Monday, October 11, 2010

I am the light of the world!

"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

The earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (Gen 1:3). The first place we read about Light in Holy Bible. In the days of Creation God found that it was good. And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; named him Adam. But serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. Serpent convinced the woman. Adam and Eve committed the first sin. Their eyes opened. They fled from light, hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the trees of the garden.

Mankind started running away from God that day. We all suffer from different sort of tensions and stress. We have darkness in our hearts and mind. The light which was passed is taken away completely.

Baptism is the first sacrament for every Syrian christian. Through Baptisim, we are welcomed to our church. In the prayers of Baptism there is a portion where the priest delivers the oath. It says to Satan/ Devil “Don’t come near my son of Christ, Go to darkness the place where no one lives”. Even though we hear / listen that we don’t understand darkness is place were Satan should live, not us. We run to darkness along with him.

Job: 24:13. “These are of them that rebel against the light; They know not the ways thereof, Nor abide in the paths thereof.” We do the same.

In our Holy Fifty lent prayers we pray “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” Still we think we can run from him!

Light from Sun is same. But same light that makes plants grow, hardens clay. The response is completely different. Like wise blessings are.

Jesus tells “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me may not abide in the darkness.” John 12:46. We are called Christians. Meaning we follow Christ. If we belive food is good to take away our hunger, our hunger wont go. You should have food, then only your hunger will go away. Like wise you should follow him in all ways. Try to see good things with the eyes which he has give. Hear good things. And do good things for his glory.

World is becoming dirty and filthy each day by day. We live in the same world. We are going to celebrate HH Ignatius Elias Third, The Patriarch Birthday tomom (Oct 13th). I remember one story told by HH. HH was coming down to India in ship. Along with other crew members HH was sitting in deck watching the ocean. He called his nephew who was the captain of the boat. Asked him how ship is moving? He answered because of water. HH asked him to put a hole in the ship so that the water come inside.

Everyone was puzzled, but later came to know it was a great lesson. HH was telling them about the filthy world. We are living in this dirty world, but we should not allow all dirty things come inside to make us impure.

When we are getting tempted, let St. Ephrem’s word give us strength. “I was hunger, but then I remembered about the glory and happiness which you give for the people who starve, praise you without fail and stayed away from my food”. Let us also keep this in mind. May the prayers of St. George and HH Elias give you more strength.

God bless!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 6 - Transfiguration of Jesus Christ

Church Celebrates August 6 as "Koodara Perunal" or "Marurupa Perunala" or Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. A short note compiled about the Feast!

August 6 - Transfiguration of Jesus Christ

The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event in which Jesus is transfigured upon a mountain (Mount Tabor). (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36). Jesus became radiant, spoke with Moses and Elijah, and was called "Son" by God. It is one of the miracles of Jesus mentioned in the Gospels. This miracle is unique among others that appear in the Gospels, in that the miracle happens to Jesus himself. Thomas Aquinas considered the Transfiguration "the greatest miracle" in that it complemented baptism and showed the perfection of life in Heaven. According to the Gospels, Peter, James, son of Zebedee and John the Apostle were with Jesus upon the mountain. The transfiguration put Jesus above Moses and Elijah, the two preeminent figures of Judaism. It also supports his identity as the Son of God. In keeping with the Messianic Secret, Jesus tells the witnesses not to tell others what they saw until he has risen on the third day after his death on the cross.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mor Simon, the Stylite - July 27

The Syriac Orthodox Church Celebrates the feast of Mor Simon the Stylite (Semavoon Desthoono) on July 27th. We remember Mor Simon in our 5th Thubdeen in our Holy Mass.
Attaching a brief biography of the Saint.

Mor Simon - July 27th

Mor Simon is the first among the pillar ascetics. The term stylite originated from the Green word 'stylos' which means pillar. Simon was born in the village of Sesan, a place on the border of Cicila and Syria.

Simon was a shepherd at young age. While in the filed with sheep, he saw a vision. Later, he disposed of his properties and the assests of his aunt, which had been entrusted to him. He distributed part of the proceeds among the poor and the needy. The remaining assets he took to the monastery of Eusebona at Tell 'Ada, situated between Antioch and Alleppo. He joined the monastery with his brother Shemse when he was in the teens.

Later, he dug a pit of about 4 ft in the garden and stood in the pit for about 2 months. After the midnight prayer he used to stand with a big stone hung around his neck. He also stood on a roller to resist sleep in the night. His fellow hermits were jealous about these practices of Simon and raised some false accusations against him. Thus, he left the monastery of Eusebona. The head of the monastery gave him four coins which he refused to accept and said: "May your prayers be the viaticum for me"

Mor Simon reached the village Telanissue, Diar Sem'an. He sat beneath a tree and prayer, "O God My Lord, by Thy will you protected me from all adversities. Help and guide me until I reach the heavenly abode". He then travelled and reached the monsatery of Maris. He healed several sick people while staying in this monastry.

Mor Simon was in the habit of observing the forty-day lent in all its seriousness. During thr 40 day lent he didnot eat anything. In A.D. 423 he prepared a platform of about 4 ft. high and stood on it for about five years. Mor Simon was going around the nearby villages to preach Gospel. Angels, prophets Elijah and Moses appeared to him. Several miracles happened through the intercession of Mor Simon.

Mor Simon spent about 40 years on a pillar. He prayed "O Lord, my God, let not the hands of mortal men be necessary for my help. Let not me step down from this pillar to see men on earth. Help me O Lord to end my life on this pillar on which I ascended by your grace. According to Thy will accompany the soul of Thy servant from this place".

Mor Simon had ulcers on his foot because of standing for long on the pillar. He suffered a lot for about nine months. Emperor Theodosius sent three Bishops to request Mor Simon to step down from the pillar. However, he spent time in prayer and fasting. In A.D 459(July) several people gathered around pillar to listen to his words. Mor Simon departed for the heavenly abode probably on Wed July 27. His body was kept on the pillar for 19 days in order to agree upon place of burial. The body was carried in a funeral procession from the Fort of Simon to Antioch.

The body was buried in a church at Antioch constructed by King Constantine. An evil spirited man touched the coffin during the funeral procession and was healed.

Now there are 4 churches near the pillar of Mor Simon. Those who followed his ascetic practices are called Stylites.

Ref: "Martyrs, Saints & Prelates" - Rev. Fr. Mani Rajan

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Morth Yulithi (Julietta) and Kuriakose (Cyricus ) - July 15th

Tomorrow July 15th church celebrates Memory of Morth Yulithi (Julietta) and Kuriakose (Cyricus )! It is really good to learn about them and how they have suffered!

Morth Yulithi (Julietta) and Kuriakose (Cyricus ) - July 15th

According to legend, Julietta and her three-year (sometimes described as three-month) old Cyricus had fled to Tarsus and were identified as Christians. Julietta was tortured, and her three year old son, being held by the governor of Tarsus, scratched the governor's face and was killed by being thrown down some steps. Julietta did not weep but celebrated the fact that her son had earned the crown of martyrdom. In anger, the governor then decreed that Julietta’s sides should be ripped apart with hooks, and then she was beheaded. Her body, along with that of Cyricus, was flung outside the city, on the heap of bodies belonging to criminals, but the two maids rescued the corpses of the mother and child and buried them in a nearby field.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Re: Dispute in Cheengeri Church settled down From: Paul Pothen

Thanks a lot for sending the videos! I missed that episode and now i am so happy to learn more about that issue!

