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Parumala Thirumeni started his ecclesiastical studies under his father's brother, Kassisso Geevarghese Malpan, at the tender age of 10. It was his uncle who introduced him to the beauty of Syriac language. Kassisso Geevarghese with whom Parumala Thirumeni had spend 7 long years, till his youth, was the person who shaped his life. After the death of his uncle, he went to Pamapakuda as a student of Konattu Kassisso Geevarghese Malpan (Mor Julius Geevarghese) where he spend a few months. It was during his stay there at Pampakuda that he met the Syrian metropolitan Mor Koorilos Yuyakim with whom he spend another fruitful two years. These were eventful years in the life of Parumala Kochu Thirumeni. Yuyakim Mor Koorilos Bava who was very fond of our Chathuruthy Chemmachen, took him to all the places he travelled which gave the young chemmachen a lot of exposure.  From Yuyakkim Mor Koorilos Bava the deacon Geevarghese came to know more about our Church fathers of yesteryears, their life, commitment, Church's rich traditions, etc., which instilled in him a level of  great pride and interest.  St. Anthony, the 3rd century Coptic monk became his role model. In 1865 Mor Koorilos Yuyakim ordained him a Priest and later elevated as Corepsicopa. 

It was these three Church fathers who had influenced our Parumala Thirumeni the most in his younger age. A brief description of some of the other prominent church personalities closely associated with Parumala Thirumeni in his later years are given below.

1.

H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Peter-IV, The Patriarch of Antioch & all the East

2.

Mor Dionysius V (Pulikottil), Malankara Metropolitan  &  Mor Athanasius Paulose (Kadavil)

3.

Mor Koorilos Paulose (Kochuparambil) & Mor Dionysius VI Geevarghese (Vattasseril)

4. St. Osthatheos Sleebo, Patriarchal delegate
5. Malankara Metropolitan Mor Athanasius Paulose (Valiya Thirumeni) & Catholicos Mor Geevarghese II
6.

Konatt Korah Mathen Malpan, Priest Trustee

Few years later Geevarghese Kassisso (Parumala Thirumeni) settled at Vettikkal Dayro, leading a monastic life during which he came in contact with Pulikottil Thirumeni

 

MORAN  MOR  IGNATIUS  PETER-IV

Patriarch of Antioch & all the East (1872-'94)
Entombed at  Deir ez-Za`faran Moanstery (Kurkuma Dayro),  Turkey

It was on the repeated requests of Malankara Syrian Church and its primate Pulikottil Mor Dionysius Joseph, that the Church's supreme head Patriarch H.H. Ignatius Peter-IV came to India in 1875. That was a time when the church in India was in deep turmoil due to the certain activities of the C.M.S. missionaries and their supporters who created immense troubles for the church and its hierarchy. Two years before in September 1873 itself, a meeting convened under the behest of our Chathuruthy Geevarghese Ramban has prayed to the Patriarch to visit India for the same reasons. In 1874 the Malankara Church again pleaded to the patriarchate for help and this time His Holiness understood that he has to do something urgently.  In August 1874, the 74- year old Patriarch, accompanied by Metropolitan Mor Gregorios Abdul Sattuf of Jerusalem, sailed to England and held a series of discussions with a number of government authorities there, consequent to which a favourable atmosphere was created and the same was intimated to Colonial government in India. This was a turning point in the history of the church in Malankara. Since then the British officers who were earlier hostile towards the Syriacs changed their stand overnight and even judiciary's prejudiced moves ended.

It was from England that the Patriarch sailed to India and reached Malankara in the month of June 1875, where he met the young and dynamic Syriac Scholar, dayroyo Chathuruthy Geevarghese Ramban, at the Mulanthuruthy Mar  Thoma Church.  Pulikottil Thirumeni introduced the young Ramban to the Patriarch. It does not took much time for the Patriarch to become impressed with our Ramban that he appointed him, his translator as well as his personal secretary.  Since then each and every decisions which the Patriarch used to take was with the concurrence and advise of Ramban.  Later when the historical Mulanthuruthy Synod was convened by the Patriarch in June 1876 it was Chathuruthy Ramban who acted as its chief organizer. Again it was  Chathuruthy Geevarghese Ramban who was authorized to prepare  the historical document called the Mulanthuruthy Padiyola, which was later unanimously approved as the official paper of the Synod/association. (MULANTHURUTHY PADIYOLA was an official document illustrating the  history of the Malankara Church till that date - Click here for the English translation of the Padiyola).

