In the ancient Church, Sainthood declaration was not a common practise whereas all those who were baptized in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ were considered blessed. However among all, the Mother Mary, Apostles and Prophets, occupied unique positions and were venerated by the whole Church. From the 3rd century onwards the Universal Church started remembering the names of our Church fathers (not by specific names as of now) in the 'TUBDEN' (Holy Diptych) and in the private prayers in between.
This tradition continued in the early Church till the advent of a great split that occurred in AD. 451, when the Roman and Constantinople Patriarchates together interpreted TRINITY in a different way from what the Oriental Orthodox Churches, namely the Syriac Church of Antioch; the Coptic (Egyptian) Church; and the Armenian Church, believed. After this separation, the Roman and Constantinople (Byzantine) Churches adopted some new practices, and declaration of Sainthood of Church fathers started with it. Even then it was only the Roman Church that pronounced new Saints, while the Byzantine/Eastern (Greater) Orthodox Church of Constantinople followed the traditional practice of only reciting the names of Holy Fathers in the 'DIPTYCH'. But after the split between these two Churches (Roman & Constantinople) in the 11th century, the Russian Orthodox Church which was in commune with the Constantinople Patriarchate, also started conferring sainthood. Thus the Sainthood declaration become a prestige for the projection of their respective Churches in the western world. In the Roman Catholic Church, an elaborate and complex system of beatification and Canonization of Holy Fathers also started with it.
Meanwhile the Oriental (Lesser) Orthodox Churches, continued to remember the Holy Fathers in the 'TUBDEN' and also celebrated their annual feasts without any deliberate process for the declaration of Sainthood. In addition to Mother Mary, the Apostles & other Prophets of old Testament; the Christian Martyrs-'Maudyananmar' (those who were physically tortured for Christian faith), the Holy Fathers who lived fighting for the continuation of true Apostolic Faith of the Church, and the Monks who lived a divine life of Prayers, meditation, fasting, are all considered as Saints by the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Their individual names were subsequently added in the TUBDEN, recited during the HOLY QURBONO. The Syrian (Jacobite) Orthodox Church, like all the other Oriental Orthodox Churches follows this tradition. (The Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, the Coptic Church, the two Armenian Churches, the Ethiopian Church, the Malankara Orthodox Church and the Eritrean Church forms the group of Oriental Orthodox Churches.)
Sainthood declaration in the Roman Catholic Church & the Syrian Orth0dox Church
In the Roman Catholic Church, there exists an elaborate and complex system for the Beatification and Canonization of bereaved people who lived a divine life. The favours received, such as healing of the sick, miracles happened etc. are evaluated by a Papal committee, who conducts a detailed inquiry. During this process a devil's advocate is appointed to argue against the Canonization of such individual and finally the declaration of Beatification or Canonization is made by the Pope himself. (ref: an article by Zacharia George in 'Vision')
The Syrian Orthodox Church does not have a tradition of declaring saints based on proof of their effectiveness in curing diseases, working miracles, etc. However the Church have a long tradition of remembering the fathers and doctors of the church in our liturgies. Of the six diptychs read during the Holy Qurbono, the fifth TUBDEN is the 'Canon of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church'. In no way the adding of names to the TUBDEN can be equated to the 'Roman Catholic way' of declaration of sainthood.
Bull permitting to recite the name of MOR GREGORIOS in the 5th TUBDEN (Holy Diptych)
On 22nd August 1987, the Holy Episcopal Synod of Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church presided over by the late lamented Catholicos of the East Aboon Mor Baselios Paulose II, made requests before the Church's spiritual head the Patriarch to permit the name of Mor Gregorios to be recited in the 5th 'TUBDEN' along with the monks and martyrs of the Holy Church.
Consequent to this request, His Holiness the Patriarch Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas issued the historical Bull dated 20th December 1987, authorizing the recital of the name of MOR GREGORIOS of Malankara in the Fifth 'TUBDEN' (diptych) in all the Malankara churches worldwide, after the names of late Patriarch of Antioch Moran Mor Ignatius Elias III (Manjinikkara, 1932) and Maphryono Mor Baselios Yeldho (Kothamangalam, 1685). This Bull was first read in the home parish of our holy father at the Mulanthuruthy Mar Thoman Church. Historically also this decision was of great importance as it was for the first time since many centuries that the name of a Church father was added to the TUBDEN. All those who were remembered in diptych till then were Church fathers who lived in the pre-7th century period. A decade later the Malankara Orthodox Church which declared the holy father a saint, years back, also started to recite the name of Mor Gregorios in the TUBDEN.
The holy relics of St. Gregorios is now interred in many churches. A large number of churches are built in the holy father's name all over the world. Perhaps the churches and shrines built by the Malankara Syrian Christians in recent times, named after ST. GREGORIOS, are the largest in number, next only to those which bear the names of Mother Mary and Mor Geevarghese Sahdo.
The historic Apostolic Bull authorizing the recital of the name of
MOR GREGORIOS of Malankara in the Fifth TUBDEN
MSCR - Malankara Syriac Christian Resources
http://SyriacChristianity.org ... contact email: email@example.com