Ranked 21 among Places to Visit in Kanyakumari
Time Required: 1-2 hours
Built by St Francis Xavier in the 1600s, the St. Xavier Church is a famous historical structure of great religious importance that is located in Kottar of Nagercoil. This Roman Catholic, Latin Rite shrine, is dedicated to Mary, who is the Mother of God. The church enjoys great fame and respect, on account of the fact that miracles have been observed to happen here since times immemorial. The spirituality, power and divinity of the church attract people of all faiths from all parts of the world, and it is not uncommon to see even Hindus pouring oil, praying and making vows here. Thousands and thousands of Catholic pilgrims from as far as British India, Ceylon and Malacca visit the annual festival at the St. Xavier church every year in December to seek blessings from the Lord, and it continues to assert its authority as a supreme abode of the Almighty.
The builder of this magnificent church, St Francis Xavier, was a dedicated and exceptional priest who belonged to Goa, but frequently visited Kottar in the district of Kanyakumari, since Kottar was a famous commercial centre in those days. He was popularly known as 'Valiya Pandaram' among the masses, and according to historical accounts, he played an instrumental role in preventing the Padagas from invading Travancore. Pleased, the king granted St. Xavier with a plot at Kottar to construct a Catholic Church, on the land which already housed a church. St Francis Xavier then built another church on the same site, adjacent to the existing Church of St. Mary.
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