Early morning on 18 November 2013 about 1500 pilgrims from the Eparchy of Muvattupuzha led by the Eparchial Bishop Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios, reached the tomb of the Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom Trivandrum. They were received by Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios, Curia Bishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Most Rev. Samuel Mar Irenios Auxilary Bishop of the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum and Very Rev. Fr James Paravilayil, Vicar, St Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom. At 7.30 a.m. the Holy Qurbono was concelebrated by Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios and the Rev. Priests participating in the pilgrimage. It was followed by the Dhūpaprarthana at the Tomb of the Servant of God. Welcoming the pilgrims Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios and Most Rev. Samuel Mar Irenios said that the pilgrimage was a historic event. Except the season of the feast of commemoration of the Servant of God, it is for the first time in the history of our Church that such a large number of pilgrims pray at the tomb. It has given a great testimony and witness in our Church and it is a blessing for the pilgrims, their families, the Eparchy of Muvattupuzha and the entire Malankara Church.

The pilgrimage was organized to mark the concluding celebration of the Year of Faith in the Eparchy of Muvattupuzha. It was a two-day ‘Faith Pilgrimage’. After due preparations, the pilgrims in groups gathered in the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Muvattupuzha. Chanting prayers they visited the tomb of St Alphonsa at Bharanagnanam. The pilgrims then came at the tomb of our Bishops in St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla. There, they were welcomed by Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla. He joined the pilgrims in their prayers. From there, the pilgrims continued their journey to the tomb of Mar Ivanios.

After venerating the tomb of the Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios, the pilgrims proceeded to the places blessed by the martyrdom of Blessed Devasahayam Pillai in the Eparchy of Marthandom and the Diocese of Kottar. One thousand four hundred and twenty faithful including Priests, Sisters and Laity participated in the pilgrimage. They travelled in 27 buses from Muvattupuzha to Marthandom and Kottar. The participants shared that the pilgrimage was a wonderful experience of the blessings of God. It was also an occasion to visit the holy places and to venerate the saints of our land. It was an inspiring finale to the year of faith.

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