ഓര്‍ത്തഡോക്സ് സഭാ യാമപ്രാര്‍ത്ഥനകൾ


ദിവസത്തെ ഏഴ് യാമങ്ങളായി തിരിച്ച് ഓരോ യമങ്ങളിലും നമസ്കരിക്കണമെന്ന് പ.സഭ പഠിപ്പിക്കുന്നു.

സന്ധ്യാ (6.00 PM), സുത്താറാ (9.00 PM), പാതിരാത്രി (12.00 AM), പ്രഭാതം (6.00 AM), മൂന്നാം മണി (9.00 AM), മദ്ധാഹ്നം (ആറാം മണി) (12.00 Noon), ഒന്‍പതാം മണി (3.00 PM) എന്നിവയാണ് ഏഴ് യാമങ്ങള്‍.

ഇവ വേദാനുസൃതമായി നിശ്ചയിക്കപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുള്ളതാണ്. “നിന്റെ നീതിയുള്ള വിധികൾ നിമിത്തം ഞാൻ ദിവസം ഏഴ് പ്രാവശ്യം നിന്നെ സ്തുതിക്കുന്നു”
(സങ്കീര്‍ത്തനം 119:164).

സന്ധ്യാ നമസ്ക്കാരം (6.00 PM)

സെഹിയോന്‍ മാളികയിൽ കര്‍ത്താവ് വി.കുര്‍ബ്ബാന സ്ഥാപിച്ചത് സന്ധ്യയ്ക്കാണ്. പകലിന്റെയും രാത്രിയുടെയും സംഗമ സമയമാണ് സന്ധ്യാ. അന്ധകാര ശക്തികള്‍ ഭുതലത്തിൽ സഞ്ചരിക്കുന്ന സമയമാകയാല്‍ അവയിൽ നിന്നും രക്ഷപ്പെടാനുള്ള പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥനകളാണ് സന്ധ്യയില്‍ ചൊല്ലുന്നത്. മിസ്രയിമില്‍ നിന്ന് യിസ്രായേല്‍ ജനത്തിന്‍ വിടുതൽ ലഭിച്ച സമയവും പെസഹാ സമയവുമാണ് സന്ധ്യാ (പുറ. 12:6). “എന്റെ പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥന തിരുസന്നിധിയിൽ ധൂപമായും എന്റെ കൈകളെ മലര്‍ത്തുന്നത് സന്ധ്യായാഗമായും തീരട്ടേ (സങ്കീ. 141:2).

സുത്താറാ നമസ്ക്കാരം (9.00 PM)

നമ്മുടെ കര്‍ത്താവിന്റെ ഗദ്സമന തോട്ടത്തിലെ പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥനാ സമയത്തെ അനുസ്മരിക്കന്നു (മര്‍ക്കൊ.14:32-40). ഉറക്കത്തില്‍ സാത്താനിൽ നിന്ന് സംരക്ഷണം ലഭിക്കുന്നതിനുള്ള പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥനയാണിത്. ഉറക്കം, മരണം പോലെയായതിനാല്‍ മരണ -ചിന്താ സമയും കൂടിയാണിത്.

പാതിരാത്രി നമസ്ക്കാരം (12.00 AM)

നമ്മുടെ കര്‍ത്താവിന്റെ ജനനവും പുനരുത്ഥാനവും നടന്ന സമയം. കരുണയുടെ വാതില്‍ മുട്ടുവാന്‍ പറ്റിയ ശാന്ത സമയം. “അര്‍ദ്ധരാത്രിയ്ക്ക് പൗലോസും ശീലാസും പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിച്ചു ദൈവത്തെ പാടി സ്തുതിച്ചു” (അ.പ്ര. 16.:25).

പ്രഭാതം നമസ്ക്കാരം (6.00 AM)

ദൈവം നമ്മുക്കുവേണ്ടി പ്രകാശവും, പുതിയൊരു ദിവസവും നല്‍കിയതിനെ ഓര്‍ത്തു ദൈവത്തെ സ്തുതിക്കുന്നു. പുതിയ ദിവസത്തിലേയ്ക്കു പ്രവേശിക്കുന്നതിന്‍ മുന്‍പ് എല്ലാവിധമായ അനുഗ്രഹങ്ങള്‍ക്കും വേണ്ടി പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിക്കുന്നു. “ഞാന്‍ ഉദയത്തിനു മുന്‍പേ എഴുന്നേറ്റു പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിക്കന്നു (സങ്കീ. 119:147), “രാവിലെ എന്റെ പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥന തിരുസന്നിധിയില്‍ വരുന്നു” (സങ്കീ. 88:13), “യഹോവേ, രാവിലെ എന്റെ പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥന കേള്‍ക്കേണമേ.
രാവിലെ ഞാന്‍ നിനക്കായി ഒരുക്കി കാത്തിരിക്കുന്നു”
(സങ്കീ. 5:3).

മൂന്നാം മണി നമസ്ക്കാരം (9.00 AM)

നമ്മുടെ കര്‍ത്താവിനെ പീലാത്തോസിന്റെ മുമ്പാകെ വിസ്തരിച്ച സമയം. പൊന്തിക്കോസ്തി നാളില്‍ ശ്ലീഹന്മാരിൽ പരിശുദ്ധാത്മാവ് ഇറങ്ങിയത് മൂന്നാം മണി നേരത്താണ് (അ.പ്ര. 2:15).

മദ്ധ്യാഹ്നം നമസ്ക്കാരം (ആറാം മണി നമസ്ക്കാരം) (12.00 Noon)

നമ്മുടെ കര്‍ത്താവിന്റെ ക്രൂശാരോഹണ സമയം (ലൂക്കൊ 23:24). “പത്രോസ് ആറാം മണി നേരത്ത് പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിപ്പാന്‍ വെണ്മാടത്തില്‍ കയറി” (അ.പ്ര. 10:9).

ഒന്‍പതാം മണി നമസ്ക്കാരം (3.00 PM)

നമ്മുടെ കര്‍ത്താവ് കുരിശിൽ മരിക്കുകയും, മരിച്ചവർ
ഉയിർത്തെഴുന്നേല്‍ക്കുകയും ചെയ്ത സമയം. നാം മരിച്ചവര്‍ക്കുവേണ്ടി പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിക്കേണ്ട സമയം കൂടിയാണിത്”.

