KATTACHIRA: This summer a small and silent residential locality in Kerala’s Kayamkulam area has witnessed an unprecedented number of pilgrims. They were from all parts of India coming to seek refuge at the lap of St Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Chapel near Kayamkulam.
Many of the expatriates and the nonresident diaspora who visited Kerala for their recent annual vacation made a bee line to the spot and to visit and pray at the shrine.
The miracle photo of Mother Mary and Infant Jesus in which flows an oily liquid with an aromatic smell since it was first noticed in October 21, 2009. Despite repeated wiping of oil from the photo, there was a continous flow. As per the Kollam Diocese Metropolitan HG Mor Theodosius Mathews kalpana, Holy Qurbana and prayers are being held on a daily basis.
Now similarly, oil flows from the cross kept near this photo and also from the Kalpana of HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zaka I. HH has shown interest to visit the place but ill health seems to have held him back.
Already film artists, political leaders, rationalists, scientists and atheists’ have visited the spot and examined the place. Rationalists have felt that more investigations were needed to establish the source and nature of the liquid.
Since November 21, oil has begun flowing from the Holy Qurbana taksa kept in the chapel’s madbhaha.
Fr Roy George, Vicar, of the chapel says: “So far we have collected 62 bottles of oil from the photos and the cross and kept them inside the madbhaha. Early morning at 7.30 am when the chapel is opened for Holy Qurbana one can feel the smell of the fragrance at its peak. Many of the pilgrims from far and wide are coming over to pray and get blessed.”
Before setting out to visit the place, first timers should be sure of the location. It is on the Kayamkulam-Punalur road and ask for proper directions since it is a popular spot now.
The small church area is now seeing massive expansion work to accommodate more tourists and pilgrims in the days ahead. Souvenirs on Mother Mary’s photos, trinkets key chains, rings, oils in small and big bottles, CDs of the events, photos and many other items are on sale.
On January 10 this year, the chapel was declared as a Marian Pilgrim Centre as per the Apostolic Bull (No E 187/09)of Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I. The Kattachira chapel has since been declared as Marian Divine Centre.
A number of video results for Kattachira church are also available on You Tube.