization functions in this parish.

  • Feasts[edit]

    • January 15 – A feast invoking the blessings of the Virgin Mary on agricultural seeds
    • February 26 – Sunero Feast
    • May 6 – Commemoration of St. George
    • August 15 - Virgin Mary's Ascension Day
    • September 8 - Feast of the Virgin Mary's birth; millions attend the annual 8-day celebration, known as Ettunombu Perunnal, during which an image of Christ and the Virgin is unveiled.[1][2][3]

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