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Arakuzha Church and Rathappillil Muthi  
According to ancestral history, Ratahppillil Muthi was behind the establishment of Arakuzha church. During that period, the only Christian church in the eastern region was "Mailakkombu". The Christians of Arakuzha came to Mailakkombu for attending mass on Sundays and other festive occasions. Taking into consideration the people coming from distance places, the mass was conducted only by noon. But a priest who came to Mailakkombu started conducting the mass early in the morning. Hence, people coming from distant places were unable to attend the mass. Rathappillil Muthi and others expressed their grievance on this matter to the parish priest. But he payed less attention to it. As they could not attend mass regulary, Rathappillil Muthi decided to construct a church in Arakuzha. Rathappillil Muthi visited bishop 'Sabor' who was then staying in Villarvattom palace Udaymperoor, after coming from kollam. She obtained sanction to build the church from the priest. Arakuzha Unniyathiri rendered all sort of helps to build the church. He gave Rathappillil Muthi the adjacent plot of his illam(house) and temple for building the church. It lies one farlong north to the present Arakuzha church. Even today the plot belongs to the church. The place beneath the present 'kurishinthotti' is called 'Palli Ambalathungal' as both the church and the temple was in the same plot.
Arakuzha Church was established in the name of Blessed Virgin Mary. At first, the church was only a small building thached with palm leaves and bamboo. From the very beginning the church was showered with miraculous powers and blessings of Blessed Virgin Mary.
Once a culprit slave of Arakuzha Unniyathiri entered and sought refuge inside the church. Unniyathiri came to know about it and broke the church door and mercilessly killed the culprit. As a punishment to this action, Arakuzha was devoid of rain fall for eighteen months. At last, Unniyathiri confessed his guilt and offered 30 para rice and other goods for offering 'Paachoru' nercha in Arakuzah church. Also, he decided to do this offering every year from then onwards. For meeting the expenses of this offering, he offered many plots and houses to the church. Reference to this 'Pachoru' Nercha can be seen in this letters of Bishop Barnadinous, Varapuzha Archbishop, who visited Arakuzha church in 1860.
What could be the reasons that motivated Arakuzha Unniyathiri to offer all sorts of help in building up a Christian church near his temple?. Christians of Arakuzha and the chieftain Unniyathiri lived like brothers. They also followed the same customs and traditions. There were several reasons for this. The first Christians of Arakuzha were those who came from kodungalloor. They were high class Hindus who got baptized (converted to Christianity). They were alike in customs and traditions and were different only in the matter of faith. Christians also had Kudummi, poonool etc of hindus. They also followed hindu customs like pula, Oottu, chatham etc. Buddhism was prevelant in those days and religious tolerance was common among all Hindus. This could be the reason why Unniyathiri gave all sorts of help to Rathappillil Muthi for building a church.
Hindus who got baptized (converted into Christianity) followed the Matriarchy ('marumakkathayam') in that period. This would be the reason why women were given prominence than men. This is why a woman in Rathappillil family involved in public issues and was in the forefront in building a church.
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