THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The St. Mary’s church at Thiruvithamcode in Kanyakumari district — believed to have been established by St. Thomas the Apostle — is all set to become a centre of pilgrimage.
Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos I will declare the church as an international St. Thomas pilgrim centre on December 16.
The church, known among local people as ‘Thomayar kovil,’ is believed to be one of the oldest in the world. Once upon a time this place of worship was the epicentre of a community of Malankara Christians, or St. Thomas Christians.
Over a period of time, there was a large-scale migration of the community to central Travancore. The church remains under the control of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
That the place of worship has its origins in antiquity is also attested by its stone walls and door frames and intricately carved wood work.
The church’s altar, the baptism basin and incense burner are believed to be the legacies of the Portuguese.