Later when it was decided to ordain new Metropolitans for the Malankara Syrian Church, Patriarch's foremost choice was Chathuruthy Geevarghese Ramban.  Though initially Ramban expressed his unwillgness to be a bishop due to his ardent desire to remain an ascetic, he could not ignore the Patriarch's repeated appeal that he later succumbed to Holy father's wishes.  Thus on 10th December 1876, Chathuruthy Geevarghese Ramban and Ambatt  Geevarghese Ramban were ordained Metropolitans at the North Paravur  St. Thomas Church by H.H. Patriarch.

On consecration, the Patriarch named Ramban Geevarghese as 'Mor GREGORIOS',  the honorable title of the Archbishop of the Holy Land under the Apostolic See of Antioch. (The new title given to the Metropolitans in the Syriac Church during their ordination is the sole discretion of the spiritual head and is not supposed to be shared with any body else). It is mentioned in certain books that the Patriarch's intention then was to take Parumala Thirumeni, his personal secretary and the  most trusted aide, with him and install him as the bishop of Jerusalem.  However this does not materilise and the Patriarch instead made Parumala Thirumeni his representative in Malankara who was entrusted with the mission of collecting the 'Ressessa' (an amount given to the Holy Throne by every family, similar to the present Patriarchal day/Catholicate day collections) and he continued this service with utmost sincerity till his last. 

Even after the Patriarch left India in 1877, Parumala Thirumeni was in direct contact with H.H. Their intimate relationship continued as before.  All the decisions concerning Malankara Church was taken by the Patriarch only after consultations with Chathuruthy Mor Gregorios Thiumeni.  The Patriarchal acceptance of Fr. Julius Alvarez and Fr. Rene Vilatte into our Church and their subsequent elevation as metropolitans were on the advise of Chathuruthy Mor Gregorios Thirumeni.

His Holiness passed away on 8th Oct 1894 (M.E. 1070 'Kanni' 25) and his mortal remains were interred at the ancient and famous Deir ez-Za`faran Monastery (Kurkuma Dayro) in Turkey. Later when Parumala Thirumeni started a School at Kunnamkulam in 1899,  it was named 'Mor Ignatius School' after the Antiochean Patriarch's title . 

Biography of Moran Mor Ignatius Pathros IV (III)

http://www.syriacchristianity.info/bio/MorPathrosIV.htm

 

Ressessa & Malankara-Antioch relationship - An Extract  from the biography of

Parumala Thirumeni published in 1901 by Malayala Manorma Co. Ltd.

[Click here or the below image to read the article]

 

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MOR DIONYSIUS V PULIKOTTIL [MALANKARA METROPOLITAN]

&   MOR ATHANASIUS KADAVIL

 

Mor Dionysius V  (Pulikottil)

Metropolitan, 1865-1909

Malankara Metropolitan 1875-1909 (Old Seminary Kottayam)

Mor Athanasius Paulose (Kadavil)

Metropolitan, 1876-1907

Metropolitan of Angamali & Kottayam  (Thrikkunnath Seminary)

 

Pulikottil Mor Dionysius V  and  Kadavil Mor Athanasius Paulose were the most trusted aides of Parumala Thirumeni from the days he was elevated as an high-priest of the Church.  It was their joint effort that paved way for the spiritual revival of the Syriac community.  Many new churches, organizations, educational institutions, seminaries etc., were established by them.  It was widely believed that the Pulikottil Thirumeni who was then the Malankara Metropolitan had in his mind to elevate the young Parumala Kochu Thirumeni as his successor. 

Kadavil Mor Athanasius Paulose

Kadavil Mor Athanasius Paulose died on 2nd November 1907, exactly five years after the demise of Parumala Thirumeni and his mortal remains were laid to rest at the Thrikkunnathu St. Mary's church at Aluva.   It was on 3rd December 1876 that Mor Athanasius Paulose became a Metropolitan and when Parumala Thirumeni was ordained a Metropolitan a week later on 10th December, Kadavil Mor Athanasius Thirumeni participated in the divine ceremony as one of the co-celebrants of the Patriarch H.H. Ignatius Pathros IV. Initially Kadavil Thirumeni was given the charge of the Kottayam diocese, but was later assumed the responsibility of Angamaly diocese as well.

