St. Francis Xaviers's Church, Sampaloor, Mala (Sampaloor Church Mala) in the Diocese of Kottapuram is an ancient pilgrim centre and pride to all Roman Catholics. It is located just 5 km away from Mala town.
The history of Sampaloor is interwoven with the Saints and Scholars who came to Sampaloor through the waterways which starting from Musiris to Mararikulam (a river port where houseboats can anchor). The name Sampaloor derived from the name, St. Paul Oor (means the place of St. Paul). Oor in Tamil language means "place".
The Jesuit Priests (Society of Jesus) of St. Paul came India for Missionary works settled at Sampaloor and started their Seminary along with printing press in between 1579 and 1600. The Jesuits named their Seminary, Press and Monastery in the name of St. Paul and in the course of history, the Dutch Protestants and Tipu Sultan destroyed the Seminary, Press and the Monastery. The Blood Sand of St. John De Britto is kept here in the Museum. In the Church, the "Altar" of the old Seminary run by the Jesuit Priests is kept as a monument where St. Francis Xavier, St. John De Britto, Fr. Constantine Beschi and other eminent scholars offered the Holy Mass for the praise of God.
The fame of Sampaloor is connected with the visits of St. Francis Xavier to Sampaloor while his visits to Kerala. There were almost 450 Anglo-Indian families in Sampaloor who were strong devotees of St. Francis Xavier. In this connection Sampaloor is also called "Goa of Kerala"
Sampaloor, along with the St. Paul Seminary and Printing Press, was a cradle for saints, scholars and literary men Joseph Constantine Beschi (Veera Mamunyar), who wrote the masterpiece work "Thembavani", is equivalent to "Ezhuthachan" in Malayalam Literature. "Thembavani", which is included in the syllabus of higher studies of Tamil Language even in the present day, proclaims its importance. Moreover, the foster father of Malayalam language, Rev. Fr. Arnospathiri, who wrote the famous work "Puthenpana" in Malalayalm, was a student of St. Paul Seminary and he took his priestly Ordination from there.
The foot steps of Saints and Scholars had sanctified the soil of the "divine land" and had made the water of the near-by river "holy water" capable of curing diseases. Eventhough, Tippu Sultan had burned the Ancient glory into ashes, as a "Pelican bird", the present generation had kept its memories alive, through the collected remnants they had kept in the newly built museum.
- Oxbow Lake, Kanichan Thura, Vynthala.
- Ambazhakadu Forane Church.
- Chalakudy River.
Visitors can hire taxis from Mala town or travel by regular buses plying Mala, Ashtamichira, Kadukutty and Vynthala. The distance shall be from Mala to Ashtamichira 3 km and from Ashtamichira to Sampaloor Church 3 km.
Postal Adress: St. Francis Xavier Church, Sampaloor - 680 741, Mala, Thrissur District, Kerala, India.
Sampaloor Church Museum
Sampaloor Church Monument
Sampaloor Church Monument