TENKASI  Shrine

Patron of the Shrine :
St. Michael 
Vicairate : Tenkasi
Church Name : St. Michael's Shrine
Name of the Parish : Tenkasi
Parish Priest : Rev. Fr.   Sahaya Chinnappan L.
Asst. Parish Priest : Rev.Fr. Robin A
District : Tirunelveli
Telephone : 04633-222740

Brief history

Tenkasi is considered one of the most Sacred places in South India. Christianity was already there in the 17th Century. It is mentioned in the annual Letters of 1662-1665. Fr.Antony De Proenca in 1662 and Fr. Balthazar De Costa in 1663 preached there the Gospel. There was belief among the people about the angels apparition. In the town of Polegam, the chief town of the Southern Province, and Adi-Dravida called Valente, equally Valiant by name and faith, converted a yogi who at baptism took the name of Rayappan. Now here is what happened to Rayappan still a in the town of Tenkasi.
In that town there was a Christian couple. They had two children. One died and the other was seriously ill. The parents had just been baptized. The grief at the loss of their children and the persecution from their relatives gradually began to shake then faith. At that moment, Rayappan came up and hearing of their sad plight consoled and comforted then. But the little child was stalking to his death. Without losing sight of his parents, Rayapan watched over the child, gave his sweets and stayed with them still midnight, He thought he could take some rest before the death of the child and went to the house of another Christian called chrysostom. There in the courtyard of the house a pandel (Shed) had been created in which the fathers used say mass when passing through the town, Rayappan went to sleep under this pandel. Scarcely did he shut his eyes when he wake up with fright. He saw himself surrounded with a bright light and first thought that the house was on fire. He hostly got up and called for help, but as soon as he got up the noticed that this light was much brighter than fire. As he sought the reason for it he caught right under a free of the court yard of two young men of an extraordinary and heavenly beauty. The bodies seemed mad like of the first gold. One lad had in his hand a musical instrument like a zither, and the other a banner. Both bent some steps southwards; then one of them bent down and traced out a cross on the ground. Finally both came near Rayappan. The latter asked them who they were. But they beckaoing him to hold his tongue went to the door of the dying child called him by his name. The he saw the child called him by his name. The he saw the child coming four inside smiling and joyful. The youngment took him in their midst set two lighted candles in his hands and each one taking him by the arm the three of them rose up heavenwards in an extraordinary glitter. Rayappan followed them with his eyes with mixed feelings of joy and admiration. When he was recalled to this senses by the wails, coming from the child’s house. He ran up and told that the child had just beathed his last. Then Rayappan begged the parents to listen to him and in the presence of Chrysostom and other Christians related the vision he had seen. Chrysostom wishing to see the spot where the angel had made a cross, recognized that it was the place where an innocent child, his own son had been leuried. As these mewellous things were being told tears dried and wails turned into songs of thanks giving. The parents of the blessed child were confirmed in then faith. As for Rayappan, determined to become a herald of the Gospel, he was baptized and began to study in order to become a adtechist. He served as a ectochist there (extract from a letter of Autony Paoenca 15th August 1666). The old Altar were cross was made by anyles) to still there is the new church. As people of all religion come here this church was known by name ‘Sarveswaran Koil’.
Before becoming a distinct parish, Tenkasi was the part of the huge south-west district visited in turn by the new mission aries. Later it was visited by a father resideing at Kamanakkanpatti. Then it belonged to Andipatti. Finally from 1878 to 1902 it was a part of the parish of Sendamaram entrusted to father Ignacy who went all over its territory. From 1902 to 1906 Fr. Marie Louis administered both Viravanallur and Tenkasi. It 1906 Fr. Caussanel was alone entrusted Tenkasi which in 1907 was again attached to Viravanallur. Finally in 1908 Fr. Adaikalam a diocesan priest newly ordained was exclusively in charge of it.
People possessed by Evil Spirit, many other disorder get cured. People of all religion come here for worship Pope Pius X has came and worship in this church will have 40 days.
Tenkasi – 627 811, Tirunelveli District | Telephone: 04633 – 222740
Rev. Fr. Viagapparaj N.

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