Vachanolsavam is a monthly publication, which has the purpose of evangelization and re-evangelization in the Church and outside the Church. Vachanolsavam contains absolutely Spiritual and Scriptural reflectives supported with a lot of experiences and testimonies of people from different religions, walks of life, countries, etc. Along with this, it is to be remembered that lot of healings, conversions and anointiy of the Holy Spirit occured while reading this magazine.
The word "Vachanolsavam" is originally the combination of two Sanskrit words: "Vachan" means WORD and "Utsav" means FESTIVAL, together means "Festival of the Word of God". Vachanolsavam is actually a festival of the Word of God. It contains reflections of the Word of God, its different interpretations and testimonies of how Gods Word worked in th life of people by way of physical healing, inner healing, freedom from sin, forgiveness of sins, repentence, unity, Anointiy of Holy Spirit, etc.
Vincentian Congregation is a Catholic religion society of men started in Kerala, in the Spirit of St.Vincent De Paul. The main ministry of Vincentian Congregation is Preaching the Gospel. Popular Mission Retreat is a specific form of Preaching the Word of God by the Vincentian Priests and Brothers. That is the patrimony received from the heavenly Patron, St.Vincent.
The world famous Potta Ashram is the mission centre of the Vincentian Congregation. The retreat is conducted in Parishes and as a follow-up of it, Prayer service in the Ashram slowly started.Presently Vachanolsavam is the greatest Catholic magazine published in India, with widest number of readers and subscribers. Nearly non-christians are readers of it and it generates in them faith in Jesus Christ. Now, Vachanolsavam is published in 6 languages: Malayalam, English, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada and Telugu.
The Potta Ashram was founded in 1977 and then it was known as Popular Mission Centre. The directors of the Centre, Fr George Parackal and Fr Romulus Nedumchalil, etc, used to go for Popular Mission activities from there and they also made it their residence and head quarters, After a few years, Fr. Naickomparambil joined Potta, on transfer. He spent a number of years spending most of his time in prayers and studying the Bible very deeply. It was in those days that Fr. George Panackal, who was the director and the nerve-centre, became highly impressed by the great gifts of Fr. Naickomparambil, who got involved in the charismatic establishment. His thought-provoking highly effective, and unique style, coupled with his in-depth and scholarly understanding of the Gospel, of preaching persuaded thousands to come nearer to God and transform their lives. The spiritual relationship between the two great priests is still very strong.
As said earlier, Potta Ashman began as Popular Mission Centre in 1977 and after a few years a 3 storey building was put up to conduct the retreats, it was primarily intended for the people coming to the Ashrarn from places, where Popular Mission Retreats were conducted, for further consultations and suggestions. But soon it became a centre for numerous, countless retreats. As it was not, intended for long residences by the people who came there, the facilities were, very limited. It was Fr Jacob Athickal who spearheaded the construction work of the Ashram. Then for six long years, Fr. George Vempilly held the reins of the Ashram and it was during his stewardship that the retreat centre was constructed and gradually the retrain schemes were commenced.
The prayer meetings that began in 1987 marked a new beginning. It was an experiment. The forerunners of the gigantic schemes that were undertaken by the Ashman were actually those people who came to consult Fr. Naickomparambil an Fr. Panackal. As the number of Participants snowballed, preachings and faith healings were conducted along with prayers. Unexpected healings and other miraculous happenings attracted more and more people to the proceedings. Although there were people everyday for prayers, it was on Thursday that people came in large numbers. Giving due consideration to the convenience of the participants the main day for prayer services was changed from Thursday to Saturday, from the middle of 1989.
From 1985 a bi-monthly publication also known by the name 'Popular Mission' was started. The purpose of this publication was to keep alive the spiritual renovation that was created as a result of the activities of the Popular Mission Centre. The articles and news contained in the magazine would awaken the spirituality of the people and would help it to grow. In the beginning only around a 1000 copies were sold. As the prayer meetings became more strong and well attended, the copies increased tenfold in circulation. Thousands became tens of thousands and gradually lakhs. Its name was changed and so were the contents and style of presentation and format. More prominence was given to popular style and taste. News and witnessing received wide coverage. These changes helped to attract the attention of readers. Some technical reasons prompted a name change. The name finally got was 'Vachanolsavam'. Even this name had a divine hand. It presents to us the great Gospel truths in small, easily remembered, quotations. Today Vachanotsavarn is published in six languages and more than 3 lakh copies tie distributed. This is a laudable fact, Today people inside and outside Kerala show a keen interest in reading this magazine. Lakhs of people belonging to various creeds and religions read it anxiously. There am many people who helped in the improvement of the lay-out and contents of the magazine but there are two people who need special mention. They are Fr. Michael Panachickal, who was the first chief editor and Fr. George Panackal who is the circulation manager. The innovations and enthusiasm of these two great priests have done a lot for the start and expert management of this magazine. In the beginning Fr Panackal used to carry bundles of the magzine to different churches. With the permission of the Vicar, he would exhibit these magazines to the congregation to popularize them. It was his expertise in marketing, that brought forth such abundant harvest! The unrestrained co-operation and advice and suggestions rendered by Fr. Naickomparambil and others helped in its phenomenal growth. The prayers conducted daily in Potta also helped. The huge conventions, with tens of thousands of people in attendance, led by Fr Naickomparambil, without break, and the weekly retreats in Potta and Muringoor did a world of good in expanding the magazine's circulation and appeal. It was also divine providence that the management responsibility for the magazine fell into the strong and worthy hands of Fr John F. Cheriaveli, after the stewardship of Fr Panachickal. Under his supervision the magazine, in its various editions, has grown from strength to strength.