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Parumala Thirumeni

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Title: Parumala Thirumeni  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Mathews Mar Athanasius Metropolitan, Thiruvankulam, Ignatius Peter IV, Kadavil Paulose Mar Athanasius, Karingachira Church
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Parumala Thirumeni

Saint Gregorios of Parumala (Geevarghese Mar Gregorios)
Raja Ravi Varma)
Born 15 June 1848
Mulanthuruthy, Kerala, India
Died 2 November 1902 (Aged 54)
Parumala, Kerala, India
Honored in Jacobite Syrian Christian Church,Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Canonized 2nd November 1947 and 20 December 1987 by H. H Baselios Geevarghese II and Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
Major shrine St.Peter's and St.Paul's Orthodox Syrian Church, Parumala
Feast 2 November

Saint Geevarghese Mar Gregorios or Parumala Thirumeni (15 June 1848 -2 November 1902) of Parumala was a bishop of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and Syrian Orthodox Church. He is the first canonized Oriental Orthodox saint from India. He is popularly known as Parumala Thirumeni (Bishop of Parumala) or Kochu Thirumeni.

Early life

Gregorios was born as Geevarghese Ramban into the Chathuruthy family in Mulanthuruthy, Kerala. His parents, Kochu Mathai and Mariam, had three sons and two daughters. After the birth of the fifth child, Ipeora, Mariam died. Gregorios was educated by Geevarghese of Chathuruthy, Kochi, and was ordained as a deacon on 14 September 1858 at the age of ten by Palakkunnathu Mar Athanasius and was reordained in 1864 at Karingachira St.George jacobite Syrian Cathedral Church.[1]


Malpan became seriously ill with smallpox and Gregorios was the only one who stayed and took care of him, while all others were sent home. On the eighth day, Malpan died and Gregorios became ill. During this time, he had a vision of St. Mary descending to console him and exhorting him to dedicate the rest of his life to the Lord. Very soon, the deacon recovered. At the age of 18 in 1865, he was ordained as a priest. Joseph Mor Dionysios raised him to the order of monks (Ramban) in 1872. The Patriarch of Antioch, supreme head of Syrian orthodox church and all the east Ignatius Peter IV, consecrated four metropolitans at Paravoor Jacobite Church, Kerala on 10 December 1876. The youngest among them was Geevarghese Ramban who was named Mor Gregorios. Because of his age everybody called him "Kochu Thirumeni" (Young Bishop). Mor Gregorios served as Secretary and translator of Ignatius Peter IV. Mar Gregorios was first appointed as the Metro­politan of Niranam Diocese. When Mar Julius of Konatt died, the Diocese of Thumpamon came under the charge of Parumala Kochu Thirumeni. Shortly after the Diocese of Kollam, which was under the direct su­pervision of Mar Dionysius was also brought under the administration of Kochu Thirumeni. Thus Parumala Thirumeni looked after all the three dioceses in the South. He also started a monastery at Parumala, Kerala.

Life style

At Parumala Seminary he led an ascetic life. He woke up at four in the morning and prayed till 5am. He taught deacons till 7am followed by prayer and a light breakfast. From 9am till 11am he taught deacons again. From 11am to noon he took care of administrative matters and again went to pray at noon, followed by lunch. He rested till 1:30pm and taught till 4pm with a brief prayer in between. From 4pm to 5:30pm he was busy with his administrative duties. After evening prayers and supper, he taught the Bible to the deacons. After the compline, he would let the deacons go to bed at 9pm, but he would still be praying until midnight. On Wednesdays and Fridays and Lenten days, he would fast till evening besides observing his own special fasts. He said that "Prayer brings truth, religious faith, honesty and respect among the people."[2]

Gregorios did not let all the responsibilities of teaching, administration, and scholarly pursuits detract him from his true calling, to serve fellow human beings. When a smallpox epidemic (a near fatal disease at the time) struck Thumpamon and surrounding areas, he personally visited every home that had been affected, over protests from many loved ones, to pray for and comfort the sick regardless of their caste or creed. His faith and his actions garnered him a lot of support not only from within the Malankara Church but the entire Indian community.


Gregorios became sick when he returned from Veeyapuram Church after blessing a marriage. Even from the beginning of his illness he knew that he was in his last days. He died on 2 November 1902 at midnight aged 54. On 2nd November 1947 after on the 45th Anniversary of his demise, Mar Gregorios of Parumala was officially canonized as a saint by the Holy Episcopal Synod on the Malankara Church, presided over by His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II, Catholicose of the East and later by the Syrian Orthodox Church. His tomb and birthplace are also centres of pilgrimage.

See also


External links

  • Official Site for Parumala Church
ml:ഗീവര്‍ഗ്ഗീസ് മാർ ഗ്രീഗോറിയോസ്
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