Tag Archives: Maramon

1898 -1912: Rev. Thomas Walker inspires Mar Thoma Missionary projects

Rev. Thomas Walker - Church Missionary Society

Rev. Thomas Walker – Church Missionary Society

Rev. Thomas Walker was one of the main speakers at the Maramon Convention from 1898 to 1912. He was a Church Missionary Society (CMS) missionary from Tirunelveli. He emphasized the importance on studying the Word of God (Bible) and to promote the missionary work of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. His inputs were instrumental in inspiring and the beginning of many Mar Thoma Missionary projects across India.


Maramon Convention 1925: The price of meals


One British Rupee 1920

One British Rupee 1920

Fourteen meals for One rupee. During the early years of the Convention, restaurants and hotels were not in existence. Kappi Kadas (coffee/tea shops) and Chottu Kadas (rice shops) were the only available eateries at the Manalpuram (river bed) venue of the convention. One of the famous chottu kada’s was managed by Kunjan Varkey Chetten from Edathua. He would serve 14 full meals for just one rupee and 228 full glasses of black coffee (Chakkara Kappi) also for Rs.1 in the early 1920’s.

Chai shop (www.chaiwallahsofindia.com)

Chai shop


March 9 – 18, 1895: The first Maramon Convention

An undated early photo of the Maramon Convention. (www.marthoma.in)

An undated early photo of the Maramon Convention. (www.marthoma.in)

The first Maramon Convention was held from 9th March (Friday) to 18th March (Sunday) in 1895 at the Parapuzha Manalpuram of the River Pamba (the location was situated between the famous Aranmula Temple and the Maramon Church) about one kilometer away from the present venue. It was a ten day event.

The pandal (tent) could accommodate about 7000 people. Mr. David and Mr. Wordsworth, both missionaries from Ceylon (today known as Sri Lanka) were the main speakers of the convention. Mar Thoma Metropolitan Titus I gave the leadership for the convention meetings. Deacon Kakkasseri Varghese of Kunnamkulam (7 July 1867 – 4 June 1897) translated the messages from English to Malayalam for the audiences to understand.


First Sunday of December – Bible Sunday

A Myanmar child holding the Bible.

A Myanmar child holding the Bible.

The First Sunday of December is observed as Bible Society Day. It was the British and Foreign Bible Society, established in London in 1804, that first made a concerted effort of translating, printing and publishing Bibles in different languages.

In India, it’s auxiliaries were formed in Calcutta (1811), Bombay (1812), Madras (1820) and in Kerala (1956). Other auxiliaries were formed later. Even before the formation of the auxiliaries in India, the work of translation of the Bible to Indian languages had been taken up by William Carey and his associates in Calcutta. In obedience to the commandment of the Lord “Go ye unto the uttermost corners of the earth and preach my gospel”, the Bible Society aims at making available, copies of the Bible, New Testaments and portions of the Bible to

1.To Every Person in his/her own language.
2.At a price within his/her reach
3.In a style which is easily understood

It is in pursuance of this objective that it brings out special editions for students,members of the armed forces, in Braille type for the blind, etc. The United Bible Society distributes an average of 32 million full Bibles each year. In addition to that, they distribute enough New Testaments and Scripture portions to potentially reach 5% of the world’s population each year. In 2012 they distributed over 405 million Scripture items.

They also manage a growing social media ministry on Facebook and other social networks. The Digital BibleDSC00395 Facebook page reaches millions of young adults every year. 71% report it helps them apply the Bible’s teaching to their lives. https://www.facebook.com/UnitedBibleSocieties


Pages from History: 4 October, 1836 – Abraham Malpan ends Maramon ‘Muthappan’ Festival

Marmon Marthoma Church

Image from maramonmarthomachurch.com

5 October, 1836: Malayalam Year 1012 Kanni 19: Members of the Mar Thoma Maramon Parish used to celebrate the festival of “Muthappan” every year.

Muthappan was a wooden idol in the shape of a human, made in memory of a foreign Bishop who came to Kerala in AD 1685. Offerings and prayers were conducted in front of this idol. The people of Maramon believed that the cause of all their prosperity and blessings was because of this semi-god, Muthappan.

Large crowds used to attend this yearly festival, which was a good source of income for the Maramon Parish. On 4th October 1836, the day before ‘Muthappan Festival’, the reformer of the Mar Thoma Church, Abraham Malpan threw “Muthappan” into the well situated in the Church compound and put an end to this festival forever, starting the reformation process.

Pages from History: 17 September 1917, Birth of M. E. Cherian

17 September, 1917: Birth of M. E. Cherian, author of “Anugrahaththin Adhipathiye”.

Cherian was the son of Kuriannoor Thannikkapurathuttu T. M. Easow (Kunjachen Upadeshi) and Ayroor Kanjeettukara Panamthottathil Aleyamma. At the age of 9 he accepted Jesus as his personal saviour. He taught at the Noel Memorial School in Kumbanad for a few years, and from 1943 onwards he started full time gospel work.

He has written more than 300 hymns and 13 books. Hymn nos. 92, 93, 94, 95, 233, 236, 238, 239, 241, 245, 248, 304, 364, 365, 379, 385, 386 and 409 in the Mar Thoma Syrian Church Hymn book (Kristheeya Keerththanangal) are written by him.

