ST.MARY’S
ORTHODOX VALIYAPALLY PRAKKANAM
CHURCH HISTORY

The Prakkanam St. Mary’s Orthodox Valiyapally under Thumpamon Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox SyrianChurch, has a history that dates back to the time of St. Thomas the Apostle. .It is a historical truth that St. Thomas, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, came to India in AD 52 and established a Christian community in Kerala. There is evidence that he established churches and ordained priests. Nilackal church was one among the eight churches (known as Ezharapallikal). Eventually the believers from Nilackal migrated enmasse to Kadampanad in AD 325 and there they built a church with St. Thomas as Patron saint. In the course of time, the need to find cultivable land to raise a living necessitated travel to distant places. In the process a group of believers came to Thumpamon, where they built a church in the venerable name of St. Mary in AD 1185. Over the years, as the number of Christian families increased, small groups spread out to places like Omalloor, Prakkanam, Elanthur, Pathanamthitta etc. Being far away from their mother church at Thumpamon and also due to lack of conveyance facility, the believers found it difficult to use this church for worship. As a result in AD 1575, a church was built at Omalloor in the venerable name of St. Thomas. Three centuries later i.e. in AD 1895 about 100 families of Prakkanam and adjoining areas formed a parish in Prakkanam in the names of saints St. Mary, St. John the Apostle and Mar. Jacob Burdhana ,which is today officially known as St. Mary’s Orthodox Valiayapally. This was then the only church at Prakkanam.

The desire to acquire land for the construction of a church was materialized when a piece of land owned by Sri. Itty Manickatharayil was bought at a cost of 425 Rassi Panam in AD 1904. Hence this church is also called by the name ‘ Manickathara Pally’. With the concurrence of the then Malankara Metropolitan H.G. Joseph Mar Dionysious, the Parish sought the Government’s sanction on 4 Mithunam 1709 (K.V.) to construct a church and the Govt. gave its sanction on 15 Thulam 1080, vide order No. 932. A temporary bamboo shed with thatched roof was made and Holy Qurbana was celebrated on 6th Makaram 1080 (AD 1905) This day is commemmorated as Perunal day every year. Chirakkireth Chona Kathanar and Kaithaveettil Thomas Kathanar were the priests during that period.

The foundation stone for a full fledged church building was laid in 1912 by His Holiness Abdul Messaiah, the Patriarch of Antioch but, the work could not be started then due to paucity of funds. Meanwhile the first church shed was shifted to the eastern corner of the same plot for convenience . The full pledged church could be completed only by AD 1945, which was the third church . A renovation work for erecting a Spire was done during 1968. We are proud to state that our church holds the Status of Valiyapally obtained through a Kalpana of Catholicos of the East in 1991. Now there are 300 families and 2000 members in this Parish. Though the old church building was strong enough to stand for many more years, due to lack of space to accommodate the whole congregation it was demolished and the present church was built.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY ST.MARY’S ORTHODOX CHURCH PRAKKANAM. DESIGNED BY JOBY JOSE, JOSE VILLA