Pulikottil Mor Dionysius V

After serving the Syrian church in India for more than half a century, the legendary Malankara Metropolitan H.E. Pulikottil Mor Dionysius V,  died at the age of 76 on 11th July 1909.  His mortal remains were laid to rest on the northern side of the Syrian (Old) Seminary Chapel, Kottayam. The hardships that Mor Dionysius had faced during his earlier years as Metropolitan was unexplainable; however his tireless and determined efforts together with the support from the Antiochean Patriarchate in its most needed hours, helped the  Malankara church to overcome one of its difficult times. 

The vision and the efforts of these three Metropolitans - Pulikottil Thirumeni, Kadavil Thirumeni and Parumala Thirumeni - in establishing Theological Seminaries, Monasteries, schools and other spiritual organizations, will ever be written in golden letters in the history of Malankara Syrian Church. 

Biography of Pulikottil Mor Dionysius V

http://www.syriacchristianity.info/PulikottilII/Pulikottil.htm

 

Biography of Kadavil Mor Athanasious Paulose

http://www.syriacchristianity.info/bio/KadavilThirumeniI.htm

 

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MOR  KOORILOS  PAULOSE  KOCHUPARAMBIL  &  MOR  DIONYSIUS  GEEVARGHESE  VATTASSERIL

 

Mor Koorilos Paulose  (Kochuparambil) 

(mentioned as Valiya Paulose Ramban in many old books)

Metropolitan, 1908-1917

Malankara Metropolitan of the Jacobite Syrian Church

Mor  Dionysius Geevarghese (Vattasseril)

(mentioned as Vattasseril Geevarghese Malpan in many old books)

Metropolitan, 1908-1934

Malankara Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Churchn (Metran faction)

 

Kochuparambil Paulose Ramban and Vattasseril Geevarghese Kassisso were two of the most prominent associates of Parumala Thirumeni.   While Vattasseril Mar Dionysius was a genius who was well versed with the traditions and practices of the Church, Kochuparambil Mor Koorilos Paulose was a great ascetic who followed the life style of Parumala Thirumeni.  When Mor Gregorios left for Parumala after his ordination as Metropolitan, it was Kochuparambil Paulose Ramban who was given the charge of Vettikkal Kurisu Palli where Mor Gregorios used to earlier spend most of his time in prayer and meditation (It was this kurisupally in Vettickal that was converted as a dayro/monastery in 1876).  Later it was Kochuparambil Paulose Ramban who rebuilt this dayro building at Vettickal which happens to be the first Monastery of the Malankara Church.  In 1901, again it was Kochuparambil Paulose Ramban who was authorized by Parumala Thirumeni to supervise the construction of the first Syrian Church in Thiruvanathapuram. After its completion in 1902, Ramban Paulose returned to Syrian Seminary in Kottayam (old Seminary). 

It was after becoming a Metropolitan of the Niranam diocese, that Parumala Thirumeni came closer with Vattasseril Geevarghese Kassisso.   Geevarghese Kassisso was a well-known malpan of the church and a disciple of Parumala  Thirumeni. Geevarghese Kassisso was fortunate to be with Parumala Thirumeni during his last days.  When Parumala Thirumeni visited Holy land in 1895, both Kochuparambil Paulose Ramban and Geevarghese Kassisso accompanied him.       

Parumala Thirumeni's death and afterwards

When the Malankara Metropolitan convened a meeting of various Church bodies on the 30th day of demise of Parumala Thirumeni to elect new metropolitans, it was Kochuparambil Paulose Ramban and Vattasseril Geevarghese Kassisso, who were the unanimous choices. Both Kochuparambil Ramban Paulose  and Vattasseril Geevarghese Kassisso were then serving as teachers at the Kottayam Syrian Seminary.  

