On 23rd March 1939, evening around 6.30 pm, Mary appeared on a hill near to Our Lady of Snows Kallikulam church. She appeared in the middle of bright white light. She was in a veil and stood towards the church and worshipped with folded hands. A water fall was falling down from her feet. Six young people Gnana Athikkam, S.P.John, M.G.Thomas, D.Thasan, R.Thasan and M.A.Thasan saw that apparition. The youngest visionary M.G.Thomas shares his memory with us. He depicts the apparition and other events in his own word in the following…
I am M.G.Thomas, born on 6th November, 1929. I was 9 years old at the time of Apparition and was studying in third standard. On 29th March 1939, between 6 pm to 6.30 pm, after playing at Arulandarpuram stream I was coming back to Kallikulam towards north along with my friends. When we were coming near to “Periya Kurusadi” (“Way of the Cross” first station) located at the south side of Kallikulam, we saw a flash of bright light passing from west to east in front of us. We were scared of that light and turned to west to see the origin of that light. There, on the hill top, we saw a lady in the middle of bright light. She was in a veil. She stood towards Our Lady of Snow Kallikulam church and worshipped with folded hands. A water fall was falling down from her feet. We saw that vision for few seconds. After that it disappeared.
Next day morning after mass, around 6.30 am, I along with my friends climbed on the hill and went to the location where we saw that lady. We thought, that lady might had left some signs or rosary. There we saw a pair of human foot print on the rock. We marked that foot print and told those incidents to parish priest Rev.Father Marianoos, school head master Laxmana Iyer and other people. Some people believed that apparition and some were not. One Sebasthiar sanniasi accepted and believed that vision and told that he had also seen some unusual signs on the hill top for sometimes.
The parish priest Rev.Father Marianoos and school head master Laxmana Iyer asked us to tell the whole events. They took us in to Parish priest’s Bungalow, and tried to find out the truth of our claims. They scared us and told us that if we found lying we would be punished severely. But we reiterated them that we saw that vision. It was a drought time and for 13 years there was no rain in the arid zone Kallikulam. The school headmaster asked us to show the water fall on the hill top to confirm that apparition. On that day after noon around 3 pm there was a heavy rainfall for one and half an hour in and around of Kallikulam. A waterfall formed on the hill top at the apparition site. After that they believed that apparition, and setup a temporary structure by coconut leaves over the apparition site.
Every night a Hurricane lamp was lit up at that place. One day the Hurricane lamp fell down and it rolled over the hill and reached down the hill foot. There people found that the Hurricane straight and lit with out any damage. That is the first miracle at the apparition hill.
After some time, 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 any work. One day he poured oil on the foot print at 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 the miracle to village people and showed his fingers. That is the second miracle at the apparition hill.
On 1940, a lady from Kulachal village came to Kallikulam for the annual feast. Every year she used to come to Kallikulam during the annual feast and worship the foot print of Mary on the apparition hill. Before going to home, she cut the lemon grass from the hill and used it as holy thing. As usual she was cutting the lemon grass on the hill, her expensive golden chain (swasti maalai) had fallen down and she did not notice that. Only after she came down to the foot hill, she noticed that her golden chain was missing. Immediately, she went up to the hill and searched for the chain, but could not found that chain there. She was so sad about that, as that chain was not her own. She borrowed that chain from her friend to wear it during the feast. She went back to home with great distress.
Next year her friend asked to accompany her to visit Kallikulam to attend the annual feast. The lady replied her friend that the previous year she had lost her chain and so decided not to go the feast. She sadly refused to accompany her friend. That day night in her dream, a woman with her child in her arm, told that her golden chain was lying there where she cut the lemon grasses. Next day she went to the Apparition hill and found that the lemon grasses were burned by young boys and young leaves were coming out from the half burned roots. She put aside the leaves and found her golden chain there. She took the chain and showed it to villagers and told about her dream and the miracle. She went to Our Lady of Snows church and repented for her misunderstanding and asked for Our Lady of Snows forgiveness.
On 1940, construction of steps to apparition site was started. The same time Our Lady of Snows church tower construction work also happened. That time Rs. 2.5 was the labor charge to carve a step on the Apparition hill. So many people sent money to build steps to the Apparition site by Money Order. It was during the World War II. Most of the Money order came from military people. From that donation and other offerings the village people built steps and side support pillars to the Apparition site on the hill.
After that a well was dug, closed to the Apparition hill for the pilgrims. While digging the well, though it was 20 feet away from the hill, people found milk white clay for 40 feet deep. People took all the extracted milk clay as holy thing. Some used it to make toys and some ate it as holy thing.
On 1941, Tuticorin bishop Roch Victoria visited this hill and blessed it. He laid a commemorative plaque confirming Our Lady’s Apparition here. After that during annual feast he stayed at Kallikulam and conducted all feast masses from start to end. He said, “I born in Tuticorin and I never conducted all feast masses in Our Lady of Snows, Tuticorin church. But Our Lady of Snow Kallikulam blessed me to stay here for the feast and conduct all the feast masses”. Tuticorin bishop Peter Pernando got the bishop post immediately after he worshipped and conducted a mass on the apparition hill.