Mar Sleeva Syro-Malabar Church, Mapranam, Kerala that received the relic of the Holy Cross, part of the Holy blood of Jesus Christ

Mar Sleeva Syro-Malabar Church, Mapranam,
There are countless churches in Kerala that cater to the spiritual needs of Malabar Syro-Christians, who are invariably followers of St. Thomas, the apostle, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ.
Syrian Christians of Kerala (also referred to as “Saint Thomas Christians” or “Syriac Christians of Kerala”, in order to avoid the ambiguity of the term) or colloquially, the “Nasrāṇi māppiḷas” are one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Christians of the group are believed to have converted by St Thomas (Viśuddha Tomā ślīhā) in the first century CE. (he is believed to have arrived in Kerala in AD 50   and stayed here for a long time, traveling quite a bit across the country and was at last martyred in a suburb of Madras ( St. Thomas Mount, Chennai) on 21 December 72. 

Eastern icon of Thomas the Apostle
Statue of Saint Veronica by Francesco MochiWikiVividly
 Above image: Saint Veronica, by Hans Memling, c. 1470.
Statue of Saint Veronica by Francesco Mochi in a niche of the pier supporting the main dome of Saint Peter's Basilica.................

Mar Sleeva Syro-Malabar Church, Mapranam (Thrissur ) is a well-known church and an important pilgrim center. It is being visited by lots of devout Christians from Kerala and other states.  The main reason is it  one of the few churches in Asia which has received the relic of the Holy Cross, part of the Holy blood of Jesus Christ and a piece of the towel used by Veronica to wipe the face of Jesus Christ, during the journey of the Passion. They were  all as donation  from Vatican by the order of the Pope Leo XIII. Constructed in AD 928, it is one of the oldest churches  in  India and  is a part of Irinjalakuda diocese.The church underwent major renovation in the recent past and lots of non-Christians as well visit this church to be blessed by Holy father.
Mar Sleeva Syro-Malabar Church, Mapranam,
On 14 September every year Christians all over the world celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and on this day at this at Mapranam Church  the main feast is celebrated in the name of the Holy Cross. Lots of devotees attend this feast. Yet another interesting fact is the worshipers are allowed to experience the Holy Relics  every year on 14 Sept and 21 Sept and on Good Friday, a few churches across the world have this rare privilege.

The offering of candles  is the main ritual here and the annual event is called ''Thirithelikkal'' (Candle Lighting). Several years ago the patrons of this church made a giant candle weighing 1078 kg and a height of 22 feet. It was the largest candle ever made in India and the record, I believe, is not yet broken.  Candle-lighting is a tradition in this church and has been in vogue for a long time. Worshipers light candles that weigh 1 kg to 300 kg. The number of worshipers used to be 500, nowadays, it is more than that number. Round the year more than 100000 worshipers light the candle here to get blessed by Christ.  The major attraction in this church is the Persian-style Cross made of un-smoothened wood which is decorated with Panchaloka (an alloy of five metals as in the Hindu temples). The church is in proud possession of several antique stuff related to religion such bronze bells, big silver Crosses, flower cross, holy clothes, etc. A new church was consecrated in February, 1989 to accommodate more patrons.

The Arattupuzha Temple and the churches of Pallissery and Panamkulam are near-by. The church is close to the

Karuvannur River,,_Mapranam