Courtesy : Facebook Share

മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്തമാർ

ബസേലിയോസ്‌ മാർത്തോമാ പൗലോസ് ദ്വിതീയൻ
തോമസ് മാർ അത്താനാസിയോസ് (ചെങ്ങന്നൂർ)
ഗീവർഗീസ് മാർ കൂറിലോസ്
കുറിയാക്കോസ് മാർ ക്ലിമ്മീസ്
സക്കറിയ മാർ അന്തോണിയോസ് (കൊല്ലം)
മാത്യൂസ് മാർ സേവേറിയോസ്
യാക്കൂബ് മാർ ഐറേനിയോസ്
യൂഹാനോൻ മാർ മിലിത്തിയോസ്
തോമസ് മാർ അത്താനാസിയോസ് (മൂവാറ്റുപുഴ)
സക്കറിയ മാർ നിക്കോളോവോസ്
ഗബ്രിയേൽ മാർ ഗ്രിഗോറിയോസ്
സക്കറിയ മാർ തേയോഫിലോസ്
യൂഹാനോൻ മാർ ക്രിസോസ്തമോസ്
യൂഹാനോൻ മാർ പോളിക്കാർപ്പോസ്
മാത്യൂസ് മാർ തിയോഡോഷ്യസ്
ജോസഫ് മാർ ദീവന്നാസ്യോസ്
എബ്രഹാം മാർ എപ്പിഫാനിയോസ്
മാത്യൂസ് മാർ തിമോത്തിയോസ്
അലക്സിയോസ് മാർ യൂസേബിയോസ്
യൂഹാനോൻ മാർ ദിയസ്കോറസ്
യൂഹാനോൻ മാർ ദിമിത്രിയോസ്
യൂഹാനാൻ മാർ തിയഡോറസ്
യാക്കോബ് മാർ ഏലിയാസ്
ജോഷ്വാ മാർ നിക്കോദിമോസ്
സക്കറിയാസ് മാർ അപ്രേം
ഗീവർഗീസ് മാർ യൂലിയോസ്
ഏബ്രഹാം മാർ സെറാഫിം

ഭദ്രാസനങ്ങൾ

  1. തിരുവനന്തപുരം
  2. കൊല്ലം
  3. തുമ്പമൺ
  4. ചെങ്ങന്നൂർ
  5. നിരണം
  6. മാവേലിക്കര
  7. കോട്ടയം
  8. കോട്ടയം-സെൻട്രൽ
  9. ഇടുക്കി
  10. കണ്ടനാട്-ഈസ്റ്റ്
  11. കണ്ടനാട്-വെസ്റ്റ്
  12. കൊച്ചി
  13. അങ്കമാലി-ഈസ്റ്റ്
  14. അങ്കമാലി-വെസ്റ്റ്
  15. തൃശ്ശൂർ
  16. കുന്നംകുളം
  17. സുൽത്താൻ ബത്തേരി
  18. മലബാർ
  19. ബാംഗ്ലൂർ
  20. ചെന്നൈ
  21. മുംബൈ
  22. ഡൽഹി
  23. ബ്രഹ്മവാർ
  24. കൽക്കട്ട
  25. യു.കെ-യൂറോപ്പ്
  26. നോർത്ത്-ഈസ്റ്റ് അമേരിക്ക
  27. സൗത്ത്-വെസ്റ്റ്അമേരിക്ക
  28. അടൂർ – കടമ്പനാട്
  29. പുനലൂർ – കൊട്ടാരക്കര
  30. നിലയ്ക്കൽ

His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I

His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I (5th Catholicos of the East in Malankara)

 

 

  His Holiness was born on 27th, March 1907 as the youngest son of Vattakunnel Kurien Kathanar and Olesha Pulickaparampil Mariamma in Kottayam. He took his B.A and B.D. degrees. Even as a layman he had achieved the unique distinction in studies and also in the Canonical Laws; he was selected as a member of the Managing committee in 1944. He received the order of “Musmrono” on 18 August 1945 at the Old Seminary and on 19 August at Mar Elia Chapel he became a full deacon. On 27 October 1946 he was ordained as priest by His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II, Catholicos of the East. Later, on 21 September 1951, he was elevated to the rank of Ramban (Monk). His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II consecrated him as Episcopa under the name Mahews Mar Athanasios. He was further elevated to the office of Metropolitan on 12 July 1959.

In 1960, he became Head of outside Kerala Diocese of the Malankara church.  He was unanimously elected as the Supreme Head of the church and successor to the Catholicate of the East/Malankara Metropolitan by the Malankara Association, which met on 31 December 1970 at M.D.Seminary, Kottayam. On 24 September 1975, he became Malankara Metropolitan.

On 27 October 1975, at the Old Seminary, he was installed as Catholicos of the East with the title His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I. He executed many administrative innovations and helped to strengthen the sovereignty of the Malankara Orthodox Church and its right to have its own sovereign Head. He was able to project the name and fame of the church on an international level. On 27 April 1991, due to failing health he relinquished his office.

On 8 November 1996 he passed away, and was laid to rest in Devalokam Aramana.Â

Anniversary: 8 November

Catholicate – Introduction

The Catholicate of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church

Introduction

Catholicos (plural Catholicoi) is a title used by the Patriarch (head/regional head bishop) of the Eastern churches. The word is a transliteration of the Greek, meaning concerning the whole, universal or general.

Origin of the title

The title rose sometime after the establishment of the three ancient Patriarchs (of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch). It first seems to have been applied to the churches east of the Roman Empire in the Persian Empire, where it is believed to be in the succession of Apostle Thomas. According to Bar Hebraeus Apostle Thomas is the first in the succession in the East. However the historical evidences point to the fact that the office of the Catholicos of the East was founded in the early 5th century (410) when the Persian Church declared its autonomy. Thus the Catholicos of the East became the head of the Persian church.

In the ministry of the early church there were only three ranks namely; Episcopos (Bishop), Priest and Deacon. By the end of the third century or by the beginning of the fourth century certain bishops of certain important cities or provincial capitals in the Roman empire gained pre- eminence than other bishops and they came to be known as Metropolitans. The Ecumenical councils of the fourth century recognized the authority of these Metropolitans.

By the fifth century the Bishops in major cities like Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch etc. gained control over the churches in the surrounding cities. Gradually they became the heads of each independent regional church and were called Patriarch which means common father

The same rank in the Churches outside the Roman Empire was called Catholicos. There were three ancient Catholicates in the Church before the fifth century. They were the Catholicate of the East (Persia), the Catholicate of Armenia and the Catholicate of Georgia. None of these ranks and titles are the monopoly of any church. Any Apostolic and national church has the authority to declare and call its head, Catholicose, Pope, or Patriarch.The area of influence of a catholicos is a catholicate.