Six years after the death of Parumala Thirumeni, in 1908, both of them were ordained bishops, by names Mor Koorilos Paulose and Mor Dionysius Geevarghese, by the then Patriarch of Antioch Moran Mor Ignatius Abded' Aloho II (Abdulla)  at the St. Mark's Monastery, in Jerusalem.  After the death of Pulikottil Mor Dionysius V  in 1909,  Mar Dionysius Geevarghese assumed his seat as Malankara Metropolitan of the undivided Jacobite Syrian Church. But in two years time an unfortunate division happened in the Church.  Of the three main office bearers (trustees) of the Church at that time, while the priest Trustee Konattu Mathen Malpan Kassisso and the lay trustee Mr. C J Kurien Akkara continued in the Jacobite Syrian Church, the Metropolitan Trustee Vattasseril Mar Dionysius VI, defying the spiritual authority of the supreme head, organized a group which eventually led to a North-south polarization in the Church politics.  Following this the Jacobite Syrian Church removed Mor Dionysius from the trusteeship and in his place elected Kochuparambil Paulose Mor Koorilos, a pious and religious high priest, as the Malankara Metropolitan.  However the relentless work and politically charged atmosphere that prevailed in the Church at that time, made a holy man like Mor Koorilos weak and sick.  The never ending disputes, threats etc. destroyed the peaceful atmosphere in the Old Seminary where he was staying, which eventually prompted Mor Koorilos to move to the nearby Panampady Church.  However, the health of Mor Koorilos deteriorated further and on December 14th, 1917 the saintly father was called to the eternal rest and was entombed at Panampady St. Mary's Church near Kottayam. 92 years after the passing away of our Holy Father, on October 24th 2009, His Holiness the Patriarch officially declared the canonization of Mor Koorilose and permitted to recite his name in the 5th Tubden during Holy Mass celebrated at the Panampady church where his mortal remains rests. Kochuparambil Mor Koorilose Paulose is the 3rd Indian born church prelate who is raised to sainthood.

Meanwhile Mar Dionysius Vattasseril , the shroud and able administrator, organised a autocephalous community and installed three Catholicos' in succession during his life time. However Metropolitan Vattasseril Mar Dionysius VI continued to be the working head of the church by retaining the post of Malankara Metropolitan till his last. Towards the fag end of his life the metropolitan had serious difference of opinion with his colleagues and had even stalled their attempts to implement a separate constitution. (Because of his opposition the said constitution could be passed only after his death in February 1934). During this time the Metropolitan also reconciled with the reigning Patriarch of Antioch who in turn cancelled his excommunication and accepted him back to the Holy Church. However the faction built-up under his leadership earlier, remained as such and did not reunite with the mother Church during his life period. In February 1934, Vattasseril Mar Dionysius VI died and was entombed at the Kottayam Old Seminary chapel.  ' Mathopadessarangal' written in Malayalam is a very famous work of Mor Dionysius which deals with tenets and theology of the Mother Church. In fact it was a serious as well as simple study of the basic articles of faith of the Church. Many copies of this scholarly work has been sold so far and in 2006 an English translation of this work was published by Prof. O M Mathew Oruvattithara.

Biography of St. Koorilose Paulose Kochuparambil

http://www.syriacchristianity.info/bio/MorKoorilosKochuparambil.htm

 

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MOR OSTHATHEOS SLEEBA

Patriarchal Delegate (1908-'30)

Entombed at the Arthat St. Mary's Simhasana Church, Kunnamkulam

Mor Osthatheos Sleeba, the former Patriarchal delegate to Malankara, was another of the close associates of Parumala Thirumeni.  The Syrian Deacon Sleeba, as he is mentioned many times in Parumala Thirumeni's travelogue, first came to India in 1881 at the age of 27 along with the Patriarchal delegate Shem'un Mor Athanasius. It was after the death of Mor Athanasius in 1889, that Deacon Sleeba came in closer contact with Parumala Thirumeni.  The deacon's profound knowledge in Syriac may have been one of the reasons for their closer contact at that time.  He was just six years younger to Parumala Thirumeni. The Rev. Dn. Sleeba, a well known preacher of Holy Gospel, was one of the main organizers of the famous Syrian Christian convention then held at Aluva Manalpuram and Parumala Thirumeni was a frequent speaker in those conventions.  When Parumala Thirumeni went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1895, Deacon Sleeba accompanied him on his request.  He was the guide and translator of the team. (Also among the  group were Kochuparambil Paulose Ramban-St. Koorilos Paulose Kochuparambil and Vattasseril Geevarghese Kassisso).  In his famous travelogue, "OORSALAEM YATHRA VIVARANAM", Parumala Thirumeni has frequently mentioned about Deacon Sleeba and his immense support.   Mor Gregorios' untimely death at the age of 54 was a great disappointment for Deacon Sleeba.  He was there at Parumala throughout the last ceremonies and it was he who informed the Syrian church headquarters in Jerusalem about Thirumeni's passing away.    

