St. Antony Church Kottar diocese, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari District, India.
KURUSADY means a Holy Cross in the regional language of Tamil. It was a dense forest nearly three hundred years ago. In the forest, there were five kinds of trees and so it was called PANJAVANCADU. The name Panjavancadu has changed to kurusady after the miracle of a stone-cross sprouting from the earth, a church was built with St. Antony the worker of million miracles as the patron saint. This place was intersecting the Rajakamangalam to Thiruchendoor Highway. This Highway was called Manghammal Salai.
There are stories about the origin of Christianity in this place. The much believed one is that one fisher woman after having sold the fish happened to spend the night at a lonely place. Being a devotee of St. Antony she prayed for her protection and then she happened to see a light at night. This incident is told to be repeated the following days of her stay in the village. She was sure it was a sign of divine protection and so pleaded the parish priest of Kottar to erect a Holy Cross on the spot.
Kurusady thus became popular and many passers-by on the high way started taking rest in this place. A few families from nearby places started coming here and settled down. This prompted Fr. Elias to build a small chapel. This attracted many pilgrims, which asked for a big church to be built here. However it took twenty one years to construct the present church in the grandeur which you are witness to today and completed in the Year 1911.
Initially St. Antony’s of Padua Church, Kurusady was under the Vadakankulam Parish. Then it has become the sub-station parish of Kottar. In the year 1940 it got it own parish. There were twenty-five villages under Kurusady. Marthal, Peruvilai, Rajavoor, Ramanathichenputhoor, Aramboly, Ramanputhur, Maravankuiiruoppu, Vethanagar, Konam, Christu Nagar, Vattakarai, Thalavaipuram, Mela Ramanputhur, Punnainagar were once sub-stations of Kurusady.
Rev. Fr. Richard was the first Parish Priest. Rev. Fr. Ambrose, Rev. Fr. P.V. Anthony Swamy, Rev. Fr. R.Anthony Muthu were worked as a parish priest. As Rev. Fr. R. Anthony Muthu worked as a Parish Priest, he was consecrated the Archbishop of Vellore. It was a great honour to Kurusady.
Kurusady got its own individuality the surrounding villages like Punnainagar, Vattakarai, Maravankudiruppu, Vethanagar, Thalavaipuram, Mela Ramanputhur, Kezha Ramanputhur, Konam, etc., the people from these villages came here and got their Christianized ceremonies like baptism, first communion, confirmation, etc.
In 15.01.1961, Mr. S. Rajayah tried his best to construct St. Judesthatheus Kurusady at North Street. 45 years ago, St. Anthony’s Kurusady was built in the entrance of the church. In the period of Rev. Fr. Dionysius, a new alaya peedam was constructed.
In 1985, Rev. Fr. Benjamin started a Parish Council. Rev. Fr. Vincent constructed a new Parish house with the help of people who worked in abroad of Kurusady residential. Fr. Vincent united all the youths in the village and he constructed a new reading building. Now this building is used as a government ration shop. In December 6, 1993 he started 11 ANBIAMS (Basic Christian Community).
There are lots of miracles during 250 years. Now it also has a well-known place in Kottar diocese, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari District, India.