I would like to Congratulate the Youth who worked smartly in this matter and showed an example to entire Christian Community. I suppose our generation is realizing the value of Christianity. Good wishes Brothers. Let us take a pledge we will also follow the same. Ours is a Church which has a mission to spread the message of LOVE.

If we cant love then what are
we living for. The Holy
Bible teaches us "God is
Love" (1 John 4:8).

1 John 4:19-20 :- "If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen."

If we cant love the ones whom we see, then how can we say we Love HIM! We consider our Lords Prayer as the most important prayer / best known prayer in Christianity. In a day we pray this for atleast 3 times (Morning, Noon, Evening Prayers?). ""And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us"" I Strongly believe it is all about forgiveness. If we cant forgive our brother then how we can pray to HIM to forgive our sins!
Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

I am sure this generation knows this, preaches this through their words and deeds. Keep going brothers! Let us all work and pray together for our church which is one of the ancient and prominent in all.

NB: Those who missed the video
http://www.asianetg ShowVdo.aspx? GlHID=1399

Monday, April 26, 2010

St. Gregorios Abdul Galeel - April 27

St. Gregorios Abdul’ Galeel, the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan of Jerusalem who came to India in AD.1665 on the request of the Malankara Church to reinstate the Holy Apostolic faith here, is remembered by the local Syrian Christian community with great veneration. It was his untiring efforts that helped to revive the ancient faith and traditions of the Malankara Syrian Christian Church.

Read more of biography

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mor Geevarghese Sahada - April 23

World celebrating the memory of Mor Geevarghese Sahada on April 23rd. Almost a school kid knows about his biography, how a soldier turned to a saint. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you all about 2 miracles done by the Saint in our family.

When my Mom was in her childhood a severe disease spread out in her family and the nearby places. It was VASOORI (Sort of pox). It was getting severe in each day after day. One night they all heard the sound of a Horse passing through their door steps. From that morning the disease started coming down. Their home parish is in name of Sahada. And it is believed that this was a miracle by Sahada.

The second incident is one which I personally experienced. From my childhood i am always afraid of Snakes. My parents got transferred to Kodungallur before 10 years back. Those who belong to Kodungallur know, how that place is. If you belong to a town like Kottayam, Kochi or Trivandrum, Kodungallur is still in stone age. People are so addicted to black magic still. I have seen and heard so many instances of that. They still worship and believe those which we cant even think of. Coming back to the topic. Just wanted to give an idea about how the place is now!
So the house we got for rent was and old one. And there were no inhabitants for so long. A place were snakes used to roam a lot. It was so common in neighborhood too. They wont kill it, as they worship it still. I was really afraid to go there to meet them.

After we started Intercession prayer to Sahada and i could never find a Snake in our compound. So many snakes i have seen in neighborhood. Never in our compound for last 10 years. I believe that it happened just because of the Intercession prayer.

May his Intercession prayer save from all evil.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mor Osthatheos Sleeba, - March 19

Church celebrates the memory of Mor Osthatheos Sleeba on march 19th. Attaching brief Biography of the Saint.

Mor Osthatheos Sleeba, - March 19

Mor Osthatheos Sleeba, the saintly Syrian father venerated with great affection by the Malankara Syrian Christians, was born on January 1 1854, in the village of 'Kfarzo' in Mesopotamia situated in the south-east Turkey. He belonged to the 'Abakker' family, his father was Salbi and mother Nabuna. His baptismal name was 'SALIBA' (Sleebo/Sleeba). When he was only three years of age his father, Salbi, passed away. A few years later his two brothers and two sisters also died of a deadly disease. Only Sleeba (Saliba), his mother and one sister were fortunate to survive from the epidemic.

At the age of seven Sleeba started his education under his uncle Kassisso Danaha. Later his studies continued under Raban Shem`un at the Damascus church. From the childhood days itself he was very conscious in regular Prayers, lent & meditation. The Church's liturgical hymns and its rich traditions was of great inspiration for the young Sleeba. By the time he completed his education, he mastered in Syriac, the liturgical language of the Holy Church.

Even while continuing his studies he worked in nearby villages for his livelihood. In 1880, he was ordained Koroyoo (Deacon) by his Malphono (Malpan/teacher) who by then had been elevated as Metropolitan for the Damascus diocese by name Mor Athanasius Shem`un. (H.G. is the patriarchal delegate who is entombed at Kottayam Puthenpally).

Malankara Church in the late 19th century

The last quarter of the 19th century was comparatively a better period for the Syrian Church of Malabar (South India). It was at the time the Church started to gradually re-establish its foothold under the leadership of Metropolitan Pulikottil Joseph Mor Dionysius II after a difficult era of alleged domination by certain European Christian groups who opposed the Syrian Christian beliefs and its traditions. The situations changed for better with the arrival of Mor Ignatius Pathros IV, the Patriarch of Antioch to India in 1875. Before his arrival the judiciary and the local administration under the British rulers, were publicly supporting the European missionaries and the Malankara Church was continuously tortured for not endorsing the reformist teachings of these western Christian groups. The Patriarch's discussions with the directors of the East India company at London on his way to Malankara, helped to change this unfair attitude of the Indo-British authorities against Malankara Syrian Church to a certain extend. His Holiness stayed in Kerala for more than a year and helped to reorganize the administration of the Malankara Edavaka (diocese) which was until then administered by a single Metropolitan. In June 1876, the Patriarch convened the historic Mulanthuruthy Synod that gave birth to the popular and democratic 'Malankara Syrian Christian Association', elevated Mor Dionysius Joseph (Pulikottil Thirumeni) as its first metropolitan President (designated as 'Malankara Metropolitan') and also took the crucial decision to divide the Malankara Edavaka into six dioceses for administrative convenience. Later His Holiness ordained Metropolitans for each of the newly formed dioceses; Saint Gregorios Geevarghese, popularly known as Parumala Thirumeni, was one among them.

The Malankara Church was very thankful for the sincere efforts of the Holy See for all the help they received, particularly during the period of great crisis. Though a major crisis was averted with H.H's timely interference, there continued to be certain problems with the western protestant outfits who were very much active here under the patronage of British rulers. Hence the Church in Malankara wished to have the continued presence of a patriarchal representative. This request was submitted before the Church's spiritual supreme, the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East. But His Holiness left for the patriarchal headquarters at Mardin in Turkey without taking a final decision. Initially the Patriarch was reluctant in sending another delegate from the Far East since there were already six native metropolitans besides the Malankara Metropolitan to look after the day to day affairs of the Archdiocese. However the repeated requests from Malankara Church made the Patriarch to change his previous decision; thus His Holiness send Mor Athanasius Shem`un of Damascus diocese as the patriarchal representative to Malankara.

