Malayattoor Kurisumudy is an international pilgrim centre of St. Thomas the Apostle. Kurisumudy is a mountain at Maiayattoor, 1269 'Ft. above sea level. Pilgrims come to Malayattoor Kurisumudy all through the year but they come in large numbers during the Lenten season, especially the holy week – largest numbers come on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The main feast is on Puthunjayar (new Sunday) the feast of the proclamation of Jesus as Lord and God by St. Thomas the Apostle.
PUTHUNJAYAR Pilgrimage to Malayattoor
Malayattoor pilgrimage (Climbing Kurisumudy) is done as a vow in reparation of sins. A lot of devotees come to the shrine carrying crosses and walking hundreds of Kilometers. Some of the crosses weight more than 75 Kilograms. Pilgrims climb the mountain praying the Way of the Cross and chanting. When the pilgrims climb the mountain they chant "Ponnin Kurisu Mala Muthappo Ponmalakayattam". "Muthappan" is the name by which the devotes invoke St. Thomas on the mountain. Some pilgrims carry stones on their heads and place them near the Fourteenth station, for the relief of their chronic headaches. Women, sometimes, carry brooms, praying for the abundance of physical and spiritual well being.
St. Thomas the Apostle stayed and prayed at the hill top. While travelling through the famous caravan route from Kodugalioor to Madras, St. Thomas received a hostile reception at Malayattoor and was forced to flee to the top of the mountain and he spent days together in prayer. In deep anguish and agony, St. Thomas prayed to the Lord and he made a sign of the cross on the rock. After a few days he continued his journey to Mylappoor in Chennai and later died a martyr's death in 72 AD
There are many miracle stories about Malayattoor. St. Thomas knelt down on the rock for praying and made a sign of the cross with his finger on the rock and a golden cross sprouted on this spot. When hunters on the mountain tried to remove it with their weapons, the glittering cross began to bleed and they left. Another miracle is the foot-print of St. Thomas on the rock. Now it is covered a glass cover. There is also a miraculous well at the spot where St. Thomas struck the rock when he was thirsty and water gushed out.
The locals began a practice of lighting an oil lamp on the mount and it is said that whenever the lamp was blown out by the wind, a herd of goats would come down wailing and people used to climb the mountain and light the lamp again. Even today pilgrims carry sesame seeds to feed the goats
On 11th February 2004 Vatican declared Kurisumudy as an International Shrine of St. Thomas. The International shrine was officially inaugurated by Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio in India on 13 February 2005.
Another famous hill pilgrim centre of St. Thomas is the Poonjar Vagamon Kurisumala, where people make pilgrimage on 40th day (Friday) of the Lent and on Puthunjayar.