The Vallarpadam Church located in Cochin, also known as ‘The Church of Our Lady Ransom’ and dedicated to Mother Mary. Mother Mary is worshiped as “Vallarpadathamma”. The church, built originally by the Portuguese was demolished during the Dutch period and was reconstructed again in 1676. The Government of India declared the church as a divine and holy church in 1951. Irrespective of the caste and religion, people from all over the world visit this church. Pope Leo XIII declared the church as a “special church” in 1888.
The main folklore in connection to this church is “a lady and her child from a Hindu family were shipwrecked and they survived for three days sheltering under a rock. The lady prayed to the Mother Mary that she will commit her life serving and thus got saved.” All processions in connection to the festivals in this church begin from the ancestral house of this lady. You can see the picture of Vallarpadathamma along with this lady with the child in her arm inside the church.
The local fishermen bring their new boats to the shrine to get the blessing of Vallarpadathamma before taking them to the sea. When prayers are answered, the devotees dedicate their lives to Vallarpadathamma and sweep the church compound to convey their dedication. The Church is not only a pilgrim center but also one of the main tourist attractions in Kochi.
An attraction at premises of the church is the Rosary Park. It has sculptures depicting the significance of each prayer. The serene aura of the basilica will fill your heart and soul with a fresh energy and positivity.