St. Thomas the
Apostle, according to the Indian tradition, landed at Kodungaloor (Cranganore),
the capital of the then Chera Empire in the year 52 A.D. Persians,
Greeks and Romans found Kodungaloor as an Important centre for their
St. Thomas preached the gospel wherever he went, and founded churches,
Including one at Palayur of this Archdiocese. The apostolate of St.
Thomas was fruitful among the people of Kerala. According to Malabar
tradition seven Christian communities were formed in seven different
places before he was martyred in 72 A.D. His body was brought to
Mylapore and buried in a holy Shrine.
the 4th century, St. Thomas Christians established relationship with
the Church of Persia. Bishops who came to India from that Church also
had their residence at Kodungalloor while they held the title of the
"Metropolitan and gate of all India". The 'Metropolitan' changed his
residence from Kodungalloor to Angamaly in the 16th Century due to
certain Political reasons. After the death of Mar Abraham in 1588 St.
Thomas Christians were subjected to the Latin Bishops from 1699 and
continued to be so until 1887.
H.H. Pope Leo XIII of illustrious memory by the epoch making bull "Quod
Jam Pridem" of May 20, 1887, separated the Syrian Catholics of Malabar
from the Jurisdictions of Padroado as well as the Vicariate of
Verapoly and erected for them two Apostolic Vicariates Trichur and
Kottayam. The Vicariate of Trichur had within its territory two of the
most ancient Christian centres ie, Kodungalloor and Palayoor, the
former being the cradle of Christianity in India. Msgr. Adolphus Edwin
Medlycott was the first Vicar Apostolic of Trichur.
Nine Years later, by the Brief "Quae Rei Sacrae" of July 28, 1896 the
same Holy Father reorganised the two Vicariates into three: Trichur,
Ernakulam and Changansserry with Indians of the Syro Malabara rite as
their Vicars Apostolics Mar John Menacherry became the first native
Vicar Apostolic of Trichur.
The rapid and remarkable progress that the Syrian Catholics made under
the Indian bishops in the course of a few years was highly appreciated
by the Holy See and as a result, on December 21, 1923 by the Bull "Romani
Pontifices" of Pope Pius XI, the Syro - Malabar Hierarchy was
established, raising Ernakulam to the status of a Metropolitan See and
having Trichur, Changanaserry and Kottayam as its suffragan Eparchies.
Mar Francis Vazhappilly was the First Bishop of Trichur.
In 1887 the Vicariate of Trichur was bounded on the East by the
Western Ghats, on the south by the Periyar (Aluva), on the West by the
Arabian Sea and on the North by the river Bharatha. When by "Quae Rei
Sacrae" of July 28, 1896 the three Syrian Vicariates were erected, the
river Chalakudy was made southern boundary of Trichur Vicariate.
Pius XII, by the Bull "Saepe Fidelis" of April 29, 1955 extended the
jurisdiction of the bishop of Trichur to the whole of the Diocese of
Coimbatore. On June 20, 1974, Pope Paul VI by the Bull "Apostolico
Requirente" divided the Eparchy of Trichur erecting the Eparchy of
Palakkad which consisted of the civil districts of Palakkad and
Coimbatore. Again on June 22, 1978, Pope Paul VI separated the entire
taluk of Kodungalloor, greater part of Mukundapuram and small portions
of Paravoor and Aluva to the north of the river Chalakudy from the
Eparchy of Trichur and erected the Eparchy of Irinjalakuda by the
Apostolic Bull "Trichuriensis Eparchiae".
Pope John Paul II inaugurated the centenary celebrations of the
Eparchy of Trichur on February 7, 1986 at St. Thomas Nagar Trichur, in
the presence of about one million people. On May 20, 1987 the
centenary day was celebrated. The concluding functions on 9th August
1987 were presided over by Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy the then Prefect
of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. The eparchial renewal
project - Evangelisation Decade - was inaugurated on December 30,
The long awaited expectation of the faithful of Trichur Eparchy was
fulfilled on May 18, 1995 when the Pope John Paul II raised Eparchy to
the Metropolitan status, Eparchies of Irinjalakuda and Palakkad as its
suffragans and Bishop Mar Joseph Kundukulam as its first Metropolitan
The present Archieparchy of Trichur has the following boundaries -
North: Bharathapuzha in Malappuram district and Trichur - Palakkad
district boundary; West: Arabian Sea; East: Trichur district boundary;
South: Southern boundary of Valapad village and Karuvannur, Karanchira,
Kurumali, Mupliyam river
Trichur - 680 005,
Tel: +91 487 - 2333325, 2338203 (O), 2333541 (P),
Fax: +91 487 - 2338204
Area: 222 sq. kms.
Total population: 20,18,635
Catholics : 4,46,400
Languages spoken: Malayalam.
Revenue districts: Trichur and Thalappilly.
Diocesan Clergy: 272
Religious Priests: 114
Religious Brothers: 41
Religious Women: 2,769
No. of Parishes: 185
Houses of Women Religious: 38
Houses of Men Religious: 13
Major Seminaries: 03
Minor Seminaries: 10
No. of Educational Institutions
Technical Institutions: 26
Sr. Secondary Schools (10+2): 12
High Schools (10th std.): 50
Primary Schools: 79
Beneficiaries (Annual): 4,000