Category Archives: History of Portugal

#273 – The Coonan Cross Oath

During the Age of Exploration, the encounter between the Thomas Christians of India and the Portuguese led to a tragic schism whose effects are still felt today. Against the threats of Latinization, the Thomas Christians struggled to preserve their faith and traditions.

Website of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Website with much information on the Thomas Christians
Another website with much information on the Thomas Christians
A Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church site with much information on the history of the Thomas Christians
A painting of the Coonan Cross Oath can be found here.
Video of the Qurbana/Liturgy of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Video of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Liturgy
Vatican Radio program on the Syro-Malabar Church

Frykenberg, Robert E. Christianity in India: From Beginnings to the Present. Oxford University Press, 2010.
Mundadan, A Mathias. The Syro-Malabar Church: An Overview. Sacred Heart Provincial House, 1995.
Neill, Stephen. A History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to AD 1707. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Tisserant, Eugène. Eastern Christianity in India: A History of the Syro-Malabar Church from the Earliest Time to the Present Day. Orient Longmans, 1957.
Vadakkekara, Benedict. Origin of Christianity in India: a historiographical critique. Media House Delhi, 2007.
Vithayathil, Varkey J. The Origin and Progress of the Syro-Malabar Hierarchy. Oriental Institute of Religious Studies, 1980.

Image of St. Thomas Cross by Robin Klein
Image of the divisions of the Thomas Christians by Joehoya3

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Today in Catholic History – The Miracle of the Sun

On 13 October 1917, 30,000 to 100,000 people in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal claimed to have seen the Miracle of the Sun. These witnesses reported seeing the sun move toward the earth in a zigzag pattern for about ten minutes and that their wet clothes became suddenly dry. The witnesses believed that what they had seen was due to the presence of Our Lady of Fátima and proof that the Blessed Virgin Mary had been appearing to the shepherd children of Fátima who had said that the Virgin Mary would provide a special miracle on the 13th of October “so that all may believe.”

Needless to say many are skeptical about whether a miracle took place and offer natural explanations for the event such as the effect of looking at the sun for too long or a result of atmospheric and weather conditions.

On 13 October 1930he Roman Catholic Church has stated that what happened on that 13th of October in 1917 was worthy of belief. Fr. Stanley L. Jaki, professor of physics at Seton Hall, said that he believes that what happened was a natural event but the fact that it happened on the exact date predicted was a miracle.

There have been similar miracles of the sun at other Marian apparition sites.