St. Geevarghese Mar Gregorios of Parumala, who is the first canonized saint of Malankara Orthodox Church, is the Patron Saint of our Parish. Our Parish celebrates the Feast day or ‘Perunal’ on November Second every year which is the day on which Mar Gregorios was called for heavenly abode. Mar Gregorios Thirumeni intercedes continuously for our Fellowship and its member families before God and fortifies our Parish.
Mar Gregorios was born on June 15, 1848 to Kochu Mathai and Mariam of the priestly family of Chathurithy in Mulanthuruthy, Kerala, India. In the childhood, he was called by the pet name Kochu Iypara. He was baptized in the Mar Thoman Church in Mulanthuruthy and given with the baptismal name as Geevarghese. At the age of two, his mother expired and Kochu Iypara was brought up under the care of his sister Mariam. At the age of five, young Iypara commenced his formal education under 'Onakkavil Ayya', a local Hindu teacher in a traditional village school. Later Iypara studied Theology and Syriac under the discipleship of his uncle Rev. Geevarghese Malpan, Konat Malpan and Patriarchal delegate Yuyakkim Mar Koorilose. In a short while Iypara became an expert in Syriac language.
Iypara was ordained as a deacon at the age of ten on September 14, 1859 by Palakkunnathu, H.G. Mathews Mar Athanasios Metropolitan. When his uncle and tutor Malpan was infected with smallpox, Dn. Geevarghese nursed him on the bedside. On the eight day Malpan died and Dn. Geevargheese was infected with same disease as he was in close contact with the patient. On his sick bed, the deacon had vision of St. Mary consoling him and urging him to dedicate his further life in service of Lord. Thereafter Deacon got cured from smallpox and dedicated his life for ascetic spiritual life as per his vision.
H.G. Joseph Mar Dionysius had ordained Dn. Geevarghese as a priest at the age of 18, in 1865. During that time Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysios Metropolitan had established a preliminary Seminary in Parumala with vision of training the would-be priests and Fr. Geevarghese was put in charge of same. In 1872 Fr. Geevarghese was raised to the order of Ramban. On December 10, 1876, Geevarghese Ramban was consecrated as a Metropolitan by The Patriarch of Antioch H.H. Ignatius Peter IV in the Paravoor Church. Three other Metropolitans were also consecrated on the same occasion and Mar Gregorios was the youngest among them of 28 Years old, and so he was known as ‘Kochu Thirumeni’ or as ‘Parumala Kochu Thirumeni’.
Thirumeni was a man of constant prayer. With his in-depth knowledge of Syriac language, His Grace had translated many liturgies and prayer books from Syriac to Malayalam. He was very compassionate with the poor and Dalit, by which, he initiated and worked extensively for their freedom, education and spiritual growth. Parumala Thirumeni was an advocate for the English Education and he started many English Schools in Malankara. As it was a long cherished desire, Thirumeni visited the Holy Land in 1895. The Holy Land travelogue, Thirumeni had written is a very rich Malayalam literary contribution. Many literary Scholars believe that it is the first travelogue available in Malayalam. After returning from Holy land Mar Gregorios Thirumeni in association with Pulikkottil Mar Dionasius Thirumeni had constructed the Parumala Church and consecrated the Church in the name of St. Peter and St. Paul.
In the midnight on November 2, 1902 Parumala Thirumeni was called for heavenly abode and Thirumeni breathed his last, and was gathered to His people. Parumala Thirumeni was a saint while he was living itself. The Holy Episcopal synod canonized and proclaimed Mar Gregorios as the first Saint of the Orthodox Church in 1947. We remember our Patron Saint, Mar Gregorios Thirumeni in the fifth Diptychs or Great Intercessory Prayer [Thubden] in every Holy Qurbana.
May the prayers of our Patron Saint Mar Gregorios be to us a refuge and stronghold.