Tag Archives: Mar Thoma History

13 November, 1845: Birth of Chandapilla Kathanar, Thazhathu, Kottayam

This day in history

13 November, 1845: Birth of Chandapilla Kathanar, Thazhathu, Kottayam (24 Jul 1931). He became a deacon at the age of 9 (1854) and a priest on 1 August 1861. For 24 years he was the vicar of the Cheriya pally in Kottayam. He was the founder of the Jerusalem Mar Thoma Church in Kottayam. Achen’s courageous stand made it possible for the consecration ceremony of Bishop Titus I Mar Thoma to be held in the Cheriya pally in Kottayam.

9 November, 1964: Mrs. Kandamma Varghese (of Mar Thoma Sevika Sanghom) passes away.

Mrs. Kandamma Varghese

Mrs. Kandamma Varghese

9 November, 1964: Mrs. Kandamma Varghese (of Mar Thoma Sevika Sanghom) passes away.

“The Mar Thoma Suvisesha Sevika Sanghom owes much to the self sacrificing work of Mrs. Kandamma Varghese who worked untiringly as the Organizing Secretary for over 20 years, traveling far and wide, organizing branches in the parishes, doing evangelistic work among Christians and non Christians, and building up the work in parishes.” ~ The Mar Thoma Church, Heritage and Mission – Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan.

Mrs. Kandamma was a modest person in wearing jewellery. She used to request people who had more than one gold chain to donate the second one for gospel work. Due to Kandamma’s loving approach to the wife of Diwan Bhadur Dr. V. Varghese sold her ornaments and donated the money for the construction of the Salem Orphanage in Tiruvalla.

Kandamma spent her final days in Perumbavoor with her son Mr. C. V. Koshy who was the headmaster of the Ashram High school there. When she died on 9 Nov, 1964, at the age of 88, she left behind a glowing legacy of her work in Kerala.

Read more in our free pdf E-book which is also an excellent resource for Sunday Schools and church organizations.

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8 Nov 2015: CSI, CNI and Mar Thoma Church celebrate “Festival of Unity of Communion of Churches in India (CCI) CSI- CNI-MTC”

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On 8 November, 2015, Sunday: the CSI, CNI and Mar Thoma Churches will celebrate this Sunday as the ‘”Festival of Unity of Communion of Churches in India (CCI) CSI- CNI-MTC”‘.

The Communion of Churches in India (CCI) has been constituted as the visible organ for common expression of the life and witness by the founding Churches, the Church of North India (CNI), the Church of South India (CSI) and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church (MTC) which recognise themselves as belonging to the one Church of Jesus Christ in India, even while remaining as autonomous churches, each having its own identity of traditions and organizational structures. “The Communion” invites other Churches in India to enter into full communion with the member churches separately and join “The Communion”.

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2 November, 1942: The first workers of Sihora Ashram start from Kottarakkara.

Sihora Ashram

Founders of the Sihora Ashram with Most Rev. Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan.

On the morning of 2 November 1942 a huge crowd under the leadership of the Bishop Juhanon Mar Timotheos gathered under a tree on the eastern side of the Kottarakkara railway Station and gave a sensational send off to Rev. K.T. Thomas, Karimparampil.Anaprampal), Mr. John Varghese (Valethu Thoppil, Puthencauv), and Mr. M. P. Mathew (Mavelil, Kaviyoor), the founder members of the Christa Panthi Ashram.

After visiting various north Indian cities, they finally reached Sihora on 13 September 1943 and started the Ashram. Our bishop The Late Rt. Rev .Easow Mar Timotheos was a memberof this ashram for 22 years.

For more Mission field stories vist :-www.nalloorlibrary.com;

World Sunday School Day: 1st November 2015 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got Sunday School)

George Romney's portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

George Romney’s portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

1st November 2015 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 1st November, 2015 as World Sunday School Day.

Robert Raikes (1735- 1811), an English Publisher, started the first Sunday School in the city of Gloucester in England in 1780. During the early days, reading, arithmetic and Bible was taught at the Sunday Schools.

In 1809, Church representatives of the Malankara Churches held a meeting at Kandanadu Church, near Ernakualam to arrange facilities to teach children in the Church about religion, prayers and sacraments. The India Sunday School Union was founded in 1876.The Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam was established on 25 February 1905, at the Maramon Convention. 


We encourage our readers to read and share this Free 4 page PDF Ebook Resource for your Sunday Schools and children’s services:  Robert Raikes and How We Got Sunday School


Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

27 September, 1947: Formation of Church of South India (with Rare Photos)

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27 September, 1947: Formation of Church of South India (CSI) in 1947, as a union of Anglican, Presbyterian, Congregationalist and Methodist churches. The idea of a Church union was proposed in 1919 at a conference held in Tranquebar (now Tarangambadi) in 1919. After 28 years of discussions various denominational churches in South India established by different Missionary societies agreed to the formation of the Church of South India in 1947 after India attained independence. The inaugural ceremony was held at St. George Cathedral Madras (Chennai).

