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St.Anne's R.C. Church

Rev.Fr. Vincent Puspha Raj - The Parish Priest, St.Anne's R.C.Church, Marianallur, Somanur P.o, Coimbatore- 641668.



It is surprising that as early 1850, when the Diocese o Coimbatore came into existence, the smaH village of Marianallur, entirely inhabited by the old Christians (of Devangers), got a separate mention in the statistics of the Vicariate in 1859, thus throwing back the existence of this Christians settlement, even to the time of Sathy Jesuit mission. In 1859 there were only 80 Christians but no Church. It was understandable since only a road separates it from Somanur. In olden days, only a Kalli - Veli (a kind of thorny bushes) separated them and Fr. Lime the MEP Historian, mentions that once, when a terrible plague visited this area, many at Marianallur fell victims to it, while Somanur, just separated by the thornybushes, was saved from it. But even before the arrival of the Railways Christian settlement on its own, was existing even from the time when Karumathampatty became the mission center under the .Sathy mission in 1650. This smal community grew larger in the I 900s with the arrival of the ailways (which greatly facilitated the transport of their merchandise of yarn and cloth to other places), when some of the old Christians of the Devanger Community, who were living in thç surrounding villages, migrated to Marianallur, as each of the old families of this village, .even today, are called by the name of their original village from where they had migrated (as Parameswarampalayam family; Thottipalayam Family etc.)

It will be of interest to many to know why so many villages had a few Devanger (Weavers) families in each. The reason is that from the ancient days, in Tamilnadu, each village was a self sufficient village with regard to all its day to - day needs. Every village will have a family of Barber, one of Dhobi, at least one of the weaver caste etc, thus each village was a well knit community, with all their basic neds being fulfilled by their own villagers. For the sake of historica information, the Statistics of such Christian villages, though there is no longer any Christian presence now, as in 1859, all coming under the district of Karumathampatty : Tottipalayam 30 Christians, no church; Vettumuchipalayam: 15 Christians, no church; Parameswaram palayam : 30 Christians, no church; Muruganipalayam 83 Christians and a Church, (the birth place of the very first pries of the diocese); Pudupalayarn: 15 Christians, no church; Velliampalayam: 20 Christians, no church; Poumanur: 50 Christians, a church and old house for residence, which was a parish and was pilgrimage center even earlier. In 191 3 a small chapel was built A Marianallur and in 1920 Fr.J.B.C. Castanie built a bigger chapel in honour of St. Ann and also a small house to stay when the pries came for the annual feast of the Patroness and, to keep church articles By oral tradition it was stated, that a priest used to stay here for days during the feast of St. Ann. Till 1945, all the Catholics Marianallur and Somanur, had to go to the parish church Karumathampatty for Sunday Mass. The people of Kombaikadu an Kombaikadupudur to Pallapalayam to which parish they were attached till Somanur became a Parish in 1946.

When Somanur became a separate parish, Marianallu Kombaikadu and Kombaikadupudur became its substations. In 1956 two belfries were constructed. In 1962 the preàent large church wa constructed entirely by the villagers themselves spending Rs. 75000/ - and was blessed by Bishop Savarimuthu on 19 -8 - 1962. Under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Annaswamy, with the materials saved from ol church, a new presbytery was also constructed by the villagers. When the parish church of Somanur was closed down (for some time du to the local caste quarrels). Marianallur was made a parish and th other sub-stations were attached to Karumathampaty and h continued to be a parish, even after the church of Somanur wa reopened and revived as a parish (though the caste quarrels, had no ended till today, with legal battles raging in the civil courts). Thus a the only possible solution Marianallur was established as a separat parish on 13-11-1988 with Fr. A.S. Madalaimuthu as the first paris priest The 75th year of the church was celebrated after its renovatio and extension. The presbytery was renovated on 4-2-2003 Fr. Antony Samy.

