Located at a distance of 5 kms east of Pala in Bharananganam, Kottayam, St. Mary’s Church holds the mortal remains of St. Alphonsa (1910- 1946). Born as Anna Muttathupadathu, St. Alphonsa was an Indian religious sister and educator. She was the first Indian woman to be canonised as a Saint by the Catholic Church and also the first canonised saint in Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in India. Her death anniversary falls on the 28th of July which is a highly revered day when the church is thronged by devotees in huge numbers to visit to pay homage to the saint and to seek her blessings.
The museum adjacent to the chapel holds her belongings- her books, cot, umbrella etc. A copy of her sermon is also available which reads, “Alphonsa is among the few great souls who lived in India; who have achieved greatness in God’s sight”. Next to it is her room where she spent several years of her life. Across the chapel is the two storeyed building which was originally the Papal podium, is now surrounded by a stadium and well-maintained terraced garden. The complex also houses a souvenir shop which sells books, rosaries and pictures to take home.