From: Mathew Thomas
Girdle relic on show at Malad church
Pilgrims are flocking to a rare holy relic of Mother Mary that is on display
at a Malad church.
The relic, a piece of fabric believed to be part of the girdle worn by
Mother Mary, will be on view between September 1 and 8. The relic drew
thousands of worshippers to St Peters Jacobite Church, also called the
Soonoro Church at Mith Chowky near Orlem.
Father Wilson Jacob, vicar of the church, said that though the relic has
been with the Malad church for eight years, but only the Orthodox community
knew about it.
It was kept only for the worship of the local community. Then members of
other Christian denominations started coming to worship it, said Jacob.
The relic is kept covered and is on display only during the week before the
birthday of Mary on September 8.
The relic, also called a Soonoro or belt, was brought to Kerala from Syria
in 1982 by the head of the Orthodox faith, Ignatius Zakka I. The Malad
relic is a piece of that Soonoro.
Worshippers pray to the relic with an intercession prayer asking Mother Mary
to mediate with God on the devotees behalf, said Jacob.
There is a lot of interest among the non-Orthodox Christians. Even people
from other faiths have been coming to worship it, said Mathew Thomas, a
member of the church.
Sijo John, another member of the church, said that people have been coming
with petitions for healings from ailments.
A 23-year-old woman has claimed that she recovered from a chronic thyroid
problem after praying to the relic. Mumbai is only place apart from two
churches in Kerala where the relic has been installed, said John.
The relic is kept in a metal and glass casket and worshippers will be
allowed to kiss and venerate it on September 8.
History of the Soonoro
The Soonoro is believed to have been in the possession of the apostle St
Thomas who brought it to India in the first century AD, but was taken to
Syria along with his mortal remains.
Though the girdle was interred in a church in Syria, its existence was
forgotten after the church was pulled down for renovation.
It was rediscovered in 1953 and its antiquity and genuineness was endorsed
by archaeologists and religious leaders, according to church leaders.
Oh.. Morth Mariam Yoldath Aloho (Mother Of God)Pray For Us