St. George Forane Church, Edappally, Kochi, Kerala, India

Edapally Old Church

This Church was built about 300 years after the martyrdom of St. George. It was originally built in the name of Virgin Mary. St. George was born in A.D.269 at Cappadocia in Asia Minor. He served as a soldier in the royal cavalry. He was an ardent and firm believer in Christ and lived his life true to the Scriptures. During the religious persecution of Emperor Diocletus, he stood up for the faith and was put to death. From that time, the soldier became St. George and thousands of churches sprang up all over Europe and parts of the East in the name of St. George. He was officially recognized as the Patron Saint of England.

Edappally Church is also known as the St. George’s Church, the St. George’s Forane Church has a glorious history of 14 centuries. Edappally was then a small hamlet, a part of the princely kingdom of Elangalloor. The people of Edappally lived a simple life, the comforts of life being non-existent at that time. The Catholic congregation at Edappally was rather small and they were all descendants of the Hindus converted into Christianity by St. Thomas the Apostle (alias Dideemos) who came to India to preach the Gospel. The old church was found to be too small to accommodate the overgrown congregation in A.D. 1080 a new church was built in the present location.

St. George Forane Church, Edappally, Kochi, Kerala, India

The statue of St. George placed prominently for worship at this church shows the Saint mounted on his horseback with his spear stabbing the dreadful head of the monstrous serpent lying under the hooves of his horse. It is believed to be symbolic of the faith and courage of the Saint who subdued the devil. There is also Italian legend that the Saint was rescuing a gracious damsel who was presented to the monster as his daily share of food. St. George is a great symbol of well-liked faith and a reliable source of assistance.

The water from the well adjacent to the church is believed to have miraculous healing power. Devotees drink the water or bathe their heads and faces with this water. Many take it home in bottles. The faithful also collect the soil from the churchyard and take it home. They sprinkle the blessed soil and water in their houses and yard. It is believed that by doing so the protection from snake bites is assured. Many give witness to this effect.

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