Ettunombu Perunnal notice of Manarcad Pally
- Ettunombu Perunnal notice of Marthamariam Cathedral (St. Mary's Cathedral) at Manarcad
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 .
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 worshipers who visited the church during the last 10 years, arrangements have been made to receive an estimated 3 millions devotees this year.
HISTORY of CATHEDRAL
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.
The Manarcad Cathedral and the 8-day Fast, these continue to attract an unmitigated flow of millions of worshipers 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.