Some of the Catholicates are as follows:

  • Catholicates of the Armenian Apostolic Church
  • Catholicates of the Holy Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East
  • Catholicates of Georgian, and Albanian Orthodox Churches
  • Catholicate of the Orthodox Churches of the East

Catholicate of the Orthodox Churches of the East:

The historic office of the canonical Orthodox Catholicate of the East within the Oriental Orthodox Church came to be later known as Maphryono (Anglicized as Maphrian; meaning Fructifier) in Syriac following the split within Eastern Church due to Nestorian schism. Historically, the Maphryono ranks second in hierarchy of the Syrian Orthodox Church after the Patriarch of Antioch. At least seven of the Maphryonos have later been elevated as the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. This historic office of ‘Maphryono’ came to an end in a council of all the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitans presided over by the then Patriarch of Antioch in 1861. In 1912 when a dispute erupted in the Indian church, one section of the Church in India declared the revival of this office and thus starts the new history of the Catholicate in India. Thus begins the history of two Orthodox Churches in India with one faction remaining in unity with the ancient Syrian Church of Antioch while the other faction declaring as autocephalous Church. From 1964 there is a brief era of unity between both factions but a decade later the two factions again

His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese I

His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese I (2nd Catholicos of the East in Malankara)

His Holiness was born in 1870 as the second son of Karuchira Paulose. He was ordained as ‘Koruya’ on 13 June 1885, as deacon in 1892, on 16 August 1896 as priest and on 23 August as Ramban(Monk) by Metropolitan Kadavil Paulose Mar Athanasios. He served as Manager in Thrikunnath Seminary, Aluva from 1908 to 1910. On February 1913, he was consecrated as Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Philexinos. He was the Metropolitan of Kottayam and Angamaly diocese. He made Vallikattu Dayara his administrative headquarters.

 On 30 April 1925 at Niranam, the Holy Synod installed him as the Catholicos of the East. Through prayer and fasting he achieved spiritual strength, which helped him to guide the Malankara Church into green pastures. He passed away on 17 December 1928 at Neyyoor Hospital. He was laid to rest on the northern side of Vallikattu Dayara. His death anniversary is on 17th December.

Apostle Of India

Saint Thomas – The Apostle of Jesus Christ

Saint Thomas was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Thomas in Hebrew means “The Twin”. So he was also known as “Didymus” which meant ‘The Twin’ in Greek.St.Thomas is also called Judas Thomas or Jude Thomas.


The Synoptic Gospels and Acts list this “twin” (Te’oma means twin in Aramaic, as does Didymus in Greek) among the apostles (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15).

St. Thomas is not only the patron saint of India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Pakistan, architects, builders, carpenters, stone-masons, surveyors, geometricians, theologians, blind people and people in doubt.

St.Thomas in the Gospel of John

St. Thomas appears in a few passages in the Gospel of John. In John 11:16, when Lazarus has just died, the disciples are resisting Jesus’ decision to return to Judea, where the Jews had previously tried to stone Jesus. Jesus is determined, and Thomas says bravely: “Let us also go, that we might die with him”.

Here is the sincere versus of a bold man who was determined to follow Jesus. That same commitment brought him from Judea to various places in India and to be a martyr for the millions of Indian sub-continent.

“My Lord and my God!” St. John 20:24-29

In Thomas’ best known appearance in the New Testament, John 20:24-29, he doubts the resurrection of Jesus and demands to touch Jesus’ wounds before being convinced. This story is the origin of the term Doubting Thomas. After seeing Jesus alive (the Bible never states whether Thomas actually touched Christ’s wounds), Thomas professed his faith in Jesus, exclaiming “My Lord and my God!”; on this account he is also called Thomas the Believer.

He also speaks at The Last Supper in John 14:5. Jesus assures his disciples that they know where he is going, but Thomas protests that they don’t know at all. Jesus replies to this and to Philip’s requests with a detailed exposition of his relationship to God the Father. When Jesus revealed that he is going to leave them, St. Thomas came out with his doubt “Lord, we do not know where Thou art going; how are we know the way there?” and Jesus answered lovingly for the whole mankind: “I am the way; I am the truth and Life; nobody can come to the Father except through me. Generations to come will be indebted to the doubting St. Thomas for this illuminating glance into the eternal life.

 

Arrival of St.Thomas in India


According to local traditions found amongst Saint Thomas Christians, Apostle Thomas arrived in the Kerala state of India (Kodungallur) in 52 AD. It is interesting to note that Malikayal’ speaks of St. Thoma’s arrival by sea to the port of ‘Maliankara’ (Kodungallur). The commercial history of the times lends support to this assumption. He must have either sailed from Kalyan in north India or from the island of ‘Socotra’. He established the following 7 churches and a Christian community in Malayattor as it is narrated in “St. Thomas parvam” by ‘Rabban.

It is the hoary and unquestioned tradition in Malabar, which is corroborated by the customs of the place and by the ethnological research, that the Apostle was signally successful in the conversion of the high cast ‘Nambuthiri Brahmins’. Four of the leading Brahmin families are believed to been raised to the privilege of the priesthood. They are:

a) Palamattam (Pakalomattam)
b) Sankarapuri
c) Kalli &
d) Kalliankavu.

Some of them still exist in ‘Koravilangad’ a place near Kottayam in Kerala. The head of the Malabar Church – the Archdeacon – had to be selected from Pakalomattam.  There is a strong belief throughout Malabar that St. Thomas founded 7 Churches or group of Christians in the following places and the imprints and tradition proves it true.

Early Migration of Christians from Palayur to Travancore

In the history of Kerala, having put a stamp that will not fade, Brahmin families like Kalli, Kalikavu, Pagalomattom, and Shankarapuri where among the families who received Baptism in Palayoor. The families of Shankarapuri and Pagalomattom were given Priestly Status by St. Thomas.

In the 2nd Century AD all the four Family migrated from Palayoor via Angamali, Kadathuruthi to Ettmanoor. The Devasom of Ettmanoor did not allow them to stay there and sent them to a place 5 Km. away which was the Forest of the Goddess Kali. In those days the Forest of goddess Kali was believed to be full of Witches and Devils and people, were scared to stay in such places. The people who came from Palayoor stayed there without any fear not knowing about these facts. To prove this there are documents. The entire house names, house numbers, survey numbers are there in the Government Records. Survey 460/5, 460/6, 519/8 belonged to these Families. During those days there was no place for worship or Burial and the families worshipped at home and used their own property to bury the dead. Where these 4 families stayed they established a Chapel. There still exists 5 Graves near the famous Forest of Kali (Kalikavu) Grotto. It is believed that these are the graves of 5 important members of these families. This cemetery was just next to the Shakutirikal Family. Right now it is in the procession of Claratu Bhavan Seminary.

The Koravelangattu Church: It is believed that the above said 4 families and the Kadapoor family, which came from Palayoor, joined together and established the Koravelangattu Church. The Kalli and the Pagalomattom Families stayed on the Northern side of the church and the Shankarapuri, Kalikavu and the Kadapoor families stayed on the Southern side of the Church. So it came to be that Shankarapuri Family got the house name Thekkedethu meaning Southern Side, and Pagalomattom Family got the house name Vadakaedethu meaning Northern Side. There were a lot of priests in these families for many generations.

