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FINAL YEARS OF MOR GREGORIOS

 

 

 

After his return from Jerusalem Mor Gregorios wished to spend rest of his life in prayer and meditation.  The pilgrimage to the Holy Land had made him more devotional.  Except in urgency he avoided interfering in the administrative matters of the dioceses.  However the circumstances did not allowed him to remain subdued for long.  The Malankara Metropolitan Mor Dionysius always wanted our Kochu Thirumeni by his side. Many problems which Valiya Thirumeni found it difficult to overcome was easily solved by Mor Gregorios Thirumeni.  Mor Gregorios had greater acceptance among all sections. Later years we see the emergence of a visionary who works more among the downtrodden and underprivileged. Thirumeni started more churches for the Christian converts and also initiated many English schools.

 

A new Cemetery at Kunnamkulam  Arthat church

During his stay at the Arthat church (1899) in connection with the starting of the St. Ignatius School,  the space constraint which the graveyard of the church was facing came to his notice.  The European missionary Dr. Buchanan who visited the church in AD. 1800 have recorded about this situation of its graveyard.  He said, "Cemetery is located near western side of the Main door of the Church. Due to the shortage of space, the graves had to be dug very often. The bones from these had to put in an open pit which is exposed to the public".  It being one of the largest parishes in Malankara, the graveyard was not enough. 

So on the insistence of Parumala Thirumeni, a general body meeting of the church was held and it decided to buy some more land for this purpose. Cherumanoor Iype, a parishioner of that church volunteered to lead the construction.  Parumala Thirumeni laid the foundation stone of this big cemetery.  By the time it was finished the total area of the graveyard increased to around 4.5 acres and still is one of the largest in Malankara.  The area is enclosed by high walls on four sides, with the front side wall measuring 12 feet in height.  The names of Parumala Thirumeni and Cherumanoor Iype is engraved in a marble stone in the front of the cemetery.

 

Ordinations of two of his disciples (1898)

On 26th November 1898 (M.E. 1074 Vrischikam, 12), Parumala Thirumeni ordained two of his disciples, Painadath Kuttikkatt Deacon Paulose of Akaparambu church and Kallacheril Deacon Geevarghese (Punnose) of Kurichy as Kassisso (Priests).  After three days on 28th, both were elevated together to order of Monk-Priest (Ramban), again at the blessed hands of Mor Gregorios.  Pulikottil Mor Dionysius Joseph and Kadavil Mor Athanasius Paulose assisted Mor Gregorios in that ceremony.  A news about these ordinations published in the Church Magazine, 'MALANKARA EDAVAKA PATHRIKA'  of Vrischikam 1898-issue, can be accessed by clicking HERE.

Ramban Paulose for a while continued to stay at Aluva, managing the general affairs of the Thrikkunnathu Seminary church.  But later, on the request of Parumala Thirumeni, Ramban Paulose went to Parumala and was there for about 3 years, supervising the construction of  the Seminary. (Though the Parumala Seminary church was consecrated by Mor Gregorios in 1895, it took five more years to complete the construction of the Seminary building).  It was during his stay at Parumala seminary, that Ramban Paulose came closer with Ramban Geevarghese Kallassery. They become close friends.  But the unfortunate split in the Malankara Church which happened a decade after the demise of Parumala Thirumeni, made them to sit in two different factions of the Church.  There are many who believes that this avoidable split was the creation of a few, who for want of power, just created situations. However in later years we see some of them switching loyalties once again to form an independent Church in 1930 under Roman yoke.  But by then the polarization has already happened which prevented any further possibility for unity.  

In 1910, Ramban Paulose was ordained a Metropolitan by name Mor Athanasius Paulose for the diocese of Angamali and in 1917, he became the Malankara Metropolitan (regional head) of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church. Mor Athanasious Paulose popularly known as 'Valiya Thirumeni', is one of the luminous stars of the Syriac Orthodox Church, who as the head of the Church in India, successfully guided its destiny for nearly four decades.  On 25th January 1953 he passed away at the age of 84 and was laid to rest at the Thrikkunnath St. Mary's church.  In 2004 the Church officially declared him a saint and since September 2009 his name is being remembered in the 5th Tubden universally, along with his guru, Chathuruthy St. Gregorios Geevarghese.

