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Vaddy church

The history of Christianity in this coastal parish is linked to the ancient port of Quilon and to the Christian Community founded by St. Thomas the Apostle. Christians from Syria who settled down in Quilon enriched the Christian life here. But the coastal belt of Quilon that is now Vaddy, received a definite identity with the arrival of Dominicans and Franciscans in the 14 th century.

In 1323 the Dominican friar, Jordanus Catalani of Severac arrived in Quilon coast and organized the Christian community in faith, worship and practice. He built a Church � St. George Church. This was the first Church in Vaddy. In 1329 Quilon was erected the first Diocese and Jordanus Catalani the first Bishop of Quilon. St. George Church was his cathedral church. Jordanus Catalani was martyred at Thane in 1336.

The Papal legate John Marignoli stayed at St. George Church for 16 months. He catechized the flock and adorned the Church with many paintings. A marble column erected in memory of the visit of Marignoli was seen by Dutch.

The sea destroyed this stone pillar. A remnant of this colossal column is still in the sea not very far from the coast. With the arrival of Portuguese in Quilon in 1503 Franciscans took over the reigns of St. George Church and the Christian community in Vaddy. Alphonso De Albuquerque records of visiting the Church. It is said that Franciscans wanting to purge the flock of Quilon Coast from Nestorian ideas, changed the name of the Church to St. Antony. The sea engulfed the Church in 1602.

In 1699 Bishop Dom Peters Pachao built a new Church in Gothic style. The second Church was washed away by the sea. Remnants of this are now a Shrine of the Holy Cross in Vaddy coast. Marriage register in Portuguese from 1700 to 1850 is still retained in the Parish Archives. In 1778 Dr. Clements Joseph, the Bishop of Cochin who was not allowed to enter Cochin by Dutch Diocese took refuge in Quilon. He was buried in Moothakara Church in 1791.

The present Church was built in the period 1910 � 1913. Fr. Ambrose Kompadi, a Goan priest built the Church. The Church was blessed by Most Rev. Msgr. Michael Lodislaus Zaleski, the papal Apostolic Delegate in Nov. 1913. However the church remained incomplete till 1952 when Fr. Alphonse Thundil completed the church with the sanctuary, sacristy and two wings. On December 11, 1955 Most Rev. Dr. Martin H. Lucas. S.V.D. Apostolic Internuncio to India blessed the extension of the church. Very recently the church was renovated and perhaps it is the most imposing church in the town.

Contact: The Parish Priest

St. Antony's Church ,Vaddy,Kollam � 691 013 ,Tel: 2792229

© 2005 ++ Quilon Diocese++. All rights reserved

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