St. George Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, popularly known as Edappally Mar Geevarghese Sahada Palli or Edapally Palli is situated in Edappally, about 10 km from Kochi, Kerala, India. This is one of the oldest churches in India, built in 594 AD.It was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary, called Marth Mariam in the vernacular. In 1080, a new church was built adjacent to the old church. Every year, a nine-day festival is celebrated here in the month of April - May. The church is also popular among the non-Christians as a pilgrimage centre and the popular offerings at the church are chicken and eggs.
The St. George Syro-Malabar Forane Church is known to have a history of 14 centuries. Edappally was then a small hamlet, a part of the princely kingdom of Elangalloor. The Syrian Christian congregation at Edappally was small in number and were the descendants of the people converted to Christianity by St. Thomas the Apostle who came to India in 52 AD. Since the old church was found to be too small to accommodate the overgrown congregation, a new church was built in the present location in A.D. 1080. The main altar and the facade of this church were later renovated. The altar was renovated by incorporating the picture of Virgin Mary which was surrounded by sculptures, angels and vines. The facade also was renovated thirty years back, but the facade of the present day church is a return to the original one.
On 1 January 2001, at 8 A.M., the foundation stone, blessed by Pope John Paul II, was laid for the third church. This new church, which was consecrated in April 2015, has a combination of European and Keralite architectural features and is one of the largest in India with a built-up area of over 88000 square feet. It can hold 5000 worshipers at a time in the main chapel measuring 19500 square feet. The church courtyard holds a well and the devotees believe the water in the well has curative powers.
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