In South India

Apostle St. Thomas reached ‘Muziri in AD 51-52 from the northern part of Indian peninsula visiting many inland-countries and sharing the Gospel in many places as you see the imprints. Perhaps, one reason of selecting the southern coast was flourishing Jewish settlements in along the coast in Kodungallur, Cochin, madras etc., which date back to the Jewish Diaspora or even back to King Solomon’s trading centres. Another reason was the flourishing Roman trade links.

“The Apostle St. Thomas landed at Maliankara (i.e Cranganore) with Habban, the merchant. He (St. Thomas) worked great miracles and in eight months established in that town, the Church of Jesus Christ. Then he went to Mailepuram (Mylapore – Madras) where he preached the Gospel of the Lord for four months and a half and embarked for China. He remained in China for four and a half months and returned to Mailepuram. After he had been there for a month a so, the son – in- law of the King of ‘Tiruvanchikulam’ come to him and besought him to return to Malabar. They embarked on a ship and come to Maliankara (Kodungallore), where, in less than six months, the Apostle converted the King and his family, 40 Jews and 400 heathens.

A 17th Centuary drawing of St.Thomas going with Abbanes found in Denmark

It is interesting to note that Malikayal’ speaks of St. Thomas arrival by sea. The commercial history of the times lends support to this assumption. He must have either sailed from Kalyan in north India or from the island of ‘Socotra’. St. Francis Xavier, who landed at Socotra on his way to India about AD 1545, declared that the natives of these islands render special honours to the apostle St. Thomas, claiming they to be the descendents of Christians begotten to Jesus Christ through that Apostle in these countries.

Ka. Naa Subrahmanyam quotes D’Orsay, who consolidating all the available records states that, after forming, on the west coast, several congregations out of Jews and Dravidi people, “Apostle St. Thomas reached Meliapore (Mylapore-Madras). The fame of his miracles had preceded him. The Raja (King Mahadevan) received baptism and a part of his subjects embraced the Gospel. This excited the hatred and jealousy of the Brahmins (The super class people & Priests)and Apostle St. Thomas was pierced with a lance.”

T.N Gopal in the Vivekananda Prakashan commenting on this record, states “the legend also has it that he suffered a cruel dreath at the hands of the irate Brahmins. In so far as it points to the hostility that St. Thomas should have provoked among the guardians of Hinduism, the legend has validity.

He was preaching to the people Church surmounted by a cross and ordained priests. One of the first that he ordained was the Son – in – law of the King. King was named Andrew and the Son – in – law, Peter. Accompanied by Peter, the Apostle went to Quilon (Kollam) where he planted a cross and baptized 2400 heathens. From Quilon, he went to the mountain place, Chayal’ remained there a whole year as he had done at Quilon and baptized 2,800 heathens and planted a cross. At the request of the two chiefs of ‘Triepalesuaram’ he returned to that village. But seeing that the people had desecrated the cross he had erected there, he cursed the village (which at the present – day is a heap of ruins) Nevertheless, he remained there for two months. He again erected the cross and instructed the people so that they might not return to heathenism and ordained priest St. Thomas, one of the chiefs who had always remained strong in his faith. During this two months that he remained at ‘Triepalesuaram’, he confirmed in their faith all the Christians and converted 200 pagans. Not far from there, to the south, he built the Church of ‘Niranam’ and ordained priests, his first disciple St. Thomas Maliyakel who has a native of the place. He then repaired to ‘Kokkamangalam’, where he dwelt one year and converted 1500 heathens erected a cross and taught the people how to honour God. He visited again Kottakavu – Paraur, remaining there nearly a year and converted 2,200 people.

There he went by the southern road to Maliankara and was pleased to see the flourishing state of that Christian community. He stayed there only two weeks and started for the north, proceeding to ‘Palayur’ where in one month he baptized 1,280 pagans, and according to his habit, erected a great cross. Towards the end of the year, 59 (AD 59) he returned to Maliepuram (Mylapore).

He came back to Malabar and the Angels protected him during the journey. He remained two months in ‘Maleattur’ and converted 220 pagons. He stayed a whole year at ‘Niranam’ and was satisfied with the faith of the people there and with the exemplary life they led, and gave Confirmation to all those that had not yet received sacrament. He proceeded to ‘Chayal’ taking with him his disciple, St. Thomas Rabban Malikayal. During the year he stayed there, he built a Church and ordained priests and conferred the holy sacrament of Confirmation on all who had not yet received it. After that he took leave of the Christians and told them that they would never see him again.

And he started for the country of Tamils. St. Thomas Rabban and Peter, the son-in-law of the King, accompanied him for seven miles and a half and took leave of him.

Proof of his Arrival

Historians today believe that St. Thomas planted the seed of the gospel on Indian soil. This is the general trend of their thinking: During Apostolic times there were well frequented trade routes, by land and / or water, connecting North-West India (today Pakistan), the West Coast and the East Coast, with North Africa and West Asia. Thus Alexandria, Aden, Socotra, Ormuz, Ctesiphon, Caesarea, Taxila, Broach, Kodungallur (Muziris) and even Rome were inter-linked.

The witnesses of different authors belonging to different places, Churches, cultures, centuries and races ( and often speaking different languages) supporting the Apostle’s Indian mission provide an almost unassailable bulwark of evidence, along with the South Indian tradition that is woven into a myriad details of folklore, placenames, family traditions, social customs, monuments, copper plates, ancient songs, liturgical texts etc..

The following are some of the early references to the Indian sojourn of St. Thomas in foreign sources: (All these testimonies are of a date prior to the commencement of the Malayalam or Kollam era, i.e. A. D. 825. Many of these belong to centuries immediately following the first Ecumenical Council of 325.)

One of the earliest works to refer to St. Thomas as the Apostle who evangelized the India of today is the Syriac work entitled ‘The Doctrine of the Apostles’, which according to critics, date from the second century A.D .Here are the Passages:

1. ‘The Doctrine of the Apostles’

‘After death of the Apostles, there were Guides and Rulers in the Churches; and whatever the Apostles communicated to them, and they had received from them, they taught to the multitudes. They, again, at their deaths also committed and delivered to their disciples after them everything which they had received from the Apostles; also what James had written from Jerusalem and Simon from the City of Rome, and John from Ephesus and Mark from the great Alexandria, and Andrew from Phrygia and Luke from Macedonia and Judas St. Thomas from India, that the epistles of an Apostle might be received and read in the Churches in every place, like those Triumphs of their Acts which Luke wrote, are read, that by this the Apostles might he known…’

‘India and all its own countries and those bordering on it, even to the farthest sea, received the Apostles’ Hand of Priesthood from Judas St. Thomas, who was Guide and Ruler in the Church which he built there and ministered there.’