Ramban Geevarghese Kallasseril, the other disciple ordained along with Ramban Paulose, became a metropolitan for the Malankara Orthodox Church (Methran faction) in 1912 and was elevated as its head, the Catholicos in 1929,  by name Baselios Geevarghese II.   He passed away in 1962 and was laid to rest at the Devalokam church in Kottayam. Both the disciples of Parumala Thirumeni are well known for their prayerful life and are considered to be two legends of the Malankara Syrian community. 

 

An article on 'Ressessa' collection by Parumala Thirumeni & about the Antioch-Malankara relationship

 from a book published by Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd. in 1903

Click here to read the concerned portions

A Miraculous  Healing 

In his book 'Vissudha Edayan',  Prof. P.N. Chacko is mentioning about the miraculous healing of Palakkattu Very Rev John Corepiscopa, the former 'Vicar' of Mulunthuruthy Mar Thoman Church.  

It was at the age of 12, Fr. John's marriage was fixed with Kunjalachar, the daughter of Malankara Malpan Konatt Very Rev. Mathen Corepsicopa.  The marriage celebration was planned, just after his ordination as a deacon at the same venue.   But unfortunately, days before his marriage he become seriously ill.  Since the ceremonial day was already fixed, the parents however decided to continue with the arrangements.   But he was not cured even on the day before his marriage and so the bridegroom was brought to Pampakuda church where the ceremony was planned, in a 'Manchal'.  On the day of the ceremonies (28th Feb 1901), Metropolitans and other Church dignitaries including Parumala Thirumeni were present.  Parumala Thirumeni on knowing the serious of the situation, approached the bridegroom and prayed with hands on the patients head.  Surprisingly by the time the function was about to start, he become completely cured and the marriage ceremony was celebrated after his ordination as a Deacon. 

 

Sacerdotal Golden Jubilee celebrations of Pulikottil Thirumeni

Malankara Syriac Church in a special meeting of the 'Malankara Edavaka Mahayogam' held in April 1901, decided to celebrate the Sacerdotal Golden Jubilee of the then Malankara Metropolitan, Pulikottil Mor Dionysius V Joseph.  

It was on  6th Chingam of M.E.1028 (21st Aug, 1952), Pulikottil Thirumeni was ordained as a Kassisso (Fr. Joseph) at the Kunnamkulam Chiralayam Church by Mor Koorilos Yuyakim the Rees Episcopa to Malankara.  He was later ordained a Metropolitan by name Mor Divanasious, on 6th May 1865  by the Patriarch of Antioch H.H. Mor Ignatius Yakoob II  at the Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Diyarbakir (Turkey).  Since then he was working tirelessly to defend the true faith of our ancient Church in Malankara.  In the Mulunthuruthy Synod (1876) convened by the Patriarch Mor Ignatius Peter IV , Mor Dionysius was chosen as the Malankara Metropolitan (regional head).   By the end of the 19th century, the Malankara Church under the able leadership of Mor Dionysius, almost re-established its lost glory.   The Syrian Seminary at Kottayam (Old Seminary), which was for many decades under the European missionary influence, become a part of the Malankara Church through a verdict of the local court.   

In recognition of Mor Dionysius Joseph's able leadership, the Malankara Syrian community decided to honour him. A grand ceremony, with a procession through the town, was planned at Kottayam Old Seminary premises.  But unusually heavy downpour started a few days before the celebrations and the organizers feared about the outcome.  The atmosphere become very cloudy on the night before and there was every possibility for a heavy downpour on the celebration day.  But Parumala Thirumeni was so confident about the success of the celebrations and he was seen praying all the night.  Surprisingly there was no rain on that particular day (27th Nov,1901) and the function continued smoothly.  Many believe it as a miracle, happened through the prayers of Parumala Thirumeni.

 

Passion Week services at Paliakkara St. George church

Parumala Thirumeni celebrated the Passion week ceremonies in 1902 at the Paliakkara St. George Church. Mor Gregorios Thirumeni's health at that time was said to be very weak and he was very exhausted.  Many thought that something undesirable may happen soon.  Anyhow with God's grace, he completed the Holy Services of that Passion week.  The foundation stone of the proposed 'Syrian English School'  at Thiruvalla (the present M.G.M. High School), was laid by Thirumeni during his stay there at that time.

 

 

 

 


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