Monday, October 7, 2019

Jeevamatha Church


Location: Bazaar Road, Mattanchery, Kochi

Situated on the way to Mattanchery from Fort Kochi and near the Mattanchery Police Station and Jew Street in the Bazar Road is this very serene church called as Jeevamatha church or ‘Church of Our Lady of Life’. It is also known as Koonan Kurish Pilgrim Centre in Mattanchery. It is one of the oldest churches in Kochi, recently renovated.
A major event in the history of Christianity in the Indian subcontinent took place in this church which led to the emergence of the Syrian Orthodox Church or Jacobites in India. In the early 16th century, the Portuguese after their arrival in Kochi did not accept the legitimacy of the local Malabar traditions and made efforts to forcefully Latinise the Kerala church. The oath by the ‘bent cross’ was taken in this church on January 3, 1653, which was a public declaration of the St Thomas Christians (followers of St Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ) community that they would not submit to Latin catholic Portuguese dominance. Hence after over 50 years of being dominated by the Latin church, the majority of the St Thomas Christians broke off from catholic supremacy after taking this oath.

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