St. Mary's Church, Niranam
St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church, Niranam
|Denomination||Malankara Orthodox Church|
|Former name(s)||St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church, Niranam|
|Founder(s)||Thomas the Apostle|
|Bishop(s)||His Grace Dr Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos|
Niranam Pally, popularly known as Niranam Valiya Pally or St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church, Niranam, is a church under the Niranam Diocese of the Indian Orthodox Church founded by Thomas the Apostle one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, in AD 54.
Niranam Pally is one of the oldest churches in India. It is believed that the church was founded by St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, in AD 54. The church was reconstructed several times since then. The stones in the church shows the reconstruction in 1259. St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ landed at Malankara near Cranganore around A.D.52. He established seven and half churches. Those are, Kodugallore, Palayoor, Kottacave, Kokamangalam, Niranam, Chayal, Kollam and the half church at Thiruvithamkode.On his way from Kollam in northeast direction he arrived at Niranam "Thrikpapaleswaram" by sea.He converted two Hindu Brahmin families named Pattamukkil, & Thayyil and two Nair families named Manki, & Madathilan to Christianity.These are the first four families which has been converted by St.Thomas to Christianity. He also gives priestly powers to the members of Pattamukkil family. Priests from Pattamukkil family used to stay there and done priesthood and governed Niranam church and its properties in the ancient days.Tharavad is surrounded from three sides of Niranam Church
It is believed to be one of the oldest churches in Kerala and thus in India as well as among the oldest ones in the world. The architecture shows striking similarities to ancient temple architecture. It is believed to have been established by St.Thomas.
The present building, supposedly the fourth, was constructed in 1912 and was renovated during the year 2000. There are five altars at Niranam church. The main altar, the central one, is in the name of Saint Mary. This is used for regular services of the church.
The tall granite cross at the right side of the entrance is a relic of the past, probably from 1259, the time at which the third renovation of the church building took place. The base of the cross has carvings resembling a Hindu Temple.
Niranam Church celebrate the feasts of Saint Mary in whose name the church is dedicated, the feast of Saint Thomas who is the founder of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Apostle of India and the feasts of Mar Thoma II and Mar Thoma V whose mortal remains are buried in the church.
- Feast of Assumption of Saint Mary (Vaangipu perunnaal in Malayalam or Shoonoyo in Syriac) - 15 August
- Feast of Martyrdom of Saint Thomas - 21 December
- Feast of Martyrdom of Mar Behnam - 27 December
- Feasts of Mar Thoma II and Mar Thoma V - 10 May
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