Deacon Sleeba in India

Deacon Sleebo, who was then 27, accompanied the newly appointed Patriarchal delegate, H.G. Shem`un Mor Athanasius to Malankara and reached Cochin on January 1, 1881. They stayed in a small room at Kottayam Puthenpally and preached the Holy Gospel of Our Lord, both within our Church and outside. During this period, the nearby Kottayam St.Mary's Cheriapally and Syrian Seminary (old Seminary at Kottayam) were under the control of the European missionary activists. In 1889, when the Old Seminary was returned to the Jacobite Syrian Church following a court verdict, Shem`un Mor Athanasius and Deacon Sleeba were requested to reside at seminary and teach theology and Church traditions to the seminary students.

On June 11 1889, the Patriarchal delegate Mor Athanasius Shem`un passed away at a most unexpected time. The sudden demise of the Metropolitan was a severe blow for our Deacon Sleeba. He is said to have remained alone for many days, crying and crying. He may have felt lonely in a land far away from his native place. Subsequently our Lord gave him strength to overcome the difficult times; after a short interval, he continued to preach the Holy Gospel, travelling throughout Malankara. His speeches were in Syriac and the main translators were Deacon Mathew (later Catholicos Augen I), Deacon M.J.Michael of Kayamkulam (later Michael Mor Dionysius of Kottayam & southern dioceses) and Kassisso P.P. Joseph (father of late Catholicos Baselios Paulose II). The annual conventions held during those times in Aluva Manalpuram (river side), were very famous with his speeches and attracted many to our Holy Church. He used to stay at the convention site for the entire period without much food, thus saving the money and kind he received and donated it to the needy. His dedication made him so popular; the poor considered him as great prophet and as a friend in need. (The annual conventions held at Aluva Manalpuram were the first of its kind, anywhere in Malankara. The famous Maramon Convention started only a few years later).

Deacon Sleeba and Chathuruthy Mor Gregorios (Parumala Thirumeni)

After the demise of Mor Athanasius Shem`un, Deacon Sleeba came closer with Mor Gregorios Geevarghese (Parumala Thirumeni). Syriac was the medium that is believed to have brought both of them together. St. Anthony of Egypt, the Coptic monk who lived in the 3rd century was of a great inspiration for both. Their intimate relationship continued until the last of Kochu thirumeni.

When a group from Malankara under the leadership of Parumala thirumeni set forth for a pilgrimage to the holy city in 1895, Deacon Sleeba was also asked to accompany them as a guide. The other prominent members of the group were Kochuparambil Paulose Ramban (later Paulose Mor Kurillos - Panampady Church, the Malankara Metropolitan, 1911-1917) and Wattasseril Fr. Geevarghese (Malankara Metropolitan, 1909). St Gregorious in his famous travelogue "Oorsalem Yatra Vivaranam", has mentioned about Deacon Sleeba's help during many occasions and also about their stay at the 'Sehion Malika'/Dayaro of Markose at Jerusalem. The passing away of Parumala Thirumeni on Nov 2, 1902 was another of the saddest moments in the life of Dn.Sleeba after the demise of his Malphono Mor Athanasius Shem`un. He was at Parumala during the last ceremonies of the late Metropolitan and remained there for many more days.

Dn. Sleeba, though only six years younger than Parumala Thirumeni, remained as a deacon until he reached 52 in 1906. During these days his emphasize was on the preaching of Holy Gospel among the mass and guided the theological students. The ordination of Dn. Sleeba as the Metropolitan was at the age of 54, six years after the demise of Parumala Thirumeni.

Journey to the Patriarchal Dayro in Turkey

In 1906 a Patriarchal bull reached Malankara, requesting Dn. Sleeba to reach the Dayro at Mosul (Iraq) for his ordination as Metropolitan. Before his departure to Mosul, a grand public reception was given to Dn. Sleeba by Malankara Metropolitan H.E. Mor Dionysius Joseph and was presented with a gold chain and Holy Cross as a gift of the Malankara Church. He together with Deacon Mathai of Cheettalathumkara (later Catholicos Mor Augen I) left for Mosul the same year. Thus after 25 years in Malankara as a deacon, in 1906 Deacon Sleeba was ordained as Kassisso (Full Priest) at the age of 52 and two weeks later as 'RABAN' (Monk Priest/Ramban) by Mor Kurillos Elias Qudsho, at the Monastery of Mor Mattay, near Mosul. The Priestly consecration ceremony of Deacon Mathai was also held on the same occasion.

Later Raban Sleeba and Kassisso Mathai went to 'Kurkkuma Dayro' (Deir'ul Zaffaran Monastery in Turkey) and stayed with the new Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abded' Aloho (Abdullah II) for a few days. From there they went to the house of our Raban Sleeba at the 'Kaferzo' village in Tur'Abdin (Present Turkey). Raban Sleeba's only sister was living there. For the next two years, Raban Sleeba together with Deacon Mathai visited many of the nearby Syriac Orthodox churches and preached the Holy Gospel. (Deacon Mathai became well versed in Syriac during his long stay with his close friend Raban Sleeba. Patriarch H H Ignatius Elias III ordained him Metropolitan in 1927 by name Thimotheos and in 1964 Patriarch H H Ignatius Yakoob III elevated him as the first canonical Catholicos of India by name Augen I).


In March 1908 Patriarch of Antioch & all the East Moran Mor Ignatius Abded' Aloho (Abdullah II) consecrated Raban Sleebo as Metropolitan and was entrusted with the name OSTHATHEOS. The ordination ceremony was held at the church of the 'Forty Martyrs' in Mosul and appointed him as the Apostolic Delegate of the Holy See to India, succeeding his mentor Mor Athanasius Shem`un.

On 31st May the same year, Kochuparambil Paulose Raban (Mor Kurillos) and Wattasseril Geevarghese Malpan (Mor Dionysius) were also ordained as Metropolitans at the St.Mark's Dayro in Jerusalem by Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abded' Aloho (Abdulla II). RABAN ordination of Deacon Mathai (later Mor Augen Thimotheos) was also on that auspices occasion. (Wattasseril Mor Dionysius become the Malankara Metropolitan in 1909 following the demise of Pulikottil Joseph Mor Dionysius in the previous year. Two years later, the Saintly Kochuparambil Paulose Mor Kurillos was elevated to the highest order of Malankara Metropolitan.)

Mor Osthatheos Sleeba appointed as the Patriarchal delegate to India

After the Metropolitan consecration, Mor Osthatheos Sleebo, along with the other two newly ordained bishops and Ramban Augen, returned to India and assumed the responsibility of the Patriarchal representative in Malankara. When the Malankara Metropolitan Mor Dionysius Joseph passed away in 1908, Mor Osthatheos Sleebo was given charge of the Malankara church administration temporarily. In 1909 the Apostolic Bull appointing Wattasseril Mor Dionysius as Malankara Metropolitan was issued by the Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abdulla II. Unfortunately, a major split occurred in the Malankara Syrian community just two years later in 1911; Wattasseril Mor Dionysius emerged as the leader of the dissident group. It was actually the disputes between Wattasseril Thirumeni and his co-trustees, Corepiscopus Mathen Malpan Konattu (Priest trustee) and Mr. C.J. Kurien Akkara (lay trustee), that led to the sad split. The conflict intensified with the co-trustees openly demanding for more transparency in financial matters which the Metropolitan trustee Mor Dionysius Wattasseril could not accept at all. When complaints against the Methran reached the visiting Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Abdulla II, His Holiness asked for explanation; this prompted the agitated Wattasseril Methran to revolt against the supreme pontiff. Since then a group called "Methran's party" started functioning in Malankara under the leadership of Wattasseril Mar Dionysius Methran and his colleagues.

