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Visiting Kerala’s “new” pilgrimage center 

By Cyriac Sebastian

Kochi: For the past two weeks, social media platforms were agog with news about some strange happenings in a parish church under Verapoly archdiocese in Kerala.

As WhatsApp and Facebook displayed pictures and video clips of children and elders praying around the altar of St Ambrose Church in Edavanakkad, I planned to visit the place. The visit finally took place on October 13.

Edavanakkad is a picturesque village located around 21 km north of the bustling city of Ernakulam. Like other villages in Ernakulam district, Edavanakkad also has people of many religions living in peace and harmony.

The parishioners of St Ambrose Church are Latin Catholics. The parish manages a school named Edavanakkad St. Ambrose Lower Primary School (upto fourth grade) that caters to children of all religions from neighbourhood.

The quiet and tranquil life of the villagers took an unexpected twist on September 23. It all started with Krishnendu, a Hindu girl student, complained to her teacher about pain in her ears. When the girl said she could more bear the pain the teacher suggested that she apply the anointed oil kept near the statue of St. Ambrose in the church.

During the break Krishnendu went to the church with some friends. Since she could not find the oil, she applied some holy water on her ears. As the children came out of the church, Krishnendu said she elt relief in ears. The children claimed they saw in the sky a vision of Christ being whipped.

After this incident, a Catholic girl, a Ambrosia, began leading prayers during the breaks daily. Seeing the students praying, some teachers also joined them. On September 28, when the children were praying the mysteries of light with their class teacher’s help they saw a woman in a white gown, draped with a blue shawl. She had a rosary in one hand, while blood oozed from the other hand.

The woman wore a golden crown, with a golden disc rotating over her crown. The woman was quiet, small and she stood under the altar. She would occasionally peek out of the altar as if playing hide like with the children. The began shouting excitedly.

Even Hindu and Muslim children recognized the woman as the Virgin Mary since their Christian companions had explained to them about Christ, Mary and saint after the September 23 incident.

Some children went to call their parents who were standing outside the church building. Some of them also claimed they could see Mary. The commotion attracted more teachers to the church but could not see anything. However, they experienced a strong smell of jasmine flowers.

Meanwhile the sacristan was alerted who in turn informed parish priest Father Mathew D’ Cunha and his assistant Father Merton D’Silva. The priests rushed to the church, but could see nothing.

A parishioner, who happened to come to the church then, was sceptical. However, he decided to film the scene on his cellphone. He started recording the children near the altar. As he climbed the first step of the altar he felt a vibration. It grew stronger as he climbed further. When he tried to shoot the spot where the children said they had seen the apparition, his camera recorded nothing. When he moved the focus to other places inside the church, it started working.

“I can’t express what I had felt. I knew it was the Blessed Virgin and the children were telling the truth,” said the man, who did not want to be identified. He said he has been associated with the church since childhood and that he had served there as an altar boy. ”I have been attending Mass regularly yet that day was beyond expectation,” he added.

When the children were about to leave the church on September 28 the lady in blue called Ambrosia. When she turned the woman pleaded them to stay. “She told them that she was alone and not to leave her alone. The woman then emerged from under the altar and asked another girl to study well and to pray to the Holy Ghost. The woman then disappeared promising the girls that she would come again when they come with their parents.”

The sacristan said the children had a similar vision five days later on October 3. The woman led them to the church door and told them all to pray.

Most parishioners came to the church on October 3. The woman told the children that she would become visible to some parishioners also.

“She was as the children had described her,” said a parishioner who claimed to have seen Virgin Mary.

Thousands of people began visiting the church since then daily.

When our team reached the church, it had a long queue of people from all religions who came to touch the altar and seek Mary’s blessing. The church had concluded a night vigil organized to mark the centenary of the Fatima vision.

Father D’Cunha said he found the girls’ behaviour genuine. “There was no reason to disbelieve them after the events on September 28,” he said.

Meanwhile visitors claimed two miracle cures after praying in the church. A 12-year-old polio-stricken boy was cured and began walking.

Another man who had severe pancreatic ailment and doctors asked him to avoid meat, oil and other items. He was being treated at Lisie Hospital, Ernakulam, for the past 18 months. After he prayed in the church the doctors have certified that he was cured.

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4 Responses to Visiting Kerala’s “new” pilgrimage center

  1. George Nedumparambil

    I am of the opinion that believing in the ability of the departed to intercede for the living is a flawed concept. Consider this verse, “This is the time of patient endurance among the holy ones, for those who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus. I heard a someone from heaven say, “Write this: Happy from now on are the dead who have died in the Lord. The Spirit says; Let them rest from their Labors; their good deeds go with them”. (Revelations 14 v. 12-13). “now on” refers to the time occurring after Jesus’ ascension. So, it would seem that these persons are in a state where they cannot help themselves or others. They have hope though, as we all know that these people will be resurrected when Jesus comes again to judge the dead and living. And Jesus says, “I am coming soon, bringing with me the salary I will pay to each one according to his deeds. (Rev.22 v. 12). All are kindly requested to read v. 14 – 20 also. I do not believe that there is any exception to what is revealed. This applies not only to our dear Mother but as well as countless saints we have created.

     
  2. George Nedumparambil

    To those who believe in the power of the departed to intercede for the living, is kindly requested to consider the following verses from Revelations. “This is the time of patient endurance among the holy ones. for those who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus. I heard someone from heaven say, “Write this: Happy from now on are the dead who have died in the Lord. The Spirit says: Let them rest from their labors; their good deeds go with them. ” (Revelations 14 v. 12-13). I believe that the term “from now on” refers to after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. So, the departed, after Jesus, are resting unable to help themselves or others. What may happen to them? We know about the resurrection of the departed when Jesus comes again. He says, “I am coming soon, bringing with me the salary I will pay to each one according to his deeds.(Revelations 22 v. 12). I do not believe that there is any exceptions to this. It applies to the disciples also, to say the least of the countless saints that we created. All are well advised to read verses 14 to 20 of Revelations 22 also because of which those who work outside of these sayings seems headed in the wrong direction as stated in v. 14-15 of 22.

     
  3. A. S. Mathew

    These are proven facts that miracles are happening around the world. The higher percentage of conversion taking place among the Muslims around the world is through their vision of JESUS. Yet, among the Hindus, they hear clear voice of JESUS.

    One Hindu converted friend of mine told me that he was so desperate at the Tihar jail; his roommate was acting quite hopeless, prayed to all Gods. Finally, my friend said ” God, if there is a real living God, who is that GOD? He heard a voice ” I am JESUS, the living GOD. He prayed to JESUS, miracle of deliverance took place in the next day itself.

    We are living in a very critical time of the age; more such miracles witnessed at the St. Ambrose Church will be taking places in many places. The miracle was started with the healing of an Hindu girl, that makes the miracle very special; and shows that GOD is love, HE loves people of all religions and JESUS is not the monopoly of the Christians.

     
  4. Biju Choothamparambil

    I do believe in the genuineness of those children and of their mystical experiences. I am inspired by them. May God bless them more and more….Le me thank Matters India for reporting this.

     
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