Today the Church of South India is one of the largest Protestant churches in India and is a member of the Anglican Communion and its bishops participate in the Lambeth Conferences. It is also a member of the World Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the National Council of Churches in India.

The Church of South India (CSI), Church of North India (CNI), and Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India jointly formed the Communion of Churches in India (CCI) in 1978 for mutual recognition of the ministry and leaders, inter communal relationship, and to explore possibilities of working together and other areas of cooperation in the fulfillment of the mission of the Church in India.

At the inauguration of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

At the inauguration of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

The presiding bishop of the inaugural function was the Rt. Revd. C. K. Jacob of the Anglican Diocese of Travancore and Cochin. A vast congregation gathered in the cathedral at Madras from all over the world. The following historical declaration was made by Bishop Jacob at the inaugural service.

“Dearly beloved brethren, in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ the head of the church, who on the night of his passion prayed that his disciples might be one, and by authority of the governing bodies of the uniting churches whose resolutions have been read in your hearing and laid in your prayer before Almighty God; I do hereby declare that these three churches, namely – the Madras, Madura, Malabar, Jaffna, Kannada, Telugu, Travancore Church councils of the South India United Church; the Methodist Church of South India, Trichinopoly, Hyderabad and Mysore districts; the Madras, Travancore and Cochin, Tinnevelly and Dornakal dioceses of the Churches of India, Burma and Ceylon; are become one Church of South India, and these bishops, presbyters, deacons and probationers who have assented to the basis of union and accepted the constitution of the Church of South India, whose names are laid upon this holy table, are bishops, presbyters and deacons of this church. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.” ~ wikipedia

Inauguration procession of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration procession of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration procession of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration procession of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Inauguration service of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Presiding Bishop Rt. Revd. C. K. Jacob at the Inauguration of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Presiding Bishop Rt. Revd. C. K. Jacob at the Inauguration of Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Clergymen from 5 Protestant faiths attending the inaguration of the Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

Clergymen from 5 Protestant faiths attending the inaguration of the Church of South India. Photo by Mark Kauffman (LIFE magazine)

St George's Cathedral, Chennai (photo credit - wiki)

St George’s Cathedral, Chennai (photo credit – wiki)

CSI Diocese Map (image credit - www.csimichigan.org)

CSI Diocese Map (image credit – http://www.csimichigan.org)

3rd September, 1889 – Birth of Sadhu Sunder Singh (Special Video Feature)

Sadhu Sunder Singh the renowned Indian Christian missionary was a member of an ancient, aristocratic, and wealthy Sikh family from the village of Rampur in the State of Patiala (present day Punjab). He was a very religious and God fearing person. Jesus appeared to him in a vision in the early hours of 18th December 1904. Like Paul in the New Testament, he heard a voice “Why do you persecute me? Remember that I gave my life for you upon the Cross”. On Sunday, the 3rd of September, 1905, on his sixteenth birthday, he was baptized in St. Thomas Church at Shimla according to the rite of the Anglican Church.

Sadhu Sundar Singh

Sadhu Sundar Singh

A month after his baptism, Sundar Singh donned the yellow linen robe that celibate Indian Sadhus wore and set out to preach the gospel, carrying nothing but a New Testament. From now on he would have no permanent home and no income.”I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord,” he said, “but like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all people of the love of God.’ He also authored eight books.

Sadhu Sunder Singh was one of the speakers of the Maramon Convention in 1918. He spoke in Hindi and the translation was done by Mr. M. O. Oommen, Chief Conservator of the then Travancore Kingdom.

Sadhu Sunder Singh drew crowds greater than any previous conventions, so much so that before the end of the week the pandal (covered area) had to be enlarged. It is estimated at the final meeting about 32,000 people gathered to hear his message.

Sadhu Sundar Singh

Sadhu Sundar Singh

He is believed to have died in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1929 on his way to Tibet. His body was never found.

Journey to the Sky – Sadhu Sundar Singh (1977)

29 July 1955: Daniel Case – St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India separates from the Mar Thoma Syrian Church (Rare Photos)

K. Ninan Daniel

K. Ninan Daniel

29 July, 1955: Mr. Daniel files suit against Mar Thoma Metropolitan. On 29 July 1955 Mr. Nina Daniel, of Kurumthottikkal, Melukara Pathanamthitta District and three others filed a civil suit in District Court of Kottayam against the then Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma and six others. Mr. K.N. Daniel, was a lay leaders in the Mar Thoma Church, an eminent liturgiologist, theologian, an author of many books, a prominent lawyer. Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma MetropolitanAccording to Mr. Daniel, the Metropolitan favoured and accepted the faith of the Jacobite Church and as such he had no right to enter any Mar Thoma Churches and that he should not be allowed to continue as the Supreme Head of the Church. This case is known as the Daniel case. This litigation lasted for almost 10 years and the final judgment from the Supreme Court of India came on 7 Jan 1965. In all the three courts (The District court, Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court) verdicts were against Mr. Daniel. spilt This case was an unfortunate event in the history of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church and resulted in the formation of the St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India on 26 January 1961. Twenty priests who had been ordained in the Mar Thoma Church joined and pledged allegiance to the new Church.