Six years after the death of Parumala Thirumeni,  Deacon Sleeba was ordained Metropolitan by name OSTHATHEOS at the church of the Forty Martyrs in Mosul and appointed him the Apostolic delegate of the Holy See to India.  He was in Malankara for another two decades. On March 19th, 1930, Mor Osthatheos Sleeba passed away.  His mortal remains were interred at the Arthat  St. Mary's Syrian Simhasana Church, Kunnamkulam. 

A few months before his death, Sleebo Mor Osthatheos Bava consecrated a shrine in the name of Mor Gregorios of Parumala under Kunnamkulam Simhasana church and it was much long before Mor Gregorios was officialy declared a saint. This explains how much reverence that Mor Osthatheos has given to St. Gregorios.

Even in his life time Mor Osthatheos Sleeba, like Parumala Thirumeni, was considered as a  holy person by the faithful.  The church were his mortal remains are interred, is now popularly known as 'BAVA PALLY' after him.  Many visits his tomb seeking intercession and the church is now a major pilgrim centre of Malankara.  Annual pilgrimage on the remembrance day to his sacred tomb is very popular.   There are many instances were childless parents are blessed with children. It is a common practise among the parents to name their new born child as SLEEBA, after the holy father.

On 9th April 2000, the Patriarch of Antioch through a bull permitted to recite the 'Quqalya' hymns and prayers of the 'Zadeeqo' (saints) at the tombs of Mor Osthatheos Sleebo and St. Gregorios Abdul Jaleel (North Paravur church, 1681) and beseech their intercession.  From 2008 onwards both their names were added in the 5th Dipytch (Tubden) to be read universally after the name of our holy father St. Gregorios Chathuruthy - Parumala Thirumeni.

Biography of St. Osthatheos Sleeba

http://www.syriacchristianity.info/StSl/Mor_Osthathious_Sleeba.htm

 

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MOR ATHANASIUS PAULOSE  [MALANKARA METROPOLITAN]

 MOR BASELIOS GEEVARGHESE II  [CATHOLICOS]

 

 Mor Athanasius Paulose (Valiya Thirumeni)

Metropolitan, 1911-1953

Malankara Metropolitan,  Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church

Mor Baselios Geevarghese II Kallasserril

Metropolitan,  1912-1963

Malankara Metropolitan, Orthodox Syrian Church

 

The other two famous disciples of Parumala Thirumeni, who were elevated to the highest order in the Church were Kuttikattil Painadath Deacon Paulose of Akaparambu and Kallasseril Deacon Geevarghese of Kurichy.  The two deacons together were ordained as priests and also professed as monks (Rambans) by Parumala Thirumeni in 1898 at the Parumala St. Peter's church.         (Click here for a news of their ordination, from the Church periodical 'Edavaka Pathrika') ,

They were in the forefront during the construction and development of the then St. Peter's church at Parumala.  In 1911, nine years after the demise of Parumala Thirumeni, Ramban Paulose of Kuttikattil Painadath family was ordained Metropolitan by name ATHANASIOUS for the Angamali diocese by the Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abded' Aloho II.  A year later, Kallasseril Geevarghese Ramban became a Metropolitan for the Church led by Vattasseril Mor Dionysius Metropolitan.  All the events that happened since then, forced the Malankara Syrian community to side with either of the two groups of the Malankara Church.   While a vast majority of faithful in the three Northern dioceses continued to be part of the Patriarchate and the Jacobite Syrian church, a sizable section in the three Southern dioceses supported Metropolitan Vattasseril Mar Dionysius V.  

After the demise of Paulose Mor Koorilos Kochuparambil in 1918,   Mor Athanasius Paulose Kuttikattil Painadath was chosen and entrusted as the Malankara Metropolitan of the Jacobite Syrian Church.  In 1929, Metropolitan Mor Geevarghese Kallasseril become the third Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Church (Methran faction), and a few years later in 1934, he too was elected as his Church's Malankara Metropolitan following his predecessor's death. (Though from 1923 onwards the Church led by Vattasseril Mor Divanasious started to use the name 'Orthodox Syrian Church of Malabar', the same was officially approved only at this meeting held in 1934, which also adopted a constitution for the Church.)  

