St.Marys Church - 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 .
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.
St. Joseph's Church - Mannanam [Blessed Chavara Church]
Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara was born on 10th Feb. 1805 of God fearing parents Iko (Kuriakose) Chavara and Mariam Thoppil of the Syro-Malabar Church, at Kainakary, near Allappuzha, Kerala. According to the local custom the infant was baptized on the 8th day in Chennankari Parish Church, Alappuzha.
From the age 5 to 10, he attended the village school (Kalari) to study languages, different dialects, and elementary sciences under the guidance of a Hindu teacher (Asan). Inspired by the desire to become a priest, he began the studies under the parish priest of the church of St. Joseph. At the age of 13 in 1818 he entered the seminary at Pallipuram where Malpan Thomas Palackal was the Rector. He was ordained priest on 29th November, 1829 at Arthunkal and celebrated his First Holy Mass at Chennankari Church. After the ordination he was engaged for some time in pastoral ministry; however he soon returned to the seminary to teach and also to officiate for the Malpan Thomas Palackal during his absence. Thus he joined Malpan Thomas Porukara and Malpan Thomas Palackal when they were planning to found a congregation.
In 1830 he went to Mannanam to direct the construction of the first house of the congregation of which the foundation stone was laid on 11th May, 1831. After the death of both the Malpans, Blessed Chavara took up leadership. On 8th December, 1855 he made the religious profession along with other 10 companions, under the name "Kuriakose Elias of Holy Family"
St. Mary's Forane Church - Athirampuzha
The forane church of Athirampuzha, a world renowned pilgrim centre of St.Sebastian is dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary.This church about 10Kms away from kottayam has been the hub of Christian life in and around central kerala from early 9th century. This is one of the biggest parishes of the Archeparchy of Changanassery. It consists of almost 2410 families and the total number of the faithful exceeds 10000.
Athirampuzha church must trace back her history to the Ettonnussery Illam which was the power centre of the local kingdom. It is said that the Namboodiri of this Illam donated the land to build a church in the name of blessed virgin Mary as a token of gratitude on the Miraculous birth of his son. The Church was blessed on August 15th 835 AD. Gradually it became an independent church and later was elevated to the status of a forane in 1929. The church also witnessed many historical events like the historic journey of Mar Abraham Karivatti and paremakkal Thoma Kathanar to Rome, the All India Eucharistic congress-the first and the last of its kind in Kerala conducted from 8 th to 15th May 1929.
St. Mary's Forane Church - Champakulam
Champakulam Kalloorkadu St. Mary's Forane Church (also called Champakulam Valia Palli) is one of the oldest Christian churches in India and the mother church of almost all Catholic Syrian churches in Alleppey District. Believed to be established in AD 427. Rebuilt many times and the many rock inscriptions found around the church tell us about the history of the church. The open air Rock Cross at Champakulam church is one of the most ancient ones with clear documentation of its antiquity up to AD 1151. There are many archaeological artifacts found around the church about its history. Champakulam church was once under Niranam Church, which was founded by the Apostle Saint Thomas himself.. Champakulam Church had very friendly relations with the Jacobite Syrian group and had a pivotal role in many ecumenical efforts in the Eighteenth century.