KERALA

Column on the history of Kollam Diocese

FOR POSTERITY: The column listing the landmarks in the history of Kollam Diocese.  

Ignatius Pereira

KOLLAM: A column depicting the landmarks in the history of Kollam Diocese was blessed open by Kollam Bishop Stanley Roman in the courtyard of the historic Infant Jesus Cathedral at Tangasseri on Monday.

The column lists a year-wise record of the evolution of Kollam diocese. The inscriptions tell the history of Kollam diocese dating back to 52 AD with the establishment of a church in Kollam by the Apostle Saint Thomas.

In 343 AD, there was migration of Christians from Persia to Kollam. In 823 AD, the bishops from Persia, Mar Saper and Mar Prot ministered Kollam. Two years later, the `Thareesa palli' was established.

The column states that in the year 849 AD, Christians of Kollam were bestowed with special privileges by the king of Kollam. In 1292, the treveller Marco Polo visited Kollam. In 1300 the Franciscan and Dominician missionaries arrived in Kollam. In 1329 Jordanus Catalani was proclaimed as the first Bishop of Kollam. The same year on August 9, Kollam was made a Saffragon diocese by Pope John XX11. In 1503, Portuguese missionaries arrived for the first time in Kollam. In 1519, the Saint Thomas Fort at Tangasseri was built. In 1533 Kollam diocese became part of the Goa diocese. As per the column inscriptions, in 1544 and 1549, Saint Francis Xavier was in Kollam and under his leadership the San Salvador college was established in Tangasseri. In 1576 the first printing press in India was established at Tangasseri and `Doctrina Christiana en Lingua Malabar Tamil,' the first Indian language book was published from that press. In 1614 the Infant Jesus Church at Tangasseri was built. In 1808, the Kollam Christians were subjected to persecution. In 1845 the Kollam Vicarate was restored. In 1930, the diocese of Kottar was erected from the Kollam diocese. In 1937, Jerome M.Fernandez took over as the first native bishop of Kollam.