These disputes made the responsibility of Mor Osthatheos Bava even more greater; he along with the newly elected Malankara Metropolitan Paulose Mor Kurillos (Panampady) and Paulose Mor Athanasius (Valiya Thirumeni) worked tirelessly to retain the true apostolic faith of the Syrian Church.

Founding of the Arthat St.Mary's Simhasana church, Kunnamkulam

Consequent to the separation of section from the Malankara Syrian Church, disputes started to erupt in many of the parishes. Though almost the entire faithful in North Kerala remained in the Holy Church, there was a vertical split in Kunnamkulam, a prominent Syrian Christian centre. The intensive disputes in the Kunnamkulam St. Mary's church (Arthat Valiyapally) resulted in great hardships for supporters of both the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Christians as well as for the faction under Wattasseril Thirumeni. Mor Osthatheos Bava tried his maximum to avert the sad split, but when he understood that his mission is failing, he requested the Jacobite faithful to find a suitable place for worship and thus to avoid direct confrontation with the opposite group. But this decision of our Holy Father was not acceptable for the prominent persons of the Syrian community; they wanted to retain their rights in the ancient church. However, Mor Osthatheos Bava was finally successful in convincing them on the need for a peaceful atmosphere for worshipping. Thus a place near the Old Church was bought in 1919 and was registered in the name of the Holy See of Antioch. During the construction of this church which lasted for many years, Mor Osthatheos Bava stayed in a house made of bamboo and thatched with coconut leaves. With the efforts of Mor Osthatheos Bava, a small church was built and was named "ST.MARY'S SIMHASANA CHURCH". The church was consecrated on 12th October 1919.

The St. Mary's church at Vadavukodu (near Karingachira Church), was another famous parish established and consecrated by Mor Osthatheos Bava. During his stay at the church, many were cured through the Holy relics of MOR QAWMO which he brought from the Syrian Orthodox Church in Turabdin. Portions of the Holy relic are interred in many other churches also. The Malecuriz St.George Dayro near Puthencuriz, was established during this period. The St. George's Church at Nedumbasserry (near Cochin International Airport) was founded at the place were Mor Osthatheos Sleeba insisted. Mor Osthatheos travelled to a great number of churches and led many peace negotiations in spite of his age and health. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful due to the stubborn attitude of the dissidents.


On 19th March 1930 at the age of 76, Mor Osthatheos Bava passed away and his mortal remains were interred at the Arthat St.Mary's Simhasana church, Kunnamkulam. This church is now a major pilgrim centre of the Malankara Syrian Christians. Because of the tomb of the saintly father, the church came to be popularly known as 'Bava Pally' (the church of Mor Osthatheos Bava).

In 2000, the visiting Patriarch of Antioch & all the East, through bull dated 4th April, officially proclaimed Mor Osthatheos Sleebo and Mor Gregorios`Abdul Galeel as Saintly Holy Fathers, thereby permitting to recite the 'Quqalya' hymns and prayers of the 'Zadeeqo' (saints) at their tombs and beseech their intercession (see Patriarchal Encyclical dated April 9th, 2000). In 2005, the historical patriarchal bull allowing the local Simhasana church to recite the name of St. Osthatheos Sleeba in the fifth 'Tubden' (diptych) was issued and later through the Apostolic bull dated 26th September 2008, the name of our holy father was permitted to be recited in all the Malankara churches.

Sacred tomb of St. Sleebo Mor Osthatheos Bava at the Arthat St. Mary's Simhasana Church, Kunnamkulam

Mor Osthatheos Bava, the Saintly Father

Mor Osthatheos Bava was one of the pioneers of the Sunday School movement in Malankara. He ministered for the Church in Malankara, establishing and consecrating many number of Parishes. St. Paulose Mor Athanasius, (Malankara Metropolitan, 1917-53) & Malankara Malpan Corepiscopus Mathen Konattu were his closest companions during his stay in Malankara as Patriarchal delegate. Many of his students later became famous personalities in the Syrian Church. Mookencheril Pathros Mor Osthatheos, the late Metropolitan of the Methran faction was one of his disciples.

("Sleeba Daasa Samooham", a missionary group in the Malankara Church was started by Mookkencheril Pathros Mor Osthatheos, under the initiative and guidance of St. Sleeba Mor Osthatheos Bava, in 1924. Mookkencheril Thirumeni who was the first administrator of the organization, was then a Kassisso (Priest) of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church under the Holy See of Antioch.)

The two famous scholarly books, "Misiha Aiyaka Swabhawam" ('Messianic Character', published in 1904) & "Yakkobayakkar" ('Jacobites', published in 1905), originally written in Syriac by Mor Osthatheos Bava and translated into Malayalam by Rev. Fr. P P Joseph, are some of his masterpieces. It was in circulation until recently. During his life time itself he was considered as a holy person. His tireless efforts in spreading the Word of God attracted many to the faith. Mor Osthatheos lived a life of extreme simplicity spending most of his time in prayer and meditation. His concentration & dedication in prayers were extraordinary. His piety was known far and wide. He hardly had any material possessions, yet was happy to help the poor and needy. His foods at many times were only prayer & meditation. Even during these circumstances he helped the needy by donating whatever he had. His prayers healed many sick, and those who were childless were blessed with children. Many are baptized in the name 'SLEEBA'. The church were his mortal remains are interred is often mentioned as "BAVA PALLY", so called after the saintly Osthatheos Bava. Annual pilgrimage on the remembrance day to his Holy Tomb is very popular.

May his blessings be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen

Source :

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Forty Martyrs - March 10th

March 10th - Church Remembers The Forty Martyrs. We should really learn about these people. The pain they have suffered for our church.

Please read the History of them and enrich your knowledge about our church. Be strong in our church. The were killed for us.

History of The Forty Martys of Sebaste

In c. 320, forty Christian soldiers in the Roman 'Thundering legion' became martyrs at Sebastia on the banks of River Kizil in Lesser Armenia (today in Central Turkey). During the persecution unleashed by the Emperor Licinius on Christians, the Governor Agricolaus commanded soldiers to worship idols. Having disobeyed the command, the soldiers were tortured and imprisoned. Subsequently, they were martyred by being left naked on the ice of a frozen pond, with baths of hot water on the banks as a temptation to renounce their faith. One of them succumbed to the temptation and his place was taken by a heathen soldier of the guard, who confessed his faith. Their bodies were stacked together on a pyre and burnt to ashes. Their ashes were recovered by Empress Pulcheria (399-453). Their martyrdom is narrated by St. Basil of Caesaria, St. Gregory of Nyssa and in works attributed to St. Ephrem the Syrian.

