Portuguese built St.Mary's Church (1524 AD), Vallarpadam, Kerala

The Vallarpadam St.Mary's Church, Ernakulam,Kerala.India www.networkedblogs.com
The Vallarpadam  St. Mary's  Church, Kerala, South India is an historical old church, first built in the year 1524 by some Portuguese  merchants headed by Vasco da Gama. They  enthroned a  miraculous picture of 'Our lady of Ransom' at the shrine. The church  was heavily damaged during floods  in 1676 and immediately it was rebuilt  by the Portuguese settlers who also  reerected a picture of Virgin Mary in the church. The church was declared as a special church in the year 1888 by Pope Leo XIII and it later became one of the major pilgrim centers of India. The image of Virgin Mary erected by the Portuguese centuries ago is known to have miraculous powers. 
The Vallarpadam St.Mary's Church, Ernakulam,Kerala.2dolist.blogspot.in/
There are stories about the mythical powers of the Holy 
Mother that had saved innumerable people from all kinds of problems including natural disasters. Mary is lovingly called 'Vallarpadathamma' in the local language by her devotees who come  here for her divine blessings. The church conducts feast on the 24th of September every year which is  well attended by followers of other faiths as well.

The Vallarpadam Church or the Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom  of  Ernakulam is unique in one aspect other than the miracles of the Holy Mother - the influence of the Hindu religion. There is a continuously non-stop burning  oil lamp  called ''Sanctuary lamp''  at the alter of the church. The lamp has been burning day and night since 1676 , a gift from a local  Dewan  Paliyath Raman Valiyachan who helped the church people recover the missing Mary's picture. The church was built on a land donated by the Dewan who had a big heart and good soul.
The Vallarpadam  St. Mary's  Church.www.trawell.in

Vallarpadam church, a nun is sweeping the floor. sweeping is an offering here.kerala. 2dolist.blogspot.in/
 Vallarpadam church is a popular destination for christens as well as non-Christians. It is said more than 500000  people visit this church annually for prayer and benediction. One odd custom  of this church is the main offering. It is done by sweeping  the church premises clean with the brooms available within  the church compound. If you keep the church spick and span by way of cleaning the floor, sure, you will be blessed by Mary. Indeed a unique custom rarely found in other churches. 
Basilica of our lady of vallarpadam, Kerala tourism.webindia123.com
The church  is elevated to the status of a Basilica as well as a National shrine  and is one  of the three Basilicas in Kochi. The Church is under the diocese of Verapoly (Varappuzha).

Vallarpadam, a small idyllic island on the Vembanad lake is located next to Bolghatty Island on the west, and linked to the Ernakulam mainland via the new Goshree bridges. It is about 3.5 kilometers (2.2 mi) in length in the north-south direction and has a population of 10,000 people. Vallarpadam is about one kilometer (½ mile) away from the Ernakulam mainland - on the Vypeen road