Even in those turbulent days, both the disciples of Parumala Thirumeni, Their Eminences  Mor Athanasius Paulose and Mor Baselios Geevarghese II,  who were the chief primates of their respective Churches, tried to maintain a close relationship and they always imitated their Guru in spiritual discipline and service to the church. 

Formation of the Students organization after the name of St. Gregorios of Parumala

Though a students movement was started in the Malankara Church as early as 1907 by the name 'Syrian Students Conference', the subsequent split and troublesome period in the Malankara Syrian Archdiocese following the violent parting away of a rival group, resulted in a stagnation in the functioning of the Students movement.  Later in 1922  the students movement of of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church got reorganized under the leadership of  Mor Athanasius Paulose at a specially convened session held at Cheruthottukunnel St. George Church of Angamaly diocese.

Mor Athanasius Paulose in that meeting proposed the organization to be named after his guru,  St. Gregorios Geevarghese of Parumala. Thus the students wing of the Jacobite Syrian Church came to be known as  'Mar Gregorios Syrian Vidhyarthi Sangam' (Mar Gregorios Syrian Students Assoication - M.G.S.S.A).  That was in 1922 This was the FIRST ever students organization that adopted the name of 'St. Gregorios of Parumala'.  Meanwhile the Malankara Orthodox Church (Methran faction) reorganized their students movement under the name 'St. Thomas Syrian Students Movement'.  Both these students organizations of respective Churches were functioning in parallel  till1959 when both the student movements merged to form as a single unit following the reunification of rival Churches, and was thereon came to be called the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Students Movement (M.G.O.C.S.M).  However the reunified Church again parted due to distancing of a sect from the teachings of St. Gregorios of Parumala and consequently the Jacobite Syrian Church was forced to reorganise their Students movement once again. Thus the first Students movement ever started in the name of St. Gregorios Chathurthil of Parumala came to be renamed as Mor Gregorios Jacobite Students Movement (M.G.J.S.M).

 

Here is enclosed a notice published in  'SabhaMasika' of 1935 announcing the 13th annual conference of 

'MAR GREGORIOS SYRIAN VIDHYARDHI SANGAM', the  first students organization named after  St. Gregorios of Parumala.

(This conference was held  at the Thrikkunnath Seminary, the then Angamali diocesan headquarters of the  Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church.)   

click the above image for an larger view   

Mor Athanasius Paulose who led the Syrian Church in India for almost four decades as its Malankara Metropolitan and Regional head, passed away on 25th January 1953 and was laid to rest at the Thrikkunnathu St. Mary's church, Aluva, the very next day.   Known for his piety, integrity, sincerity and unflinching faith, the spiritual father, like his own guru St. Gregorios of Parumala, is remembered by the Malankara Church with great veneration. Valiya Thirumeni as he was popularly known, loved his people and defended them until his last, leaving behind him a magnificent legacy. It was his firm faith, persistent efforts and ardent prayers that helped the Malankara Syrian community to maintain their ancient links with the Holy See of Antioch. Fifty one years after his demise, on 19th August 2004, the Church beatified Mor Athanasius Paulose and since September 2009 the holy father's name is remembered in the 5th Tubden universally along with Chathuruthy St. Gregorios Geevarghese of Malankara. 

Moran Mor Baselios Geevarghese II, the 3rd Catholicos and head of the Malankara Orthodox Church (Metropolitan faction), passed away on 2 January 1964 and was entombed at Devalokam Aramana Chapel in Kottayam.  He was a very revered high priest of the Malankara Orthodox Church.

Biography of St. Athanasious Paulose (Valiya Thirumeni)

http://www.SaintAthanasious.org  

 

 

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COREPISCOPA KORAH MATHEN KONATTU

Malankara Malpan & Priest Trustee of the Jacobite Syrian Church (1901-1928)

The Malankara Malpan Very Rev. Konatt Korah Mathen Corepiscopo, a renowned Syriac Scholar and author of many religious books, was one of the prominent students of Parumala Thirumeni who later raise to a high position in the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church.  His uncle Mor Julius Geevarghese Konattu (Kassisso Geevarghese) was the guru of Parumala thirumeni.

Born in a well known priestly family of Konattu in Pampakuda village near Kochi on 30 March 1860, he had his early education under his father Kassisso Yohannan Malpan and his uncle Kassisso Geevarghse Malpan. Later he continued the ecclesiastical studies under Chathuruthy Mor Gregorios (Parumala Thirumeni) from whom he acquire great scholarship in Syriac and religious science.