Hymns of the phanqitho of the Syriac Orthodox Church compares the Forty Martyrs to the forty palms in the vision of Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 40-41), stars that removed the darkness of idolatry, the lamps of Sebastia that shone through the night and shed light throughout the world, and diamonds that glitter on the crown of the Church.

The phanqitho of the Great Lent names these martyrs: Dumitianus, Alexandrios, Kyrillos, Plabius, Smargdos, Xanthius, Sisianus, Levanthius, Severianus, Phileximon, Agagios, Iraqilios, Akdikios, Kurion, Avilus, Euthicius, Husegios, Eunicius, Ilianos, Acacius, Aethius, Athanasius, Nicolaus, Melitian, Candidus, Bibianus, Cydian, Gaius, Sacerdon, Duminos, Gorgonius, Priscos, Theodolus, Anatalius, Melition, Ilinius, Theophilos, Lucimacus, Ivanius, and Cilthodius.

The Church of the Forty Martyrs in Mardin is one of the earliest churches dedicated to the martyrs. It is still in use, though with a diminishing number of Syriac Christians, due to the political turmoil in that area which has forced an exodus of Syriac Christians.

Source :

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 9 - Mor Koorilose Kuriakose

Church remebers Mor Koorilose Kuriakose on March 9th! Attaching the Brief Biography of Thirumeni . 

 Mor Koorilose Kuriakose - March 9th

Msabrono Nasiho Mor Koorilose Kuriakose (Diocesan Metropolitan of Niranam, Quilon and Thumpamon of Malankara Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church) was born on May 1, 1935 as the second son of Poothiyottu Paayikandathil Cherian George of Mepral and Annamma and named George Kurian. He was ordained deacon by Mor Gheevarghese Gregorius of Ankamali in 1956. The late Catholicos Paulos II (then Metropolitan Mor Philoxenus Paulose) ordained him priest in 1956. Fr. George Kurian became the vicar of St. John's church, Mepral (Thiruvalla).

Fr. George Kurian was consecrated bishop Mor Koorilose by Patriarch Ya`qub III on July 21, 1974. Mor Kuriakose Koorilose Metropolitan was an undeclared "Ya`qub Burd`ana" of the southern diocese of Malankara Church, who toiled hard to sustain the faithful in the true apostolic faith and traditions of the Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church.

In spite of his ill-health, Mor Koorilose Kuriakose Thirumeni worked tirelessly for welfare of the dioceses of Niranam, Quilon and Thumpamon, especially at a crucial time in the history of our church where we had to face several challenges from the dissident faction. Mor Kuriakose was an accomplished orator and an able administrator who established many educational institutions in his diocese.

The “Aramana” at Adoor had been the fruit of Thirumeni’s strenuous efforts, although Thirumeni did not have the fortune of living there.

His Grace served as the President of the Sunday School Association for a long time.

During a very difficult period in the history of the church, His Grace provided able leadership for the church. His Grace Passed away on 21 March 1995 and His remains are interred in Mikhayel Mor Dionysius Dayaro, Adoor.

Source :

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mor Gregorius Gheevarghese - February

Church celebrates the Memory of Mor Gregorius Gheevarghese (Perumpilly Thirumeni) on Februaruy 22nd. Perumpilly Thirumeni, Late Metropolitan of Kottayam Diocese was a very good orator, teacher, poet, and singer. In my childhood days, i was really motivated by the sermons of Thirumeni. I dont have to introduce him. He is a living Saint of the Century. I could find a very breif Biography of him.

A Short Biography

Born as the third son of Parapallil Mathew Asan of Puthupally (near Kottayam) and Annamma, daughter of Veloor Kanjiram Edavamthalayil Abraham Vaidyan, on 1933 Thulam 8th, Varghese received his theological education at Thrikkothamangalam Mor Sharbil Deyro and Manjinikkara Mor Ignatius Dayro. Gheevarghese was ordained priest by Mor Yulius Elias Qoro on August 1, 1958 and for several years served as vicar of Perumpilly St. George's Simhasana Church. Fr. Gheevarghese was elected to the episcopate by the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christian Association meeting at Karingachira St. George Church in January 1974. Consecrated metropolitan by Moran Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III on February 24, 1974 for Cochin diocese with additional charge of Kottayam diocese, Mor Gregorius became the Metropolitan of Kottayam after the 1982 Synod at Cochin presided by H.H. Patriarch Zakka I. In the early 1970s, when the church in Malankara became divided again over the role of the Patriarchate of Antioch, Mor Gregorius provided the faithful, who did not wish to sever their long spiritual association with Antioch, with able leadership. Due to his long association with the Perumpilly church, which he reconstructed in 1976, Mor Gregorius was affectionately called Perumpilly thirumeni. Following the death of Catholicos Paulos II on September 2, 1996, His Grace presided over the Synod of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church until he was called to eternal rest on February 22, 1999. His remains are interred in the sanctuary of the Perumpilly Simhasana Church.

Source :

Thursday, February 11, 2010

HH Patriarch Saint Mor Ignatius Elias III Shakir - February 13

Church remembers HH Patriarch Saint Mor Ignatius Elias III Shakir on February 13th. Pilgrims from all over the world reached Manjinikara by end of the day. Elias III is the only Patriarch of Antioch whose remains are interred in Malankara and his tomb stands as a towering symbol of the sacrifices made by the Syriac fathers to nurture the church in Malankara. On October 20, 1987, Patriarch Mor Zakka I through encyclical E265/87 permitted the Church in Malankara to remember his name in the fifth diptych.

A Short Biography of Patriarch Saint Mor Ignatius Elias III Shakir

Patriarch Saint Mor Ignatius Elias III Shakir the second son of Chorepiscopus Abraham and Maryam, was born in Mardin, Turkey. He was called Nasri. He had 4 brothers and 3 sisters. After the death of his mother, Nasri was raised in the care of his elder sister Helena. He worked as a shoemaker in his teens and served in the government service for about three months. At the direction of Patriarch Peter IV, Nasri joined the theological school of the forty martyrs. In 1887, he joined Deir al-Za`faran and was ordained deacon by Patriarch Peter IV in 1887. He became a sharwoyo (novitiate) in 1888 and a monk in 1889 upon which he came to be known as Elias. Elias was ordained qashisho (priest; lit. presbyter) in 1892 by Patriarch Peter IV.

In the waning years of the 19th century, numerous Armenian and Syriac Christians were massacred in Turkey. Qashisho Elias endeared himself to the Armenian Christians providing refuge for about 7000 in the monastery of Mor Quryaqos. He was later appointed the reesh dayroyo (Cheif of the Monastry) of the Mor Quryaqos as well as Deir al-Za`faran. In 1908 Qashisho Elias was consecrated bishop of Amid (Diyarbakr) by Patriarch `Abded Aloho II and was named Mor Iwanius. Mor Osthasios Sleeba, the delegate of the Holy See of Antioch to India, was also ordained along with Mor Iwanius. In 1912, he was transferred to Mosul where he served until his elevation to the patriarchate in 1917. After Patriarch `Abded Aloho passed away on Nov 26, 1915, Mor Iwanius was elected Patriarch and assumed the throne in 1917. The firman (decree) was issued to Patriarch Elias III by the Ottoman sultan Muhammad Rashid. The sultan conferred the Ismania medal to the Patriarch. In 1922, when civil war broke out in Turkey and Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha assumed leadership of the newly formed democracy, Moran Mor Elias III spent a few months in Jerusalem. Moran laid the foundation stone of the church our lady atJerusalem on 22 March 1926. He established a printing press there and began publication of journals in Syriac and Arabic.

