Feast celebration of St. George (Geevarghese Sahada) -Kuravilangad Church – 2016

Photos of feast celebration of St. George (Geevarghese Sahada) at world famous Marian pilgrim centre, St. Mary’s Forane Church, Kuravilangad.  It is in Meenachil Taluk, 22 kms north of Kottayam, on the eastern side of M.C. Road. Martha Mariam Church belongs to the diocese of Palai.

 

Aruvithura Valyachan – St. George’s Church at Aruvithura

One of the oldest churches in Kerala, it is believed that St. George’s Church at Aruvithura in Kottayam, was accustomed by St. Thomas in the first century A.D.

Watch this video to know more about this famous church.

Bharananganam Abhishekagni Convention – 2013 – Part I

Watch video of Abhishekagni Convention,Bharananganam, Kerala. Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil is the founder-director of Sehion Retreat Centre, of Palakkad Diocese. Fr. Xavier who has earned name and fame as an outstanding preacher of the Word of the Lord, Retreat Leader, television orator and organizer, is conducting many retreats for priests, nuns and believers in India and abroad.

Moonu Noimbu (3 days fast) Celebration – Kuravilangad Church – Day 1

Photos of  Moonu Noimbu ( 3 days fast) at world famous Marian pilgrim centre, St. Mary’s Forane Church, Kuravilangad.  It is in Meenachil Taluk, 22 kms north of Kottayam, on the eastern side of M.C. Road. Martha Mariam Church belongs to the diocese of Palai. “Moonnu Noimbu” is the main feast of the church. Three days fast known also as the Rogation of Ninevites , a movable feast celebrated on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, three weeks prior to the beginning of Lent. Thousands of people from all over Kerala come to this three-days-feast. Two very special features are “Aana  Ezhunnalippu”(procession with an elephant in front) and “Kappalottam”(a sailing vessel pompously carried to commemorate the journey of Prophet Jonah), on the second day. The ceremonial procession on the second day of the feast when the replica of the vessel used by prophet Jonah of the OT is taken out is the main attraction of the feast. The people of the Kadapoor locality has the privilege to carry the vessel during the procession.

Tradition is that Muthiamma appeared to the children on the second day of Moonnu Noimbu.

Photo Courtesy – Facebook Kuravilangad Church                                 Church Website

Moonu Noimbu (3 days fast) Celebration – Kuravilangad Church – Day 2

The land of Kuravilangad is blessed by the esteemed presence of world famous Marian pilgrim centre, St. Mary’s Forane Church, which was built in 105 A.D(just one hundred years before Constantine declared Christianity as the official religion in the Roman Empire). It is believed, Mother Mary’s first appearance in the world, was in Kuravilangad. Our Lady appeared to a few children at Kuravilangad, who were tending their flock in the bushes. Our Lady asked them to build a church at the place from where a miraculous perpetual spring sprouted, a spring which exists even today. The children reported the events to the elders and a church was built there.

“Moonnu Noimbu” is the main feast of the church. Thousands of people from all over Kerala come to this three-days-feast. The ceremonial procession on the second day of the feast when the replica of the vessel used by prophet Jonah of the OT is taken out is the main attraction of the feast. The people of the Kadapoor locality has the privilege to carry the vessel during the procession.

Photo Courtesy – Facebook Kuravilangad Church                                 Church Website

Moonnu Noimbu Thirunal – Day 3 – St. Mary’s Forane Church, Kuravilangad

The land of Kuravilangad is blessed by the esteemed presence of St. Mary’s Forane Church, which was built in 105 A.D(just one hundred years before Constantine declared Christianity as the official religion in the Roman Empire). It is in Meenachil Taluk, 22 kms north of Kottayam, on the eastern side of M.C. Road. Martha Mariam Church belongs to the diocese of Palai.

“Moonnu Noimbu” is the main feast of the church. Thousands of people from all over Kerala come to this three-days-feast.  Below is the video of the Moonu Noimbu (3 days fast) celebration – Day 3.

Indian Saint – St. Alphonsa

St. Alphonsa

Saint Alphonsa who lived as an unknown simple clarist nun within the four walls of the Franciscan Clarist convent at Bharananganam, in the state of Kerala, is now known all over the world. Her extraordinary power of intercession before her beloved Spouse Lord Jesus Christ, made her dear to everyone. Thousands of people from all walks of life irrespective of caste, creed, religion or country flow to the tomb of the saint to pray for their various needs and to pay homage and gratitude for the innumerable favours they received. Read more and watch video of the shrine and life history.

Photography 101: Treasure – Aruvithura Church

Side View - Aruvithura Church

It was my great wish to visit this church once. Last June I could visit and that is a great treasure for me.

One of the oldest churches in Kerala, it is believed that St. George’s Church at Aruvithura in Kottayam, was accustomed by St. Thomas in the first century A.D.  You are welcome to view more photos of this beautiful ancient church.

This church is around 15 mins (7.2 km) away from Bharananganam, Palai, where the Tomb of  St. Alphonsa – The passion flower of Kerala is situated, and 31.6 km (app.1 hr) away from the world renowned pilgrim centre St. Mary’s Forane Church, Athirampuzha.

Beautiful Church, Aruvithura – Photo

One of the oldest churches in Kerala, it is believed that St. George’s Church at Aruvithura in Kottayam, was accustomed by St. Thomas in the first century A.D. I have taken photos during my visit to this church.

