St. Francis Xavier was a Jesuit missionary who came to India in 1542. He visited Travancore in the same year and while he was there the Padagas attacked Travancore. The forces of the Raja of Travancore could not stop the Padagas, but St. Francis Xavier managed to chase them away by raising his crucifix and shouting at them. Extremely grateful the Raja, King Unni Kerala Varma befriended the Jesuit and as a gesture of goodwill, allotted him land to construct a church.
According to church records, St Francis Xavier built the church himself in 1600. A shrine dedicated to Mother Mary already existed at the spot since 1544. The shrine of Mother Mary was enlarged and renovated in 1865 and the church was bestowed the status of a cathedral in 1930. The old and primitive church still stands and the place also has a church built by the Bishops of Cochin. One of the oldest churches in the area, the St. Francis Xavier’s Church is certainly the oldest Cathedral in Kottar belonging to the Roman Catholic Diocese. Devasahayam Pillai, the Christian martyr was given a Christian burial and his mortal remains were laid to rest in the St. Francis Xavier’s Church in front of the main altar.
An interesting story about St. Francis Xavier’s dwelling is told here. According to the story, the house of St. Francis Xavier was attacked and burnt by heathens. As the house burnt down to the ground, the heathens were surprised and awe struck to find St. Francis on his knees, praying and untouched by the fire. A cross now stands on that spot and a lamp burns perpetually here. People of all faiths come here to offer oil for the lamp and pray for miracles as the place has been attributed with miracles recorded here.