2. The Acts of Judas St. Thomas, Century: 2nd/3rd (c. 180-230), Church represented: Syrian

One of the source books for the life and mission of St. Thomas the Apostle is the work called: ‘The Acts of St. Thomas’ which dates probably from early 3rd Century.

It is understood to be an apocryphal work; but serious scholars seem to favour the historical foundation for the main statements made in the work, as for example, the travel of the Apostle to the Indus Valley, reference to names which sound similar to historical potentates of Northern India, e.g., Gondophares

It is known that apocryphal, legendary writings take their origin around certain historical events, which in the course of the development of the work get mixed-up and even lost to some extent amid the highly exaggerated, even fantastic details, stories and narrative embellishments. Even if we set aside these details, we may still consider the main outlines of the work. We may for instance, consider the following extracts from these Acts:

(a) ‘When the Apostles had been for a time in Jerusalem, they divided the countries among them in order that each one might preach in the region which fell to him; and India fell to the lot of Judas St. Thomas.’ What may be considered here is not so much the fact of the lots being cast as the fact of India being mentioned.

(b) The Acts say that St. Thomas was not willing to accept the same decision and said: ‘I am a Hebrew; how can I teach the Indians?’ It is perhaps quite unlikely that an Apostle would have refused to go on his mission as soon as it became known to him. For our purpose that is not what we should worry about. What is to be noted is rather the fact that ‘Indians’ are mentioned in the narrative. We may say the same with regard to what follows in the Acts narrative. The Apostle says stubbornly: ‘Whithersoever Thou wilt, O Lord, send me: only to India I will not go…’

3. St. Jerome (342- 420)


“He (Christ) dwelt in all places: with St. Thomas in India, Peter at Rome, with Paul in      Illyricum.”

4. St. Gaudentius ( Bishop of Brescia, before 427)

“John at Sebastena, St. Thomas among the Indians, Andrew and Luke at the city of Patras are found to have closed their careers.”

5. St. Paulinus of Nola (d. 431)

“Parthia receives Mathew, India St. Thomas, Libya Thaddeus, and Phrygia Philip”.

6. St. Gregory of Tours (d. 594)

More about St.Gregory’s testimony see ch. IV. St. Thomas the Apostle, according to the narrative of his martyrdom is stated to have suffered in India. His holy remains (corpus), after a long interval of time, were removed to the city of Edessa in Syria and there interred. In that part of India where they first rested, stand a monastery and a church of striking dimensions, elaborately adorned and designed. This Theodore, who had been to the place, narrated to us.

7. St. Isidore of Seville in Spain (d. c. 630)

“This St. Thomas preached the Gospel of Christ to the Parthians, the Medes, the Persians, the Hyrcanians and the Bactrians, and to the Indians of the Oriental region and penetrating the innermost regions and sealing his preaching by his passion he died transfixed with a lance at Calamina…a city of India, and there was buried with honour”.

8. St. Bede the Venerable (c. 673-735)

“Peter receives Rome, Andrew Achaia; James Spain; St. Thomas India; John Asia….

In addition to these there are many breviaries, martyrologies, other liturgical books and calendars of the Syrian, Alexandrian/ Greek, Latin and other Churches belonging to a period before the commencement of the Quilon era, which bears ample testimony to St. Thomas’ Indian Apostolate.

India at that Time

In the viewpoint of broader understanding the land INDIA can be introduced as follows:

“It is certainly not as small as the present political INDIA. As per the ancient historians and travelers, India is the farthest part of the inhibited world towards the east.

Political and Commercial context

From the time of invasion of Alexander the Great in 326 BC crossing the Indus river, India became more open to the countries of the west. He conquered King Poros (the kning of present Punjab) historically and broke the great barrier, the empire of Persia which had separated people of western countries including Greece from India and opened a channel for direct communicatuion. Eminenet scholars of those times; Ptolemy, Aristobolus etc’. and others gives reference to it.

After the death of Alexander, the great Indian king Chandraguptha Mourya liberated Punjab from greek domination by a friendly alliance with the Seleukos Nicator. Owing to this better atmosphere, many Greek merchants and others were attracted to Indian subcontinent. They and their successors exchanged ambassadors and many other western kingdoms followed it such as Egyptian Ptolomies. Many of them like ‘Megasthenes’ wrote books and defined boundaries of Indian subcontinent in it.

Communication between the western world and India became less frequent preceded to the Christian era due to the rise of new Parathian Empire. It was for a short period and Roman empire rised and started developing trade and commerce with the precious goods of east. Again Parathian Empire raised in between and a toll was levied for trade to Rome. This forced Romans to find a sea route to the east – especially to India. This created a problem with the Arabs as they were loosing the importance. After a lot of conflicts and problems, the incidents favoured Roman ambition to set sail for India. Hence about 0005 AD., Strabo could write : I found that about 120 ships sail from ‘Mycos-Hormos’ to India.’

The Indian Kings like ‘Pandyan’ of Madurai have opened embassies in Rome and the trade was immense as the western world was a good market for Indian goods. India was in a flourishing stage during that period.

This should be the reason St. Thomas selected India as his mission field which was well known to Palastinians and there was all means of communication which was prevailing at that time.

The historic proofs of St. Thomas mission in India are many. Taking into account traditional evidence available in India and abroad. It may may be said that the Apostle was approximately 17 years in India. Viz.. about 4 years in Sindh, 6 years years at most in Malabar, and 7 years at Mailepuram or Mailapore. Crosses carved on stone, some of which are attributed to St. Thomas by unbroken tradition, have not been lost to posterity.
Government of India bringing out two stamps in commemoration of the Indian apostolate of  St. Thomas, one in 1964 and another in 1973, and the Holy See proclaiming St. Thomas The Apostle of India and in Cardinal Tisserant bringing his bones to India and Kerala in the year 1963.

Historians today believe that St. Thomas planted the seed of the gospel on Indian soil. This is the general trend of their thinking: During Apostolic times there were well frequented trade routes, by land and / or water, connecting North-West India (today Pakistan), the West Coast and the East Coast, with North Africa and West Asia.

Thus Alexandria, Aden, Socotra, Ormuz, Ctesiphon, Caesarea, Taxila, Broach, Kodungallur (Muziris) and even Rome were inter-linked. The witnesses of different authors belonging to different places, Churches, cultures, centuries and races ( and often speaking different languages) supporting the Apostle’s Indian mission provide an almost unassailable bulwark of evidence, along with the South Indian tradition that is woven into a myriad details of folklore, place names, family traditions, social customs, monuments, copper plates, ancient songs, liturgical texts etc..

