Hong Kong team visits Kadeesha Syrian Church
A 35-member delegation from Hong Kong on a tour of historic Malankara churches in the State reached the Kadeesha Syrian church here on Wednesday evening.
The Kadeesha church is believed to have been built in 1519 AD but has a history dating back to 825 AD.
Members of the delegation are parishioners of St. John Cathedral in Hong Kong. They are interested in visiting places in Kerala where St. Thomas, the apostle of Jesus Christ who arrived here in 52 AD, is believed to have established eight churches, popularly known as ‘ezhara pallikal.'
One of those churches is believed to have been established in Kollam and presumed destroyed in a natural disaster. This has triggered the Hong Kong delegation's interest in Kollam.
The trustees of the Kadeesha church say that in 825 AD, a Persian merchant Maruvan Sapir Eso built the ‘Tareeshapally' at a location believed to be Tangasseri in Kollam city. Sapir Eso had arrived with the east Syrian bishops Mar Sabor and Mar Aphroth.
When the Portuguese arrived in Kollam in the early 16th century, the church came under their control and was located inside Fort Saint Thomas built by the Portuguese.
Then, the descendents of Sapir Eso, who came to be known as Muthalalis, built a separate church in 1519 AD in the memory of the two bishops revered by them as ‘kadeeshamcal' (corruption of a Syrian word meaning holy ones). They named the church Kadeesha Syrian Church.
While the original church had a palm frond-thatched roof, the present structure is a renovated one. However, the altar of the church is the one erected in 1519. The backdrop of the altar is a unique wall painting done by a native on directions from a Syrian priest, says art historian M.G. Sashibhooshan. The church is now owned by members of the Kallada Malayil Muthalali family.