St. Antony’s Church, Chettikkad, Near North Paravur is well known international Pilgrim Centre, which stands unique as three holy relics, including a part of the tongue of St. Antony are preserved here. Thousands of pilgrims cutting across caste and religion throng the church (everyday) especially on Tuesdays seeking the blessings of the Saint. The Church, known as ‘Paduva of the East’ is a blessing centre for chronic patients, job seekers, couples without children, persons suffering from financial problems and members of disturbed families. The annual feast is conducted on May 12th every year, whereon more than a lakh of people participate.
St Antony of Padua
A native of Lisbon,Porugal,Ferdinand Bouillon joined the Canons Regular of St.Augustine, but when the bodies of the first Franciscan Martyrsere brought back from Morocco ten years later, he too became inflamed with a desire for martydom. His brethren permitted him to join the newly founded Mendicant Order.As a Franciscan he took the name of Antony.When he was sent to Morocco,he fell seriously ill.however,and on his return voyage his ship was driven to Sicily in a Great storm. Hearing that a general chapter had been called at Assisi for Whitsuntide 1221,he joined the 3000 brethren there and saw St Francis. In his humility he concealed his own learning and so was assigned to menial tasks at a monastery near Forli.Only when he was urged some time later to say a few words at words at an ordination ceremony, was his astounding gift of preaching discovered.
Antony could explain Holy Scripture so humbly,profoundly and simply that St.Francis wrote to him:’It is my desire that you teach theology to the brethren,provided,however,that the spirit of prayer and devotion be not extinguished.’ So he taught and preached throughout southern France and northern Italy,and his winning personality,combined with a clear, powerful and pleasing voice, enabled him to impart readily his knowledge to others. God also granted him the gifts of miracles,of tongues and of prophecy. Besides the prevalent heresies of the Cathari and Patarines,it was the obstinate vices of luxury,pride,tyranny,hatred and avarice which he attacked with particular zeal and success. Enormous crowds,sometimes numbering 30,000, came to hear this Hammer of Heretics and it would tax the strength of all available Priests to hear the many penitents who wanted to make their peace with God after one of his appeals. Permanent reconciliation of enemies took place, common debtors were released from prison, brigands turned to an honest trade, unrightful gains were restored, and civil governments enacted beneficial laws to correct abuses.
St Antony died at the age of 36 and was caninised a year later. He is the Patron of Portugal, of travellers , of pregnant and barren women and of the poor (‘St Antony’s Bread ‘). He is also commonly invoked for the recovery of lost articles and by person in danger of shipwreck.
Healing power of Water
The water in the well near Chettikkad church gives healing from illness. The history of church tells that the water in the well curing diseases by St.Antony’s miracle. The saint showed this through the dream of Kondayi, a Hindu woman, resident of Chettikkad.
She told the Vicar that she saw the saint bathing Infant Jesus near the well. Since then the believers has been using water as a medicine. Many people witnessed about the healing power of the water by pouring it to head.The speciality of well can be seen with naked eye that all the nearby well has salt water , but sacred well hasn’t. Rector tells that the water level never falls even if the water is taken as much as we need.
A park for chidren
In Chettikkad, a number of miracles are happen through the children.
A number of couples got baby by prayer to St Antony. Many children cured from illness in the name of St Antony. So parents are very much interested to bring their babies to the church. For the entertainment, there maintain a children’s park nearby the church.
Thousands of photos are being exhibited here as witness for the blessing received.
Blessed holy oil is available which is used for healing.
• Sunday holy mass at 6.45 am, 9.00 am, 5.00 pm
• Holy mass at 10.00am on every Friday followed by adoration.
• Special healing services on first Tuesdays of every month.
• Famous retreat preachers lead these healing services.
• Special prayer for getting blessings.
• Chance for offerings like ‘Adima’, Thulabharam, Pon navu nercha etc.
• After the holy services, distribution of St Antony’s bread (Nercha sadya) on every Tuesdays.
• Rice-giving ceremony (choroonu) to the children in the holy presence of St Antony.
Sunday : 6.45 am, 9.00 am, 5.00 pm
Tuesday : 8.00 am, 10.30 am, 3.00 pm, 5.00 pm, 6.30 pm
Friday : 7.00 am, 10.00 am
Other days : 7.00 am
St. Antony’s Shrine
N.Paravur, Ernakulam District, Kerala-683 522, INDIA
Phone: 0484 2482039, 2483512