King Gondophares

The apocrypha book “Acts of St. Thomas’ mentions about his connection with the Indian King. Till the middle of the 19th century even the existence of such a king was legendary. How ever, a large number of coins were discovered in Kabul, Kandahar, and in the western and southern Punjab, bear the name ‘Gondophares’.

Ruins of Taxila, Pakistan, where the apostle St. Thomas is said to have begun his missionary work in India. A yearly festival commemorating the coming of St. Thomas attracts up to 60,000 people.

To go in detail,

A 2nd century AD work in Syriac, many poems by Ephraem (3rd/4th century), many folksongs in South India, a historical narrative committed to writing some five hundred years ago in Kerala, timehonoured traditions prevalent in many parts of India speak of the arrival, travels, and activities of a visitor from around Alexandria in India in the First Century A D. The crediblity of this ‘St. Thomas legend,’ as described in Kerala-Mylapore tradition, in the Song of St. Thomas Rambhan, in the Margam Kali songs etc., and in the Acts of Judas St. Thomas has been vehemently questioned and denied by the vast majority of western scholars during the major part of the 19th century. It has been said and with quite some truth that this vehemence was at least partially due to the fact that many westerners refused to believe that their own present religion, though originally from the East, had arrived in another country, that too a ‘pagan’ and ‘idolatrous’ country like India many centuries before it had come to their own motherlands in Europe. Whatever the truth of this one thing is certain: these western scholars left no stone unturned in their attemps to disprove the Indian ‘legend’ about the travels of the Alexandrian visitor St. Thomas.

Among the strongest arguments used were

1] that there is no king of the name Gondaphares (as mentioned in the 2nd C. Acts) in Indian history, none of his coins had ever been discovered, no geneology of Indian kings mentions such a name etc. and

2] it is not possible to associate the specific places, routes etc. mentioned in the Acts, traditions, songs, and narratives with first century contacts with the west. These are the only two objections we are dealing with here and analysing in the light of numismatics developments in the subcontinent.

A most dramatic discovery in the field of numismatics in India effected a magical change in the understanding of this whole story.

This was as a result of the excavations made both to the east and west of the river Indus. Long before any coins or inscriptions of Gondaphares had been discovered, the name of the king was familiar to the western world in connexion with the visit of St. Thomas in India. In the several texts of these apocryphal books the king’s name appears variously as Gudnaphar, Gundafor, Gundaphorus, and Goundaphorus. His brother Gad’s name also is mentioned there. Yet those names were totally unknown to history until large numbers of coins of this King were discovered. On his coins it appears , in Karoshti, as Guduphara or, occasionally, Godapharna; in Greek, as Undopheros, Undopherros or Gondopherros, which apparently represent local pronunciations of the Persian Vindapharna ‘The Winner of Glory’.

The coins from Taxila with the seal and inscription of King Gudophorus as
“Maharaja – rajarajasamahata -dramia -devavrata Gundapharase”

The Greek rulers of the Punjab were ultimately overcome by the Saka tribes of central Asia…They established principalities at Mathura, Taxila, and elsewhere. We are here concerned with one of these Persian Princes, known to the Greeks as Gondopharnes, who was in 50 A.D. succeeded by Pacores. His kingdom comprised Taxila, Sistan, Sind, Southern and Western Punjab, the NWFP, Southern Afghanistan, and probably part of the Parthian dominions west of Sistan. Hence he could be considered both as an Indian king and as a Parthian.

Dr. Fleet. One of the scholars concludes:

‘There is an actual basis for the tradition in historical reality’ and St. Thomas did visit the courts of two Kings reighning there, of whom one was Gundupphara – the Gondophares of the Takht – i – Bhai inscriptions and the coins – who was evidently the ruler of ‘an extensive territory which included as a part of it much more of India than simply a portion of the Peshawar District’

 

Dioceses and Offices

DIOCESES

1

Thiruvananthapuram 

Phone: 0471 -2442509/2552509   

Orthodox Church Centre
Ulloor, Medical College P. 0.
Thiruvananthapuram 695 011

2

Kollam

Phone: 0474-2743535/2746900

Bishop’s House
Cross Junction
Kollam 691 001

3

Thumpamon  

Phone: 0468-2222243/2325942

St. Basil Aramana
Pathanamthitta 689645

4

Chengannur 

Phone: 0479-2451331 /2453310

Bethel Aramana
Chengannur 689121

5

Niranam  

Phone: 0469-2701357 / 2603357

Bethany Aramana
 Thiruvalla 689 101 

6

Kottayam 

  Phone: 0481-2564329 

Kuriakose Mar Gregorios Centre
M. D. Seminary
Kottayam 686 001

7

Kottayam Central 

Phone: 0481-2578234  

Catholicate Aramana
Devalokam,
Kottayam 686 038

8

Idukki

Phone: 0481-2578234  

Gethsemon Aramana
Chakkupallom,
Kumily 686 509

9

Kandanad  East

Phone: 0485-2833401 

Bishop’s House, Catheral Road,

Kerala – 686 661

10

Kandanad West

Phone: 0484-2760286/2763025

Mar Pachomius Mount, Meempara,

Kerala – 682 308

11

Ankamali 

Phone: 0484- 624339 

Ankamaly West
Thrikunnathu Seminary
P. B. 61, Aluva 683 101

Ankamaly East
Mar Basil Aramana
Kothamangalam PO, Ernakulam

12

Kochi

 Phone: 0480- 2732023 / 2734818        

Zion Seminary
Koratty East, Chalakudy 680 308

13

Kunnamkulam   

Phone: 0488- 523001

Bishop’s House
Arthat,
Kunnamkulam 680 521

14

Malabar 

Phone: 0495- 2 287278

 Mount Hermon Aramana
R. E. C- P. 0., Kozhikode 673 601 

15

Sultan Battery  

Phone: 0493- 620969  

Nirmalagiri
Poomala, S. Battery 673 592

16


Chennai


Phone: 044- 5571897

56 Surapet Main Road
Vinayaka Nagar,
Chennai 600 099

17

 Mumbai

Phone: 022- 7663427 

Orthodox Church Centre
Sector 10-A, Vashi
Juhu Nagar
New Mumbai 400 763

18

Calcutta

Phone: 0788- 356309

St. Thomas Asram
P. B. 24, Kailash Nagar
Bhilai, Durg (M. P) 490 001

19

Delhi

Phone: 011-6986417

Delhi Orthodox Church Centre
Institutional Area, Thuglaqabad
New Delhi 110 062
 

20

North Eastern America

Phone: 718- 470- 9844

Phone: 716- 886- 1207

Indian Orthodox Church Centre
80-34     Common wealth BLVD
Bellrose, New York 11426

Episcopal Diocesan House
1114 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14209

21

Europe & Africa

22

Mavelikara

Phone:
0479 2309900 / 3295588

M.S.Seminary,
Thazhakkara P.O,
Mavelikkara

23

Thrissur

Phone: 0487 2371039

Fax: 0487 23741748

Gethsemon, Mannuthy, Thrissur,

India – 680 651

 24

South West America

25

Bangalore

26

Ahmedabad

Pilgrim Centers

IMPORTANT PILGRIM CENTRES

1.THE CATHOLICATE ARAMANA (DEVALOKAM,KOTTAYAM,KERALA, 686038)

This is the official residence of the Catholicos of the East. The mortal remains of three of the former Catholicoses are entombed here in the Catholicate Chapel, His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II, His Holiness Baselios Ougen I and His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I. A portion of the sacred relics of St. Thomas is also kept here. Hundreds of pilgrims daily visit the shrines.