Substations :

1. Kombaikadupüdur and Kombaikadu, though named as Pudur (new branch village) it is Kombaikadupudur, at least as far as church records go, which was more important than Kombaikadu Ofcourse as the name itself implies, Kombaikadu must have been more ancient than Pudur. It is Kombaikadupudur that Is mentioned as one of the 5 major sub— centers of the newly formed Karumathampatty center, when it was separated from Kanuvakarai in 1684, and looked after by Fr. Noguera and Fr. A.Pereira. This Christian community would have shared all the trials and tribulations of the Mysore War and later of Samboji of Tanjore. (1682 86) and then during the 3 Mysore wars between the British and Tippu (1784 - 97). In many centers the churches were destroyed and the Christians had to flee or were converted to Islam (Mangalam, near Pukulipalayam is a classical example, though here, it was Hindu Gounders who seem to have been forced to embrace Islam). It is reported that over 5000 Christians had apostatized during that period.

2 .Kombakadu is mentioned as one of the sub-stations with a small church along with 8 others as sub-stations of Karumathampatty mission between 1820 -25. But sad to note that in 1851 both Kombakadu and Kombaikadu Pudur rebelled against the PME Fr. Metral, by calling a Goanese priest. But it was a short revolt, the Christians repented and asked for forgiveness from the Propaganda priests, who imposed as a penance that they should destroy the church at Kombaikadupudur (desecrated by the schismatic priests ) and build a new one, and they did so. After Coimbatore Vicariate came into existence these villages were under Karumathampatty, as its 18 main villages. In the first official statistics of 1 859 we read: Komb4kadu with 70 Christians but no churèh and Kombakadu Pudur with 160 Christians and a church. In 1892 they are still sub- stations of Karumathampatty. In 1905 they are still part of Karumathainpatty viçariate. During Fr. Annaswamy’s tenure as parish priest ( 1952 - 1962 ) the old church at Kombakadu in honour of St. Sebastian was demolished and a new church was constructed.

3. Kombaikattupudur : Rev. Fr. Ignatius in 1908 had constructed a new church dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul with the contribution of the parishioners at a cost of Rs 979. In 1960 Fr. Annaswamy modified it with two naves ( cross wings ) entirely with the contribution of the local Christians. It is learnt that the school at Kombakattu Pudur was started by Fr. Tour,who was the parish priet )of Pallapalayam (1891 - 1897 ). So these two villages froml862 were sub- stations of Pallapalyam, the main reason being that to go to Karumathampatty and Somanur the people had to cross the Noyyal river. Fr. M. Chinnapan the first parish priest of Somanur extended the school building (both these villages were attached to Somanr in 1946 when Somanur became a parish). Knew spacious schoo] building was constructed, with the help of the Son of the soil and former alumni, Most Rev.P. Arokiasamy, Archbishop-bishop ol Tanjure. He blessed the grotto and the school on 26.10.1992. Boti these ancient Christian villages were unfortunately, depopulated ir the 1 940s, due to the crisis in the hand-loom weaving industry many had settled down in Bombay and are thriving.

Main Station

Distance from the Cathedral Church : 38 Kms.

Total No. of Catholic Families both in the Main & Sub- Stations 280

Total No. of Catholic Families in the Main Station : 125

No. of Catholics in the Main station : 1000

Mass Timings


: Mon Wed & Fri 6.15 a.m Tue, Thu, Sat:6.00 p.m


: 8.OO a.m

Diocesan Institution

I .R.C Primary School at

Kombaikattu-Pudur 0421: 2333856(pp)

Lay Association

1. Legion of Mary

2. Kolping.

Patronal Feast : St. Anne (July)


1. Kombaikadu

Distance - 4 Kms.

Families - 100

No. of Catholics - 500

Mass Timings - Alternative Sundays 6.30 a.m

Wed & Fri 6.30a.m

Lay Associations - 1. Kolping

2. Kombaikadu - Pudur

Distance - .5 Kms.

Families - 55

No. of Catholics - 250

Mass Timings - Alternate Sundays 6.30 a.m

Lay Associations - 1. Kolping


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