Mor Elias III was the last Patriarch to reign at the Kurkmo Dayro (Deir Za`faran) in Mardin, Turkey the seat of the Patriarchate for most of the second millenium. Following the massacre of the Syriac Christians in South East Turkey in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire and during World War I, the Patriarch was forced to leave Mardin. In the aftermath of the saypho massacres, Mor Elias III undertook pastoral tours to the Middle East, the first in 1919 and the second in 1925 to Aleppo and Jerusalem. Mor Elias III held a synod Dayro d-Mor Matay, Mosul, Iraq in 1930.

Lord Irwin, then British Viceroy to India, wrote to the Patriarch on December 1, 1930 requesting his intervention in person or through a delegate in resolving the schism that had erupted in the Malankara Church.

His Holiness responded to the Viceroy's letter, on December 15, 1930 accepting his invitation with certain conditions. Given his cardiac problems, his doctors attempted to dissuade him from the trip. His 75 year old sister also discouraged him from the trip. His Holiness said to her, "Death is inevitable whether here or in India; I would rather sacrifice my life for the sake of our children in Malankara."

Mor Elias III left Mosul on February 6, 1931 accompanied by Mor Clemis Yuhanon Abbachi, Rabban Quryaqos (later Mor Ostathios Quryaqos), and Rabban Yeshu` Samuel (later Mor Athanasius Samuel of North America), his secretary Zkaryo Shakir (his brother Joseph's son) and translator Adv.Elias Ghaduri. They set sail to India on February 28, 1931 from Basra on the ship "Warsova" and disembarked at the Karachi port on March 5, 1931. They were received at Karachi by the Patriarchal Delegate Mor Yulius Elias Qoro, Mor Athanasius Paulos of Alwaye and several clergymen and faithful. On March 6, 1931, the Patriarch and his entourage proceeded to Delhi by train reaching there on the 8th and visited Lord Irwin. On March 14th, the Patriarch arrived at Madras and stayed as a guest of the British Governor Sir George Staly. From there, he arrived at the Thrikkunathu Seminary in Alwaye on March 21st, and offered the divine liturgy there on March 22nd.

H.H. Mor Elias III convened conciliatory meetings at Alwaye, Karingachira, Panampady and Kuruppumpady. The Patriarch lead the passion week services at St.George Church, Karingachira. A church delegates meeting was held at Kuruppumpady on July 5, 1931. The denho (Epiphany) services in January 1932 were at the St.Thomas church, Pakkil, Kottayam.

On February 11, 1932, at the invitation of Qashisho Kuriakos Elavinamannil, the Patriarch arrived at the Manjinikkara Mor Stephanos church from Kallissery. The inability to bring about reconciliation in the church had weighed down heavily on the Patriarch; moreover, the hardships of the long travel had taken its toll on His Holiness. On arriving at Manjinikkara, the Patriarch said, "This place offers us much comfort; we desire to remain here permanently." On February 12th, His Holiness requested the priests who came to visit him not to leave for a couple of days. In the evening, the Patriarch recited many prayers of the qandilo (unction) and contemplated on the departed. On February 13th, Mor Clemis Yuhanon Abbachi offered the Holy Qurbono; His Holiness gave the sermon during the liturgy.

After the noon prayers and lunch, as was his routine, the Patriarch spent time recording events in his journal; he asked for a dictionary to get clarification for the meaning of a word. Following that, he complained of pain in his head. Soon he fainted and was placed on a cot by the monks where he slipped into eternal rest at 2:30 pm. Many eye witnesses recount the deep gloom that cast its spell in the area that evening and the wails of the monks who accompanied the Patriarch.

Different opinions arose regarding the final resting place for the Patriarch—a situation that the church in Malankara never had to confront before. The decision was in favor of interring the mortal remains in a plot of land to the north of the Mor Stephanos church, the title deed of which was transferred to the Patriarchate. On February 14th, the funeral services for His Holiness were held there. Mor Dionysius Michael consoled the gathering.

Tomb of Saint Mor Ignatius Elias III Shakir Mor Ignatios Dayro church attached to the tomb of late Patriarch was built by the Patriarchal delegate Mor Yulius Elias Qoro. The memory of the holy Patriarch is revered throughout the Syriac Orthodox Church and especially in Malankara where thousands of pilgrims reach the tomb by foot on the annual feast day, February 13, from various parts of the Kerala state.

Mor Elias III is the only Patriarch of Antioch whose remains are interred in Malankara and his tomb stands as a towering symbol of the sacrifices made by the Syriac fathers to nurture the church in Malankara. On October 20, 1987, Patriarch Mor Zakka I through encyclical E265/87 permitted the Church in Malankara to remember his name in the fifth diptych.

Source :

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mor Severios - February 8th

Church celebrates the memory of St. Severios, the Great on February 8th. The fifth diptych (Thubaden) remembers Mor Severios as “Patriarch Mor Severios, the crown of the Syrians, that rational mouth and pillar and teacher of all the holy Church of God, the meadow fill of flowers who always preached that Mary is undoubtedly the Mother of God”

Brief Biography of Mor Severios

Mor Severios was born at Sozopolis, Pisidia. His father was a member of the Council of the city. Mor Severios was the third son of his parents. After the death of his father, Mor Severios’ mother send him to one of the most eminent monastery in Alexandria to study Green, Latin and rhetoric. Later in A.D 486 he went to Beirut and studied Law and practiced as an advocate there. At this time he read widely on theology and published a book praising St. Paul – Encomium of the Apostle Paul. It is not certain whether his parents were Christians. Severios was baptized in AD 488 at Tripolis. He sold all his properties and distributed to poor and needy. Mor Severios visited Jerusalem and joined the monastery of Peter between Gaza and Majuma. After learning the Holy Bible and the customs of ascetic life he build a Monastery nearby and lived there. He became ill due to the strict ascetic practices in the monastery.

Bishop Epphiphanos ordained Severios as Priest. He lived at Constantinople during AD 508-511. Patriarch Flavian II was removed from the Throne in AD 512. Severios was enthroned Patriarch on 6th November 512. After assuming the position as Patriarch, he continued the monastic life style. He demolished all luxurious facilities build by his predecessor (Aphrem 1963).

In A.D 518 a pro-Chalcedonian emperor, came into power and the writings of Patriarch Mor Severios were burned. Anybody having in his or her possession the writings of Mor Severios were tortured. Subsequently, on 29th September AD 518, he was exiled from Antioch to Alezandria. The teachings of Patriarch Mor Severioson the incarnation is famous. “His conception of the incarnation was, that all the human qualities remained in Christ unchanged in their nature and essence, but that they were amalgamated with the totality of hypostasis; that they had no longer separate existence, and having no longer any kind of center or focus of their own, no longer constituted a distinct monad. On the contrary, the foci had become one. The monads were conjoined; the substratum in which the qualities of both natures inhered no longer had an independent subsistent in this composite hypostasis.”