DId you know

  • First defendant Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan was examined through the judicial commission in the Mar Thoma Seminary in Kottayam. His examination took 35 hours over seven days.

Rev. C.V.JohnSecond defendant Rev. C.V.John was  examined for 11 days continuously  6 hours each day. (Total 66 hours)

Adv. K.T.ThomasAdv. K.T.Thomas appeared before all the three courts for the Mar Thoma Syrian Church without taking any remuneration. Total cost of the case was Rs. 13;239/- (today it could be in crores).

The book with all the verdicts published in English (1965)

The book with all the details of the Daniel Case published in English (1965)

The Malayalam translation of the Daniel case from English.

The Malayalam translation of the Daniel case from English.

Excerpts of the Daniel case.

Excerpts of the Daniel case.

Excerpts of the Daniel case.

Excerpts of the Daniel case.

Excerpts of the Daniel case

Excerpts of the Daniel case

Excerpts of the Daniel case

Excerpts of the Daniel case

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12 July, 1889 – Seminary Case: Division of the Mar Thoma Church and Jacobite Church (Video)

Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan (Mar Thoma XIV)

Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan (Mar Thoma XIV) Photo from The Indian Christians of St. Thomas by William Joseph Richards (1908)

12 July, 1889: Seminary Case Judgment. In 1879 a case was filed in the district court of Alleppey by Bishop Joseph Mar Dionysius against the then Metropolitan of the Church Most Rev. Thomas Mar Athanasius.

Mar Dionysius prayed to the court to declare him as the rightful Metropolitan of the Malankara Church and also requested the court to evict Mar Athanasius and his followers from the Old Seminary building in Kottayam. The final verdict of this case came on 12 July 1889 from the Royal Court of Travancore. Two Judges decreed that Joseph Mar Dionysius was the rightful Metropolitan of the Malankara Church as he expressed allegiance to the Patriarch of Antioch. One Christian judge gave the verdict in favour of Thomas Mar Athanasius because of his conviction that the Malankara Church has been an independent Church from the beginning. The Majority view prevailed and Thomas Mar Athanasius had to leave the Old Seminary and the properties of the Church, because he upheld the autonomy of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. This led to the formal division of the church into two sections: the Mar Thoma Church and Jacobite Church.

The followers of Mar Athanasius got the Kottarakkara church without a duel, they got the Maramon and Kozhencherry churches through court decision, and was given the right to conduct services on alternate Sundays in five other churches. They put up small sheds in other places to hold worship services.

To learn more about Mar Thoma Syrian Church History – watch this Special Documentary with rare footage on the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church – (English/Malayalam) produced in 1986. It offers a peek into the history, rich culture and heritage of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church.

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10 July, 1919: Noted Hymn writer P.V. Thommy Upadesi passes away

P. V. Thommy Upadesi

P. V. Thommy Upadesi (Photo from ww.facebook.com/pvthommy)

Tombstone of P. V. Thommy Upadesi (Photo from www.facebook.com/pvthommy)

Tombstone of P. V. Thommy Upadesi (Photo from ww.facebook.com/pvthommy)

10 July, 1919: P.V. Thommy Upadeshi passes away. Thommy Upadeshi was born in a very poor family of the Kunnamkulam Mar Thoma Parish in 1881. After his basic education he became a teacher. But after few years of teaching he became a full time evangelist in the Mar Thoma Church.

Rev. C.M. Joseph, Vicar of the Kunnamkulam Parish encouraged him in his Gospel work. Titus II Metropolitan appointed him as evangelist in Trichur and Perumbavoor

He was a blessed Hymn writer. In 1905 he published a Hymn Book “Vishudha Geethangal” comprising of 136 hymns. His language is simple and even the illiterate persons can enjoy his hymns. The following hymns in the book Kristheeya Keerththanangal are written by him: 3 (3), 11(10), 12(11), 30(28), 56(56), 61(61), 67(67), 70(70), 71(71), 73(73), 96(96), 130(111), 35(126), 145(136), 243(221), 247(225), 286(286), 295(281), 345 (345), 351(351), 366(242), 368(251).

In 1919 there was an outbreak of Cholera in Kunnamkulam and many persons died. Thommy Upadesi volunteered to serve the cholera patients and was finally infected with cholera. He passed away on Wednesday 10 July 1919 at the age of 38.

Read more P. V. Thommy Upadesi – Malayalam Hymn Writer

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