The Catholicate office which is the Central Secretariat of the Orthodox Church functions here. Office of the Holy Episcopal Synod, Office of the Corporate Management of Malankara Orthodox Church Colleges, Office of the Corporate Management of Catholicate and M. D. Schools, Office of the Malankara Orthodox Church Publications, Office of the Malankara Sabha Magazine, Office of the Orthodox Syrian Sunday School Association of the East and Catholicate Press are all in the same campus. This is situated on a beautiful hillock, with extensive paddy fields on three sides which present a panoramic view. The place is called “Devalokam” which means “Abode of Gods”. It is about 5 Kms. South -East from the central place of Kottayam town.

Manager: V.Rev.Christophorus Ramban

Tel: +91 481 2570569, 2578500, 2578499, 2573850

2.PARUMALA SEMINARY (PARUMALA,MANNAR,KERALA, 689626)

The seminary was initiated by late Metropolitan Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius in 1872. From 1877 on wards late Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Gregorios stayed there till his death in 1902 and was responsible for its growth and development. A new church was built in 1895. Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Gregorios is the only declared Saint of the Church. The mortal remains of the saint are entombed in the Seminary Chapel. Mar Gregorios was canonised on November 2, 1947.

The mortal remains of the late Metropolitan Yuyakim Mar Ivanios are also entombed in the Seminary Chapel.This is a very important pilgrim centre of international fame now. People from allover the world are found to visit the tomb of Mar Gregorios and seek his blessings through intercession. A regular flow of believers could be seen at this centre. Hundreds of pilgrims come and stay here for days together and offer prayers and attend to various ceremonies. Accommodation is made available in a three storied building. The ‘T’ shaped Auditorium with three Halls has a total seating capacity of 3000. The arrangement is such that this could be used even for three separate functions at the same time, in the three Halls.

There are several educational Institutions and Hospitals named after the Saint Mar Gregorios. Mar Gregorios Memorial Hospital, Parumala adjacent to the Seminary, is a major hospital in this area. An Old Priests Home provides accommodation for retired priests.One of the most important spiritual organisations of the church is named after the Saint, -Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement of India (M. G. 0. C. S. M) -the student wing of the Church.As the church building had become very old and also keeping in view the convenience of thousands of pilgrims that flock to the seminary every day, the church is being renovated and expanded to accommodate atleast 2000 people inside themainportion itself .The Seminary is about 42 Kms south of Kottayam on the Tiruvalla -Mavelikara Road on the banks of river Pamba.

Official Website: http://www.parumalachurch.com

Manager: Rev.Fr.M.D.John

Tel: +91 479 2312202, 2312226, 2312328

3.ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (KOTTAYAM,KERALA)

Popularly known as ‘Old Seminary’ this was founded in 1815 by the late Malankara Metropolitan Joseph Mar Dionysius II, The seminary is affiliated to Serampore University and offers courses for GST Diploma, B. D. and M. Th. This is a post graduate institution for Theological studies and Research and is an ancient centre for Christian Theological studies in India. The Archives there presents historical documents regarding the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. The mortal remains of the late Malankara Metropolitans, Joseph Mar Dionysius II, Joseph Mar Dionysius V and Geevarghese Mar Dionysius VI and late Metropolitcan Paulose Mar Gregorios are entombed in the Seminary Chapel.Sophia Centre an important institution of the Church, is situated in the Seminary Campus. This is a quite place, very convenient for conferences, retreats, study programmes etc. Shruthi is another institution for liturgical music in the campus. Old Seminary is located on the north -western part of Kottayam Town on the banks of river Meenachil.

Principal: Rev.Fr. Dr. K.M.George

Vice Principal: Rev.Fr. Dr. M. Jacob Kurian

Manager (Old Seminary): Rev.Fr. M.C. Kuriakose

Tel: +91 481 2566526, 2568500, 2566650, 2302571

Website: http://www.ots.org.in

4.NIRANAMVALIYAPALLY(ST.MARY’SCHURCH) (NIRANAM,THIRUVALLA,KERALA)

This church was founded by St. Thomas, one of the 12 Disciples of Jesus Christ who came to India in AD 52. Several historical events have taken place here. It is here thatin 1912 the Catholicate was established in Malankara The church is famous for the big golden cross which was stolen once. Instead a new cross was again made later. The big church building in the present form was rebuilt later with five alters. The huge stone cross at the gate is said to be one erected by St. Thomas himself at Niranam. The place is 40 kms south of Kottayam between two rivers – Manimala and Pamba.

Vicar: Rev. Fr. Oommen Paul

Tel: +91 469 2711510

http://www.niranamchurch.com

5.PAMPAKUDA CHERIAPALLY (ST.THOMAS CHURCH) (PAMPAKUDA,MUVATTUPUZHA,KERALA)

The mortal -remains of the First Catholicos of the East in Malankara -after the establishment of the Catholicate here in 1912, His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Paulose I, are interred here in 1913.

Tel: +91 485 2272322

6.VALLIKKATTU DAYARA (ST,MARY’S CHAPEL) (VAKATHANAM,KOTTAYAM,KERALA)

This Dayara was founded in 1869. From 1913 to 1925 it was the Headquarters of the Diocese of Kottayam and from 1926 to 1928 it was the Headquarters of the Catholicos of the East. The mortal remains of the second Catholicos in Malankara His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Geevarghese I was entombed here.

Manager: V.Rev.Joseph Ramban

Tel: +91 481 2462550

7.ST.THOMAS DAYARA (VETTICKAL ,MULANTHURUTHY)

The Vettickal Dayara was the place where St. Gregorios of Parumala spent long time in prayer and fasting. Later it was also the official residence of the Metropolitan of the Kandanad Diocese.