The above confession of faith is repeated during the fracture and commixture in the Holy Mass. That is “He is One Immanuel, and is indivisible into two natures after the unity. Thus we believe and thus we confess and this we confirm.”

The responsory (Manisso) of Mor Severios sung in the beginning of the celebration of Holy Qurobono also proclaims the basic tenet of the church regarding the incarnation of God, the Word. “.. and did become incarnate of the Holy and glorious pure virgin, Mother of God, Mary; who did become man, being God without change, and was crucified for us.”

Patriarch Mor Severios was a prolific writer. He has prepared a liturgy and several other prayers for special occasions, as list of which is available. Mor Severios foreseeing his death called his disciples and said: “It is good that I am going to join Jesus Christ. You will also come to me there and will again unite.” He spend about twenty years in hiding and departed for the heavenly abode on 8th Feb(Saturday) 538 at Sakha, Egypt at the age of 79.


Thubathen – Dr. A.V. Zakkariya

Martyrs, Saints & Prelates of The Syriac Orthodoc Church – Rev. Fr. K. Mani Rajan

Vellinakshatrangal – HE Aphrem Poulose Mor Athanasiose

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mor Barsoumo - February 3rd

Barsoumo- The Head of Mourners, lived in 5th century. Barsoumo was born at the village of Otton near the city of Smeshath as the son of Hanok and Sakayi. His fater Hanok died in his early childhood days, and Sakayi got married to another man. The kid loved solitude in his early stages of life. One day Barsoumo along with his mother and step father went for a festival in the city of Smeshath. He happened to be alone on the bank of Euphrates (Frath). A monk named Abraham saw Barsoumo walking alone, crying and heavyhearted. Abraham enquired him about the reason for his unhappiness. Barsoumo replied him “I want to be the slave of Jesus Christ, our Lord.” Abraham took him to the monastery and taught him ascetic practices. Barsoumo learned all the practices of a Dayaroyuso very fast, and was stringent in those. Abraham, his teacher died in A.D 409.

After the death of his teacher, Barsoumo left the monastery and visited the Holy land. He was just wearing a thick cloth all through his journey. On return he stayed on a high mountain near to his monastery. The faithful built a monastery for him and he stayed there. The Dayaro of Mor Barsoumo is near Melitine. Many youngsters hearing about his rigorous practices and faith joined along with him. On a summer night Barsoumo went out of his room and looked at the shining stars. He thought of his humble self and the mighty creations of God. He took a strong decision on that time and said “How can I sit before the master who created this wonders.” It is written by his disciple Mor Samuel, that Mor Barsoumo never sat in his lifetime after that day.

In AD 449, Barsoumo attended the second Synod of Ephesus as the representative of all monastries of the East. Barsoumo was sad about the decision of Chalcedon Synod. The Chalcedonians read an order of excommunication of Barsoumo in a church. Then a prominent person testified that his son was seriously ill and Barsoumo’s prayer healed him. The faithful was unanimous in their conviction of the saintly life of Barsoumo.

Mor Barsoumo entered his heavenly abode on February 3rd AD 457/58.


Thubathen – Dr. A.V. Zakkariya

Martyrs, Saints & Prelates of The Syriac Orthodoc Church – Rev. Fr. K. Mani Rajan

Vellinakshatrangal – HE Aphrem Poulose Mor Athanasiose

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 2 –Nineveh Lent

What is a Lent? Do we have any guidelines in Holy Book about Lent? We are not able to figure out the origin of Lent. When it was practiced first? Early on, Lent was a time of preparation for those about to be baptized at Easter. Or Lent is a time of soul-searching and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection on Good Friday and Easter. Lent has been observed in different ways at different times, so it is hard to say when it started.

There are so many characters and situations in “The Holy Bible” which observes lent.

  1. Moses - Deuteronomy 9:8
  2. King David - 2 Samuel 12:16
  3. Ester - Ester 4:14-16
  4. Nehemiah - Nehemiah1:4
  5. Daniel - Daniel 10:1-13
  6. Nineveh - Jonah 3:5

Moses took a lent of 40 Days and Night for the Tables of the Covenant. David besought God for the child; and David fasted and lay all night upon the earth. Ester before going to King, asked Mordecai to gather all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for her, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: She and her maidens fasted in like manner. Nehemiah sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and prayed before the God of heaven “we have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.” After ten days of fasting Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah appeared fairer, and they were fatter in flesh, than all the youths that did eat of the king's dainties.

Some took Lent to examine heart and confess sins. Some others observed it as time of spiritual cleansing and renewal. What ever reasons they observed the Lent, and in whatever ways they observed, God showered his blessings unto them finding their Lent was divine and holy.

Let us observe this Lent keeping 3 major points in mind.

1. Fasting - Give up something for God. Fasting is not a means to “earn” something from God, but rather a way to learn to curb your appetites and focus more completely on God.

2. Prayer and Meditation - Read over the Gospel accounts of our Christ, his suffering. Reflect on His suffering, and the tremendous love that it represents. Reflect on your own sin and what it cost Him. Take out some time for prayers of confession and repentance. Do some spiritual “house cleaning.”

3. Giving to the poor - Use the money that you save by not eating to help the poor.

May God bless us! Forgive our sins and give us a heart to love each other, and work for thy kingdom.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 1 - Nineveh Lent

Day 1 of the 3-Day Lent.

"Jonah prayed unto Jehovah his God out of the fish's belly. And he said, I called by reason of mine affliction unto Jehovah, And he answered me; Out of the belly of Sheol cried I, [And] thou heardest my voice. "

Church asks us to analyze and learn the verses from 31 to 41 of Chapter 12, from St. Mathew. There are three major points underlying in these verses

1. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.
2. Manner of spirit they are of.
3. Sign or Miracle to unfaithful?

1. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.
And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.

Manner of spirit they are of.
Men's language discovers what country they are of, likewise what manner of spirit they are of. The heart is the fountain, words are the streams. A troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring, must send forth muddy and unpleasant streams. Nothing but the salt of grace, cast into the spring, will heal the waters, season the speech, and purify the corrupt communication. An evil man has an evil treasure in his heart, and out of it brings forth evil things. Lusts and corruptions, dwelling and reigning in the heart, are an evil treasure, out of which the sinner brings forth bad words and actions, to dishonour God, and hurt others.

3. Sign or Miracle to unfaithful?
Signs were granted to those who desired them to confirm their faith, as Abraham and Gideon; but denied to those who demanded them to excuse their unbelief. The resurrection of Christ from the dead by his own power, called here the sign of the prophet Jonah, was the great proof of Christ's being the Messiah. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale, and then came out again alive, thus Christ would be so long in the grave, and then rise again.

Let us sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving;
Let this Day 1 of this Nineveh Lent a change to us.
May God bless us!

