- Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
"Do not be deluded by thoughts that virtue exceeds your powers and is
impossible for you; but, inspired by faith, boldly make a beginning, show
before God your good will and diligence - and you will see the help He will
send you to practice virtue. Imagine two ladders, one leading up to heaven,
the other down to hell, while you stand on earth between the two. Do not
think or say, 'How can I fly upwards from the earth and suddenly find myself
as high as heaven, that is at the top of the ladder? All you have to care
about is to refrain from going down by doing evil. As to going up, strive to
climb little by little by doing the good that offers. Each action will be a
step upwards. Climbing thus with God's help from one rung to another, you
will finally reach the top of the ladder."
"Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall
strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:23,24
- Dear members,
The Perunnal of Mar Thoma at Thiruvithamcode Church (arapalli) in kanyakumari district, Tamilnadu is on june 29th to July 6th. This church was founded in AD 62 by our father Mar Thoma. It is the arapalli among the 7 1/2 churches built by Mar Thoma probably because of the small size of church. St.Mary's Church of Thiruvithamcode is one of the two churches which did not accept the decisions of Udayamperoor synod, the other being Kunnamkulam Aarthattu Palli. So this church was never under any foriegn rule from 1st century to this date.
From the olden days itself the people of this church are called Tharisas(i think they are different from kollam tharisas). Tharisa is believed to have originated from the syriac word 'threesay subaho' which is the syriac for 'Orthodox'. so this is a clear proof that St.Thomas chrisitians were Orthodox christians from AD 1st century. Sleeha built this church for the people whom he converted at Madras. These people, fearing perecution, accompanied Sleeha to Kerala. On Sleeha's request local king gave them the land to build the church. Most of the original members later moved to places like Mavelikara, Kollam and Trivandrum. At present there is only one family left. For centuries the church was ignored by Malankara Church. But the people there didn't deviate from the Orthodox faith. Though the church once had huge properties, now others had occupied majority of the land. In 1941 Geevarghese Remban, popularly known as Thruvithamcode Remban came to this place. He was able to take back some properties. Thruvithamcode Remban did lot of missionary works here and he was able to convert some locals. He also built a church in a near by place, Kulasekharam. He went to heavenly abode in 1970.
Malankara Church is now promoting pilgrimage to this church, but response is not encouraging. According to Rev. Fr. Oomman (Vicar and Manager), 99% of the people who visit the church are catholics. In your next trip to Kanayakumari please include visit to this church in your itinerary. You need to travel less than 10 Kms extra and that's all. Kanyakumari is 37 Km from the church, Thriparappu Falls is 17 Km and Padmanabhapuram Palace is 3.5 Km. Please visit and it is worth. You can see a very old and probably the smallest censor in the world(?). This church has never undergone any major renovation. The front portion is made of rock probably built by sleeha himself. The church looks exactly like a South Kerala temple except for the cross.
H.G Paulos Mar Milihios and H.G Mar Ephiphanios will lead this year's Perunal celebrations. A students' Conference is also arranged on July 6th. Eminent persons will talk on various topics like:
1. Church History
2. Challenge of St.Thomas the Apostle the today
3. Orthodox faith.