Tel: +91 484 2740220, 2742250

8.MAR KURIAKOSE DAYARA (PAMPADY,KOTTAYAM,KERALA)

Dayara was founded by the late Metropolitan Kuriakose Mar Gregorios. The mortal remains of late Metropolitans Kuriakose Mar Gregorios and Mathews Mar Ivanios are interred in the Dayara Chapel. It was also the official residence of the Metropolitan of Kottayam Diocese

Website: http://www.pampadydayara.com

Manager:

Tel: +91 481 2505431

  1. ST. THOMAS ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (Ubali road, Brahmani P.O; Kalmeshwar Nagpur-4 41501)

The Seminary started in Bhilai and later shifted to Nagpur to meet the needs of the outside Kerala dioceses

Principal: Rev.Fr.Dr.Reji Mathew

Vice Principal: Rev.Fr.Ninan K.George

Tel: +91 7118 2711696 , 2711991

Theological Seminaries

The Indian Orthodox Church has two Theological Seminaries:

1. Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam

2.  Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

1. Old Seminary : (Orthodox Theological Seminary)

Address:
Orthodox Theological Seminary
P.B No. 98
Kottayam – 686 001.
Phone:+91 481 2566526, 2568500, 2566650, and 2302571

 

Orthodox Theological Seminary ‘the cradle of English Education’ in Kerala. is 182 years old. It was Pulikkotil Itoop Ramban of Kunnamkulam who had the spiritual vision and far sightedness to establish a Seminary. He acquired sixteen acres of land along the banks of the River Meenachilhe in Kottayam from the Travancore Government. and the construction started in 1813.The Seminary built in the ancient “Nalukettu” model consists of two storeys each on the Southern and Northern sides and three storeys each on the Eastern and Western sides clearly displays the architectural skill. Itoop Ramban who founded the Seminary passed away on 24 November 1816 and was laid to rest in the Seminary.
 

C.M.S. Missionaries as Teachers:

The C.M.S Missionaries who came to help the Syrian Church were appointed as teachers in the newly started Seminary. They were the ones who started the English Education for the first time. The missionaries, who were unable to comprehend the beliefs and traditions of the Oriental Orthodox Church started propagating their reformatory exhortations in the seminary and took control of the Seminary for a long period of time. Eventually the Malankara Orthodox Church realized the mistake and the issue finally ended in the Court. In the legal battle that followed the successor to the founder of the Seminary, Pulikkotil Joseph Mar Dionysius II won, and thereafter the Seminary and the Church properties once again came under the control of the Orthodox Church. Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios Metropolitan who was the Principal from 1967 to 1996 elevated the Orthodox Theological Seminary into a first grade Center for Theological studies in Asia.
 

The Seminary’s Curriculum:

The Seminary offers four years course leading to the Degree in Theological studies. The other courses included: G.S.T. (Diploma), B.D. (Degree). Facilities for post graduate studies are also offered (M.T.H) . Students from different denominations both from within and from outside Kerala are taking this M. TH courses. More facilities for pursuing research work in Theological studies are on the agenda.
 

Programme for training Priests:

The Seminary is affiliated to the University of Serampore for theological training in B.D., M.Th and D.Th. courses. Divyabodhanam, Sruthi School of Liturgical music, Prathyasa Counseling Center, etc. are projects run by the Seminary for the training of lay people.
The Seminary has also introduced various schemes for the spiritual training and theological scholarship of the priests in the Church.
 

Sophia Center:

The Sophia Center, which is adjacent to the Seminary, conducts several meetings, conferences, debates and seminars. The Holy Synod meets here.
 

Divine Studies (Divyabodhanam)

Theological studies for the layman. comprising a 2 year certificate course (P.O.C.E) followed by 2 year Diploma course (D.O.C.B)is also offered here.. On passing the course the candidate can take a Degree course (G.O.C.E). This scheme, which was started in 1984, has benefited many lay persons in the Church.
 

Scriptural Exegesis (Bible Study Course):

A series of books of commentary of the Bible titled “Thiruvachana Bashyam” consisting of 15 chapters in meditative style of the New Testament have been published for the benefit of the laymen.
 

Parish Mission:

During X’mas vacation and summer vacation teachers and students jointly conduct in different parishes weekly missionary activities. This Programme consists of house visits, classes for children and elders, film show and evangelical talks. Booklets that help to strengthen the Orthodox faith and controvert the false teachings that creep into the minds of the members of the Church are published under the supervision of the Parish Mission.
 

Sruthi School Of Liturgical Music

Sruthi School of Liturgical Music offers training in Music with the objective of making our oriental worship touching and systematic. Numerous talented believers undergo training in musicology.
 

Book Shop:

Attached to the Seminary, there is a Book Shop which distributes books written by the teachers of the Seminary, the various publications of the Church and books in different languages such as Syriac, English and Malayalam.
 

Prathyasa Counseling Center:

The Prathysa Counseling Center started in 1995 is a vacation counseling course offered under the leadership of the Seminary teachers for the benefit of priests and laymen.
 

M.G.F

Mar Gregorios Foundation was established for publishing books and research papers of Metropolitan Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios.
 

A Memorial Complex

The memorial complex consists of His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I Memorial Managing Committee Hall, Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilos smaraka Ecumenical Study Center and Dr.Paulose Mar Gregorios smaraka Library and Research Wing. It has been Christined as “Heritage 2000- Smrithi” Mandiram.
 

Tombs

The Mortal remains of the late Metropolitans, the founder of the Old Seminary Pulikkotil Joseph Mar Dionysius II,M.D. Seminary founder Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius V, Malankara Sabha Basuran Vattasseril Geevarghese Mar Dionysius VI and Paulose Mar Gregorios are entombed in the Seminary Chapel
Office Bearers:
Principal : Rev.Fr.Dr.K.M.George
Vice Principal : Rev.Fr.Dr.M.Jacob Kurian
Manager (Old Seminary) : Rev.Fr.M C Kuriakose

Web Site: www.ots.org.in

2. St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur

Address:

St. Thomas Orthodox Seminary,
Ubali Road, Brahmani PO,
Kalmeshwar, Nagpur 441 501
Phone: 07118 – 2711696, 2711991

On 14 September 1995, Metropolitan Dr. Stephanos Mar Thevodiosios started the St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary in Bhilai with the objectives of giving training to the students in theology to serve for the various parishes of outside Kerala Dioceses and creating missionaries for mission work in North India. Training is being given for activities for village uplift in Macodia, and Bhilai and for translating the syriac order of worship into English and Hindi. The steps to shift the Bhilai Seminary to Nagpur were taken up on 9 December 1997 as per the decision of the Holy Synod.

Office Bearers:

Rev. Fr. Dr. Reji Mathew (Principal),
Rev. Fr. Ninan K George (Vice- Principal)

Website: www.stotsindia.org