He was called to his eternal home on 2 October, 1993 while he was on a gospel trip in Muthukulathoor Village near Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

M. E. Cherian

M. E. Cherian

Pages from History: 14 July, 1947, Punchamannil Mammen Upadeshi passes away

14 July, 1947: Punchamannil Mammen Upadeshi passes away. Mammen Upadeshi was born in the Vadasseri house of the Punchamannil family in Maramon on 25 Nov.1868, as the son of Mathai and Achiyamma.

Mammen’s elder siblings all died while they were still infants. So Mammen was baptized at home when he was very young by the Parish Priest Rev. Titus (Later Rt. Rev. Titus I Mar Thoma).

Mammen Upadeshi trusted the Lord like the Old Testament Prophet Elijah and lived like Elijah, spoke the messages of the Lord like Elijah, fought against evil forces like Elijah and even performed miracles like Elijah.

Punchamannil Mammen Upadeshi

Punchamannil Mammen Upadeshi

Pages from History: Dr. Sosamma Philip – Medical Missionary Passes away. (4 May 2008)

4 May, 2008: Death of Dr. Sosamma Philip, Medical Missionary. Dr. Sosamma (b.9 Nov 1917) was the daughter of Late Rev. M. C. George Kasseesa (17 Apr 1874 – 23 Oct 1923) of Maliyekkal House, Kuriannoor. The Late Most Rev. Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan (10 Apr 1913-11 Jan 2000) was her elder brother. Dr. Sosamma passed her final school examination in 1933, but couldn’t afford a college education. She joined the Under Graduate Teacher’s Training Course in Tiruvalla and then became a teacher at Kuriannoor Middle School.

The family had to sell a portion of their ancestral property to pay for her dowry. In 1940, she married Dr. P. V. Philip (Palathinkkal, Kottayam), who was working with the Mission Hospital in Karappuram, Cherthala. But unfortunately, Dr. Philip died after nine months of their marriage. She also lost her mother, three months later. Dr. Sosamma had an earnest desire to continue Medical Work of her departed husband. She joined Alwaye U. C. College and passed her intermediate examinations and applied for a seat in Christian Medical College, Vellore. As she did not get admission, she joined the American College in Madurai and finished her B.A. and then joined the Nicholson School, Tiruvalla, as a teacher.

But the desire for a medical education was burning in her heart, so she applied again and this time secured an admission in Christian Medical College, Vellore.  Immediately after getting her Medical degree, she joined the Karapuram, Cherthala Mission, where her husband worked. After further passing her specialization courses in Chicago, she worked with the Kumbanad and Kattanam hospitals for many years. In 1967, she joined the Mar Thoma Sihora Ashram Hospital in Madhya Pradesh and remained there till her retirement, 30 years later in 1997.

As recognition of her work and social service, the Church awarded her the “Manava Seva Award”. After her retirement, she returned to stay with her relatives in Kuriannoor. She was called to her eternal home on 4 May 2008 and was buried beside her parents at the St.Thomas Mar Thoma Church Cemetery in Kuriannoor.

Dr. Sosamma Philip, Medical Missionary.

Dr. Sosamma Philip, Medical Missionary.

Pages from History: Strange But True! Lightning kills Mar Thoma II (Head of the Malankara Church) (1686)

14 April 1686: Pakalomattom Parampil Thomas Kathanar was consecrated as Mar Thoma I on 22 nd May 1653 at the Alangattu Church. He ably guided the Malankara Church till his death on 25 th April 1670. He was buried in the Marthomman Church Angamaly.

His brother/ nephew was consecrated as the Mar Thoma II in 1670. Mar Thoma II was killed by lightning on 14 April 1686 while he was taking rest in the Pally Meda (guest Room) of the St. Mary’s church in Niranam. He was buried in the same church cemetery.

This may be the only incident in the history of the Christian Church where a head of a church died due to a lightning strike.

Night Lightning by Sebastien D'ARCO

Night Lightning by Sebastien D’ARCO


Niranam St.Mary's Orthodox Church

Niranam St.Mary’s Orthodox Church

Pages from History: Birth of Mariamma Joseph – Co-founder of Hoskote Mission

31 March, 1917: Birth of Mrs. Mariamma (Pennamma) Joseph (d.19 June 1986), Co-founder of the Hoskote Mission near Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Mariamma was the daughter of Mammen Mammen and Mariamma of Manalukalayil, Kumbanad. She did her Teacher’s Training Course (TTC) from Peringara School near Tiruvalla, after which she taught in many schools including Arrangatu School, Pullad, Perumbara School near Charal Mount; Kanjeettukara and Nedumprayar (Maramon).

She had the privilege to attend the classes conducted by the CMS Missionary, Miss Kellaway (Australia) of Vanitha Mandiram. Pennamma was greatly influenced through the life and testimony of this missionary. She had an earnest desire to go for mission work in Karnataka but her parents did not allow it (according to the then prevalent customs/ norms, Syrian Christian parents were scared to send their unmarried daughters to unknown ‘foreign’ lands).

However, after her marriage with Mr. M.T. Joseph, (Manon House, Maramon) her desire was fulfilled as he got the call to go to Karnataka for mission work during one of the Maramon Conventions. Because she was obedient to this heavenly call, she resigned from her teacher’s job, of a permanent income, to an uncertain future. This journey led to the humble beginnings of the Hoskote Mission.

Mrs. Mariamma Joseph and Mr. M.T. Joseph (Co-founders of Hoskote Mission)

Mrs. Mariamma Joseph and Mr. M.T. Joseph (Co-founders of Hoskote Mission)