In 1883 he was ordained a priest and began teaching at the Syrian Seminary in Kottayam. After a short period he established a small seminary in his own village on the advise of the Malankara Metropolitan to train the young clergy from that area.

One of the greatest works of Konatt Mathen Malpan was the translation and editing of the Prayer book from Syriac to Malayalam used by the Malankara Syrian church to the present day. This book, popularly known as 'Pampakuda Namaskaram' was first published in 1910 with the permission of the Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Abded' Aloho (Abdulla II), the then Supreme head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church. Very Rev. Mathen Malpan Corepiscopo had also translated from Syriac into Malayalam, chapters from Bar Salibi's Scholia on the Gospel according to St. Mathew, the Nomocanon by Bar Hebraeus, the New Testament (except Revelation) which was published in 1936 and a selection of church rituals and hymns. Further more, he published the Ishhim (Regular Weekday Service Book of Prayers) some anaphora's, the service of deacons, the orders of baptism, marriage, and funerals as well as the service book for principal feast and the service book for the Week of the Passion.  There is also a book on church festivities and letters written by him. 

Priest Trustee of the Jacobite Syrian church (1901-'28)

At a very young age itself, Konatt Mathen Malpan's scholarship gained him great reputation in the Church.  Greatly Impressed in his Godly gifts, Mor Gregorios (Parumala Thirumeni) recommended Mathen Malpan as the Priest-Trustee of the Church.  In 1901, he was elected as one of the three trustees of the Jacobite Syrian Church. For almost eight years he continued in the position together with Pulikottil Mor Dionysius V, the then Metropolitan Trustee.  In 1909 Pulikuttil Mor Dionysius V, the Metropolitan Trustee passed away and Vattasseril Mor Dionysius assumed the office as his successor.  Both Konatt Mathen Malpan (Priest trustee) and Akkara C J Kurien, (lay trustee) continued in the honorable positions as the co-trustees of the new Malankara Metropolitan. About a year later, some disputes started to surface in the Church. Konatt Malpan and the lay trustee questioned some of the unilateral actions of the Metropolitan Trustee. By 1911 the internal schism reached a  flash point, consequent to which a separate faction was formed under the leadership of Vattasseril Metropolitan. 

The mental agony which the Konatt Mathen Malpan had faced during this period was severe. Ignoring the threats from his opponents, Konatt Malpan bravely stood along with the other prelates of the Holy Church, upholding the apostolic faith and traditions of the Syrian Orthodox church. He was a person who never succumbed to any kind of pressures or tempting offers. A strong advocate of the Antiochean traditions, he was closely associated with at least two Syrian Orthodox Patriarchs of Antioch. In 1926, the Church honoured Konatt Malpan by elevating him as Corepiscopo, the highest order conferred to a married priest.  In a period of great trials and tribulation in the church, he always stood in the forefront and guided the faithful in the right path. He was the priest trustee of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church till his last. 

On 8th November 1927, at the age of 68, Malankara Malpan Very Rev. Mathen Corepiscopa Konatt died and was buried in the chapel located in his family property at Pampakuda. His funeral services was led by Valiya Thirumeni (St. Athanasius Paulose, the Malankara Metropolitan), St. Osthatheos Bava (Patriarchal delegate) and other Metropolitans of the church in India.

The Konnatt Korah Mathen Corepsicopo is the only Indian who is mentioned in the elite list of Syriac scholars in the book titled 'Syriac Literature and Sciences' written by the late lamented Patriarch of Antioch Mor Ignatius Aphrem I. His short biography is also given in the book.

Biography of Konattu Malpan Mathen Corepiscopa

http://www.syriacchristianity.info/bio/KonattCorepiscopa.htm  

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The other prominent disciples of Parumala Thirumeni includes Kodiatt Kuriakose Corepiscopa,  Mattakkal Alexander Kathanar, Kanianthara Fr. Ninan, Murunthookkil Fr. Mathu,  Puthusseril Fr. P.P. Joseph (father of late Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Paulose II), Pankamittathu Fr. Abraham and Edavazhikal Fr. Lukose.  (Click here for a photo of the Parumala Thirumeni with Prelates of the Church, taken in 1892)

 

 

 

 

 


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