St. Athanasious Paulose - January 26

Church celebrates the memory of Mor Athanasious Paulose on January 26. It is a great blessing for Syrian Orthodox Church in the year 2010, that we got the opportunity to conduct prayers at Our Fathers' resting place this year. After the long 32 years the gates of Thrikunath Seminary opened for us. Many Thanks to our Lord.

St. 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. 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. Valiya Thirumeni is the founder father of many of the spiritual organizations like Sunday School Association, Mor Gregorios Youth Association etc.. Consecrated as Metropolitan for the Angamali diocese in 1910 by Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abded `Aloho (Abdulla II), he became the Malankara Metropolitan of the Jacobite Syrian Church in 1918. After serving the Church in Malankara for more than four decades, he passed away on 25th January 1953 at the age of 84.

Its is a blessing to read and learn more about Our Holy father in this day. Let his Intercessions and prayers be with us.

To read more about him

Fast of Nineveh

Fast of Nineveh, the 3 Day Lent is starting from tomorrow (January 25th). Even the kid in our church knows very well about the reason behind this Lent. It commemorates the three days that Prophet Jonah spent inside the fish. This fast is unique to the Syriac Orthodox Church. It is observed for three days from the tenth Monday before Easter Sunday. Even though this is a three day Lent, it is one of the most rigorous and most stringent lent in Syrian Jacobite Church.

Why Jehovah asked Jonah to go to Nineveh? The wickedness of the people in Nineveh went up before him. Our Lord is a kind one. He never wants his child to be destroyed (Prodigal Son - Luke 15:11-32, Abraham & Lot - Genesis 18:23). We can see so many examples from Bible.

In this Century, will he send some messenger? He want to tell something to us! But We will believe him?

Just for a "Second" imagine the Holy picture of Mother Mary and her Tears at Kattachira Church. Was it trying to convey some message?

After hearing Jonah, the people proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. The king of Nineveh arose from his throne, and laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Rise up from where you are now! Take this lent as the most rigorous one. Let he forgive us and bless us.

Mor Yulius Yacoub - January 24

Church is celebrating Mor Yulius Yacoub's memory on January 24th.
Attaching a brief biography of Our Father.

Mor Yulius Yacoub - January 24

Mor Yulius Yacoub was born as the second son of Madapattu Chacko and Annamma at Pampady, near Kottayam, on December 27, 1912. He completed his school education at Vazhoor St. Peter's school and education for priesthood at Thrikkothamangalam, Muvattupuzha, and Manjinikkara. He was ordained full deacon on May 24, 1942, at the Manarcaud St. Mary's Church and Qasheesho in 1945. He was tonsured monk by Mor Yulius Elias Qoro in 1955 and served as a malphono at the monasteries at Manjinikkara and Malekurishu.

Mor Yulius was consecrated by H.H. Patriarch Mor Ignatius Yacqub III as the delegate of the Patriarch of Antioch to Malankara and the metropolitan of Patriarchal churches at Damascus, Syria on 12 June 1975. His consecration was necessitated by the turbulent events in the Malankara Church leading to the departure of the then delegate metropolitan Mor Timotheos Aphrem Aboodi upon cancellation of his visa by the Indian government leading to an escalation of the faction wars in the church. In the long succession of delegates of the holy throne to Malankara, he became the first native bishop to decorate that position. He was well versed in Syriac and undertook the translation of Syriac texts into Malayalam, the most notable of which is the translation of the Hudoye canon. In recognition of his scholarship, he was decorated with the title Mshablono Tobo by Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I in 1990. Many bishops and priests received their theological education from the malphono, whose memory is cherished by many.

Mor Yulius was called to eternal rest on January 24, 1992, at the age
of 79. His mortal remains are interred in a tomb at the Manjinikkara
Mor Ignatius Dayro, at the entrance to the tomb of the Patriarch St.
Ignatius Elias III.

Source: http://www.manjinik karadayara. org/

Mor Dionysius Mikhayel - January 18

January 18th – Church conducts the memory of Mor Dionysius Mikhayel, Mor Samuel of Karthamen Dayara, Mor Shemavun, 150 Holy Fathers of Ephesos

But I could find only brief biography of Mor Dionysius. Attaching the same below. If anyone knows any details about the other Holy fathers, please send it across.

Mor Dionysius Mikhayel -- January 18th

Mor Dionysius was one of the fearless Metropolitans who lead the Malankara church through a time of great crisis. He was born in 1880 (Edavam 15), as the son of Alummoottil John Upadeshi of Kayankulam. When Mikhayel was 18 years old, while playing in a tennis court, he was summoned by Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, the Malankara Metropolitan, who had arrived at the Kadisha church at Kayankulam and was ordained a deacon on Christmas day. Mikhayel accompanied Mor Dionysius to Kottayam where he continued his education at M.D. Seminary and Old Seminary. He was ordained shamshono by Parumala Mor Gregorius and on Chingam 15, 1910 was ordained priest by Vattasseril Mar Dionysius.

Qasheesho Mikhayel served as member on the Kayamkulam town improvement committee and later in the Sree Moolam Praja Sabha. When schism rent apart the Malankara Syrian Church , Qasheesho Mikhail stood steadfast in his loyalty to the Patriarchate of Antioch parting ways with Vattasseril Mar Dionysius. In September 1927, Qasheesho Mikhayel was ordained Metropolitan Mor Dionysius by Patriarch Elias III. Mor Dionysius led a very simple life, giving away much of his possessions to the poor and needy. Until his death on January 18, 1956, Mor Dionysius was considered a pillar of strength for the church. His mortal remains are interred at Panampady church.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

First Dayaroyuso – St. Anthonios (Januray 17th)

Anthonios born in a rich family at City of Kaman on 251. His parents were firm believers of church. At the age of 20 his father passed away. He has to take the whole responsibility of his father’s wealth and his only sister. One day at church he heard the verses from Holy Bible about the rich man. That verses touched him so deeply. He sold his wealth distributed to poor. He send his only sister to a Monastery and himself went to desert, found a calm place for his prayers. He has to face so many experiments in that time. He overcame everything by the grace of God. He made a tomb for himself, and started to live in that small place. After sometime, he found out a demolished palace and stayed there.

Anthonios led a very strong spiritual life, with Lent and fasting. Hearing about this Saint, many people from neighboring villages came to meet him and got blessings from him. Many sick people got cured. Some of them followed his path, and started living with him. Thus he came to know the “First Dayaroyuso”.

Twice he came out to village from his lonely life. In 313 many people were killed by Maskyamin. Anthonios came to the villagers, made them strong in faith. He also wanted to be a martyr of Christianity. He travelled around the streets, thinking that he will also be killed. But he didn’t. He went to Minister, had an argument with him about the religious cultures and traditions of Christians. But unfortunately with some unknown reasons minister asked him to leave, without having imprisoned. Anthonios left to desert again.

Thousands of people used to gather around him, to hear the blessed words from him. Second time Anthonios left desert and went to village to help Athanasious. It was in 351 when war broke out against Ariyos. The same Athanasious wrote the biography of this saint.

It was in 356 Anthonios passed away. He was 105 years of age. Before his death, he told his assistants to keep his body in a secret tomb which he found in the desert.