“Holy Soonoro (Holy Girdle) of our Mother” (Discovery)

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According to the tradition of Orthodox church, Apocryphal writings from the early church mention that St. Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles except St. Thomas. St. Thomas was brought to Jerusalem by Holy Spirit through ‘Oyar’ and saw St. Mary’s body was taken to heaven by the angels. He got the girdle from St. Mary as a token to show it to other apostles that he actually saw St. Mary in ‘Oyar’ and to confirm asked the apostles to open the tomb and then there was no body in it. The Apostles concluded that she had been taken up to Heaven, body and soul. This incident is one of the most mystical incident which is not written in present bible. So most of the believers don’t know about this event. For many years no one knew where is this Holy Gridle.

In 394 A.D
. together with the coffin of St. Thomas, this valuable Girdle of Holy Virgin Mary was also moved from India to Raha and was established in a Church.

Icon of the Holy Girdle is handing over to Apostle St. Thomas


During the discovery of Holy Gridle

In mid April 1953, while scrutinizing some manuscripts. Discoverer noticed a Garshunian book containing stories and speeches. It appeared to be bound with many papers piled up over each other. Orientals since 300 years ago used to bind some of their manuscripts in this way or with thick wood, then wrap it with leather or thick cloth because of scarcity of cardboard. When they opened the book cover, they noticed that it was composed of forty six letters in Garshunian and Arabic concerning the diocese of Homs and environs written a hundred odd years ago. One of them was Garshunian 29cm. long, 20 cm. wide written in 1852 by the notables of the archdicese of Syria to the notables of the city of Mardin (Turkey) close to za’faran Monastery, the patriaarchel see, implying the conditions of their archdiocese. They included that while wrecking their church called in the name of the Virgin the Lady of the girdle in Homs for purpose of enlarging and renewing it due to its oldness, smallness and its wooden ceiling, by the order of His Eminence of archbishop Peter Mousally, they found the girdle of our Lady the Virgin put in a vessel in the middle of the holy table in the altar. They were comprised with happiness and blessed by it.

The two stone plates, one with a hole inside where the Holy Girdle was kept, and the other one which was covering the first stone plate with an inscription about it.

According to this information, on the 20 th.of July 1953 A.D. When these discoverers opened the hole table where they found a stone inscription 46cm.long, 44cm. Wide 2 cm. thick written in a nice garshunian handwriting was the following:

“ In the year 59, this holy church was built in the days of the preacher Mala’s who is called alsoElija”

Then mentioned the date of renewing the church in 1852 A.D. in the days of the archbishop Julius Peter- and the cities and villages that donated for the structure expenses.

They found under it an old font covered with a thick old round copper sheet and inside it the vessel. And called His Lordship Alexandros the Greek Orthodox bishop of Homs and in his presence opened the vessel which broke due to its oldness and the holy girdle appeared wrapped on itself and the signs of oldness appearing on it. We gathered the pieces of the vessel and preserved them. His Lordship witnessed this fact and attested to it . In no time this news spread in the city, and a crowd from all Christian denominations infiltearated to receive blessings from the holy girdle.

Girdle spread out for measurement

During demonstration

HOLY SOONORO (Holy Gridle) of St Mary

Parts of the Holy Girdle was distributed all over the world, and now the remaining small part is rolled and covered with cotton and is kept in an “Arulikka”, in a special place near to the Madbaho in this Church.

In Malankara some part of Holy Gridle is kept in St Mary Cheriapally and Manarkad church

1) Part of Holy Gridle in Kottayam Cheriapally
2) Part of Holy Gridle in Manarkaad Church



Rijo Geevarghese

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