“My mouth is filed with your praise,
Declaring your splendor all day long.”
You’re going to enjoy the time we spend together this half an hour. I’m going to share with you some of the most important events that had been discovered in this area.
This area, Yes this area is very famous about the mass miracles of Our Lady of Snows, T.Kallikulam.
Kallikulam is situated in Radhapuram Taluk of Tirunelveli District of South TamilNadu. It is the only village in Radhapuram Taluk with Rapid development in economic, social, and educational background. Before 18thcentury today’s Kallikulam was like aforest area surrounded by bushes and cactus plants which means kalli chedi in Tamil. But due to the establishment of Athisaya Panimatha Church a remarkable development took place in this village. The Soosai Nadar family was the first Christian family ito settle in Kallikulam. In 1770 AD, Soosai Nadar built a small church at kallikulam for Our Holy Mother Mary. The roof of the Churh was made of thatched leaves. It was built at the place where the present Athisaya Panimatha Church exists. The Christian population rapidly incresed at Kallikulam and it became a separate Christian Parish. Fr. Cousanal of France became the first Parish Priest of the Kallikulam Parish and strove hard for the development of Kallikulam village.Fr. Victor Delbeg played a major role in Creating a Christian atmosphere in Kallikulam. However at first Christianity was not accecpted by the people of the locality.
The Athisaya Panimatha Church stands majestically in the Heart of Kallikulam. In today’s scientific era, even the tall towers and the skyscrapers constructed with latest tecnology get easily damaged. But Athisaya Panimatha Church was built 132 years ago. It has several unique characteristics. It was built in Gothic architectural style. It comprises of 192 feet length and 60 feet breadth. It has three towers,one main tower of 160 feet tall, and two sub towers of 65 feet tall. The main idol of Panimatha and the church bell were brought from France and a 7 feet tall cross was brought from Thrichy. The inner architecture of the Church is magnificient. The festival of the Athisaya Panimtha Church starts on July 27 and ends on August 5.
“For man this is impossible,
But with God all things are possible.”
From the time of Adam, God has spoken to his saints and pophets trough vissions, dreams, and inner voices. Miraculous events are common in the worlds of the old and New testaments, and lives of the saints are remarkable. Some of the apparitions have received official approval by the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1875, there were approximately 2000 Christians in Kallikulam they wanted to construct a new Church for Holy Mother Mary and conveyed the matter to Fr. Victor Delbeg. The people were very confident in constructing the Church and so they gathered about 200 youths within a night and drewa huge quantity of rock stones for the sake of construction. But the people were very much confused about the place where the new church was to constructed and the size of the Church. Meanwhile, Holy Mother Mary put a snow patch on a hot summer morning and the snoe was just like the shape of the Church. This was the first miracle of Mother Mary in the Shrine. On september 5 1885, they laid the foundation for the Athisaya Panimatha Church. The construction work started in the year 1885, all the people including the children and the old aged engaged themselves in the construction work. Due to the sacrifice and the hardwork of the people a huge and a magnificent Church was constructed successfully.
On March 23 1939, evening around 6.30 pm, Mary appeared on the hill near to the church at Kallikulam. She appeared in the middle of bright white light. Veiled in white, she stood towards the church and worshipped with folded hands. A water fall was flling down from her feet. This miracle was seen by six young boys who were playing there. They saw the apparition for few seconds and it disappeared.The next morning they went to the apparition hill and found a pair of human foot print on the rock at the apparition site. They marked the footprint and informed the apparition to the Rev.Fr. Marianoos and the people did not believe them initially. Fr.Marianoos said that if the vision was true its hould rain that day. It was a heavy drought in Kallikulam for 13 years butt hey received a heavy rain that day. Even today the footmarks of Mother Mary could be seen on the hill in Kallikulam.
Every night a hurricane lamp was lit at that place. One day due to heavy wind the hurricane lamp fell down and rolled over the hill and reached the hill foot. The people found the hurricane lamp straight and lit without any damage.
After few days a young boy from singamparai village came to the hill to get cured from his disability. All his hand fingers were folded and he was not able to do anywork. One day he poured oil on the footprint of Mother Maryat the
apparition site and rubbed it with his palm and fingers. At once his fingers were unfolded. He was very happy and with great gratitude he told that miracle to the villagers and showed his fingers.
After all these miracles, in 1940, the construction of steps to apparition site was started. So many people sent money to build steps to the apparition site. From the donations and other offerings the village people built steps and the side support pillars to the apparition site on the hill. In 1941,Tuticorin bishop Roch Victoria came to the hill and blessed it and laid a commemorative plaque. One Grotto was constructed on the hill in the commemoration of Our Lady’s Apparition.
During the feast of Panimatha Church a women lost her gold chain in the hill of apparition. With a great disappointment she returned home, But the next year when she came to the of apparition she found her lost chain in the same place where she missed it. She thanked Panimatha and went home happily.
Miracles that occurred in this shrine exited the pilgrims. People who witnessed the miracles informed it to their family and friends. Thus the fame and glory of Athisaya Panimatha spread like a wild fire throughout the country.
These miracles attracted tourists from various parts and also directors.Even today during the feastival and even the first Saturdays of every month we could see a lot of tourists. The contributors to the rapid development of Kallikulam are many among them Chennai Kalligai Sangam,Bombay Kalligai Sangam,and Dubai Kalligai Sangam are the notable ones.
This is the only reason for why Kallikulam is called as “Punniya Boomi”, and“Punitha Boomi”,which means Pilgrimage and a Holy land where miacles happen.I am very proud to say that I am from Kallikulam.
“The grace of lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.”
The fact that I am a human does not make me a different kind of Christian. But the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of human.I take it as an immense pleasure to thank you all for listening the History of Kallikulam.