The desires of ancient fathers for a Holy place to take prayers and religious ceremonies for the Pilgrim Christians were the root causes of construction of the church. They started praying for this purpose. On the 8th day of their prayer they had a vision. (Holy fathers compared Virgin Mary with The 'Sakshipettakam' which was created by Mossaih according to the order of God. The circumference of this 'Sakhshipettakam' was 8 ' muzhams' (around 12 feet). The number connected with the salvation secrets of Virgin Mary and her son Jesus Christ was also considered to be 8). The vision was to build the church in the forest where a calf and cow were lying down, where the fish and deer could be caught and Acacia Instia and canes were scattered around. (It is to be noted that Acasia Redhirama, the wood which used to fabricate the 'Sakshipettakam' and Acasia Instra which was the Holy Fathers dreamt of were of the same species.) The Marthamariam Church (St. Mary's Church) 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 church.Because of the unseen presence and blessings of Virgin Mary, the Manarcad Church, 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 Church which is located just 9km. east of Kottayam.
Manarcad Church 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 1000 years ago. Archeologists have found out that the 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 Portuguese style. It is believed that the Manarcad church also was re-built at that time in the model of the Kottayam Small Church.The Manarcad Church and the 8-day Fast, these continue to attract an unmitigated flow of millions of worshippers 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 11 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.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
HO : KOTTAYAM-KADUTHURUTHY
BR : KOTTAYAM- CEMENT JUNCTION
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