Muttidichan Parai Miraculous Fountain | Martyr Devasahayam Pillai Shrine | St. Michael Church | Puliyoorkurichi, Thuckalay
This Church is located on the NH 47 Kanyakumari – Trivandrum National Highway at Puliyoorkurichi, near Thuckalay.
About Devasahayam Pillai
Devasahayam Pillai was born as Neelakanta Pillai into a Hindu high-caste Nair Family in 1712, in Nattalam, in the then Kingdom of Travancore.
King Marthanda Varma appointed him as the steward of Neelakantaswamy Temple at Padmanabhapuram. He was also been managing the affairs at the Maharaja’s Palace at Padmanabhapuram. He had good relationship with the Maharaja and the ministers.
After the Battle of Colachel, The Dutch Captain, Eustachius De’Lannoy was taken prisoner by the Maharaja. King Marthanda Varma gave a chance to the captain and he was made the “Commander in Chief” of the Travancore Army and he worked at the Udhayagiri Fort.
In due course De’Lannoy and Neelakantan became good friends. De’Lannoy sent Neelakantan to Vadakankulam Church with a recommendation letter. Fr. Buttari baptized Neelakantan on 14th May, 1745. Neelakantan name was changed as Lazerus, in Tamil meaning as Devasahayam (God’s Help).
King Marthanda Varma had dedicated his whole Kingdom to God Padmanabhaswamy. Some Brahmins, complained about the conversion of Neelakanta Pillai to Christianity as he had insulted the Gods, Brahmins and the Royal Throne. Maharajah enquired and found out that Neelakanta Pillai has converted to Christianity. He consulted with his ministry and finally he was arrested on 23rd February 1749.
King Marthanda Varma adviced him to give up Christianity. But Devasahayam Pillai refused. He was put in prison at Thiruvithancode and was tortured. The persecution lasted for around three years.
On Friday, 14th January 1752, Devasahayam Pillai was shot dead by the soldiers of Maharajah at Kattadimalai in Aralvoimozhi.
Muttidichan Parai – Miraculous Fountain
Devasahayam Pillai was brought from Thiruvithancode Prison to Kattadimalai to be killed by the Travancore Soldiers. On his way, seated on a buffalo, he was brought to this place called Muttidichan Parai, near Puliyoorkurichi. Due to the various tortures he suffered, he felt very thirsty. He requested the soldiers some water to drink. The soldiers gave hime some filthy water to drink which he could not drink. Kneeling down on this rock, he prayed to Jesus. He hit this rock with his elbow. Suddenly a miraculous fountain appeared in the rock and water gushed out. He drank it and continued his journey. Hence this rock was named as Muttidichan Parai.
Even today, water comes from this rock and many people drink this miraculous water and get God’s healing.
St. Michael’s Church
This Church is built just opposite to Muttidichan Parai. The foundation stone of this Church was laid by Rev. Mariadason (Vicar general, Kottar Diocese) on 14th Jan 2007. On 14th Jan 2011, His Excl. Dr. Peter Remigius (Bishop, Kottar Diocese) consecrated this church in presence of Very Rev. Fr. George Ponnaiah (Vicar Forane, Mulagumoodu Vicariate).
This Church is designed in the ancient Travancore architecture with a mixture of Portuguese art in the interior. This is designed like a Palace as the brave martyr Devasahayam Pillai worked at Padmanabhapuram Palace during the rule of King Marthanda Varma.
References & Further Reading