Front View - Aruvithura Church

Front View – Aruvithura Church

Side View - Aruvithura Church

Side View – Aruvithura Church

St. George - Aruvithura Church

St. George – Aruvithura Church

Holy Mary - Aruvithura Church

Holy Mary – Aruvithura Church

Altar - Aruvithura Church

Altar – Aruvithura Church

Altar - St. George - Aruvithura Church

Altar – St. George – Aruvithura Church

Aruvithura Church

Aruvithura Church

St. Alphonsa – The passion flower of Kerala

St. AlphonsaSaint Alphonsa who lived as an unknown simple clarist nun within the four walls of the Franciscan Clarist convent at Bharananganam, in the state of Kerala, is now known all over the world. Her extraordinary power of intercession before her beloved Spouse Lord Jesus Christ, made her dear to everyone. Thousands of people from all walks of life irrespective of caste, creed, religion or country flow to the tomb of the saint to pray for their various needs and to pay homage and gratitude for the innumerable favours they received.

                                      Prayer of St. Alphonsa
O  Lord  Jesus, hide me in  the  wound of your sacred heart. Free me from my desire to be loved and esteemed. Guard me  from my evil attempts to win fame and honor. Make me humble till I become a small spark in the flame of love in your Sacred Heart. Grant me the grace  to forget myself and all  worldly things. Jesus,  sweet beyond words, convert all  worldly  consolations  into  bitterness for me. O my Jesus, Sun of Justice, enlighten my  intellect and mind with your sacred rays. Purify my heart, consume me with burning love for you, and make me one with you.

Life of St. Alphonsa

St. Alponsa was born on 19th August 1910 as the fourth child of Joseph and Mary Muttathupadath, in the parish of Kudamaloor in the state of Kerala. She was baptized on the 27th August. Her baptismal name was Anna and her pet name Annakutty. Her mother passed away three months after her birth.

Annakutty started her schooling at Arpookara and left for Muttuchira Govt. School for pursuing her studies from the fourth class onwards under the immediate supervision of her maternal aunt Annamma Muricken. The aunt brought her up extremely affectionately, but equally strictly also. Her one ambition was that the child should be brought up as a respectable housewife for a deserving bridegroom. Annakutty had a vision of St. Theresa of Liseux whose life in spired her to become a religious. She therefore did not yield to any marriage proposal. Finally when she was almost compelled to be betrothed at to the church, she extricated herself from it by voluntary burning her foot placing it an ash pit of burning husks. Against such determine resistance the aunt succumbed to her desire and permitted her to join a convent .

Annakutty joined Clarist convent at Bharananganam in 1927 on the feast of Pentecost. She recived the veil postulant on second August 1928 with the name Alphonsa. Her vestition was on 19th May 1930. Later she joined the St. Theresa’s School Changanacherry for higher studies, on completing which she engaged in teaching for a period of one year at Vakakkad. Sr. Alphonsa entered the novitiate on 12th August 1935. During this period, she had a sever attack of hemorrhage and it was feared that she would have to be sent back. But on the ninth day of novena held by her and the community seeking intercession of Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavera, she was miraculously cured her. She completed the novitiate and made the solemn profession of her religious vows on 12th August 1936.

Sr. Alphonsa continued to have her repeated spells of sickness and pain. She was on a bed of thrones torn and tortured by excruciating pain and prolonged agony. Here was an rejoiced in the lord and magnified Him. She was longing to suffer even more for her own sanctification and that of the world.

She constantly advised her companions and novices to accept suffering cheerfully citing the biblical references to the grain of wheat which has to fall down and decay for raising new sprouts; it has to be ground in order to be turned into hosts for transformation as the body of Our Lord. She also reminded them of the grapes which have to be crushed for yielding wine to become the blood of the Lord.
Her death(28th July 1946) was unnoticed by the public. The funeral was simple and thinly attended. But soon the school children , who loved her received favors through her intercession. Her tomb at Bharananganam turned into a great centre of pilgrimage attracting people from far and near.

How to reach:

Bharananganam town is located 5 kms east of Palai in Kottayam district on the Kottayam – Erattupett Road. Palai lies 30 k.m southwest of Kottayam.

Air : The nearest airport is at Kochi International Airport, Nedumbassery about 76 km km from Kottayam.  The routes are Nedumbassery – Aluva – Kalamassery – Thripunithra – Ettumanoor – Pala -Bharananganam or Nedumbassery – Kalady – Perumbavoor – Muvattupuzha – Thodupuzha – Palai -Bharananganam

Rail  : The nearest railhead is Ettumanoor which is 12 kms from Palai and the nearest railway station is at Kottayam (33 km) and is connected with major cities of South India.

Road : There are frequent buses from Kottayam and Palai to Bharananganam, and Kottayam is well connected by road to all important South Indian cities and towns.

St George Forane Church, Aruvithura

St.George Forane Church Aruvithura belonging to the Syro-Malabar Rite in the diocese of Palai, is situated on the left bank of the river Meenachil. A beacon of the nineteen century old Christian faith, the church stands on an account aboveboard spot, about 25 miles due east to Kottayam.

One of the oldest churches in Kerala, it is believed that St. George’s Church at Aruvithura in Kottayam, was accustomed by St. Thomas in the first century A.D. The yearly feast is committed to St. George, the patron of the church and has all the approved festivities, rituals and appearance archetypal of church feasts in Kerala. I have taken photos of this beautiful church.