Pages from History: 26 May 1914 Birth Centenary of of Rt. Rev. Thomas Mar Athanasius Suffragan Metropolitan.
26 May, 1914: Birth of Rt. Rev. Thomas Mar Athanasius. Thirumeni was born to the Panampunnayil family at Kottayam. He was ordained as a Deacon of the Church in 1944 and as Kassessa in 1946.
On 20 May, 1953, he was consecrated as Bishop. He was designated as Suffragan Metropolitan in May 1978 together with Philipose Mar Chrysostom. He guided the evangelistic activities of the whole Church for many years.
The college for women at Perumbavoor was established under his inspiring leadership. Thirumeni was called to eternal rest on 27th November, 1984.
21 May, 1921: V. Nagel, author of “Samayamaam radhaththil” passes away. Born in Germany on 3 November, 1867, he came to India in 1893, as a missionary. Along with his wife Harriet, he worked in Kunnamkulam, North Paravur, Trichur and Kumbanadu.
He has written more than 100 hymns in Malayalam. Hymn Nos. 57, 144(135), 153(143), 155(145), 203(392), 214(199), 223(208), 238(216), 239(217), 242(220), 244(222), 287, 294(280), 298(284), 300, 301, 325(319), 374(257), 380(260), 382(262), 390(269), 402(294) ,405(353) and 411(354) in Kristheeya Keerththanangal – ( Hymn Book of the Mar Thoma Church) are written by him.
30 April, 1911: Ordination of Mr. M. N. Abraham (30 Oct 1880-1 Sep.1947) Metropolitan Titus II ordained Mr. M. N. Abraham and Mr. M. P. Pothen as deacons on Sunday 30 April 1911 at the St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church in Tiruvalla.
M. N. Abraham later became Abraham Mar Thoma Metropolitan and M. P. Pothen a missionary in Honavar, Karnataka.
25 April, 1818: Birth of Mathews Mar Athanasius Metropolitan (d.16 Jul 1877) He became Bishop at the age 24 in February 1842. He was the Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church from 1842 to 1877.
As the head of the church he worked hard for the education of the clergy and raising the moral standards of ordinary people. He was one of the ablest bishops the Syrian Churches ever had.
16 April, 1913: Birth of Rev. C. V. George B.A. B.L, Chandanakuzhiyil, Ettichuvadu, Ranny. Rev. George was an Advocate (Lawyer). Before his ordination, he was in jail for almost a year for his participation in the Freedom movement of India. He became a priest in 1947.
From 1947-1950 he was the General Secretary of the Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam. He was the only Mar Thoma Priest who is recognized and awarded as a freedom fighter by the Government.
He was also the founder president of the Ranny Medical Mission. He passed away on 31 Oct.2001 and was buried at the Nazareth Mar Thoma church cemetery in Ranny.
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.
10 April, 1909: Birth of Rev. C. V. John, Chirapurathu, Thottakkad (d.2 Sep 1979). After his theological training from Theological College in Serampore he became a priest in 1938.
He started as a teacher at the M.T. Seminary High School, Kottayam and then became a teacher at Mar Thoma Theological Seminary. He was the Vicar of the Jerusalem MTC, Kottayam, St. Peter’s MTC, Manganam, and the secretary of the North Division of the Church. For two years, from 1956, he served as a student chaplain in USA. In 1963, he became the Principal of the M. T. Seminary.
Through his hard work the seminary was upgraded to B.D. Level in 1974. Achen was the second defendant in the Daniel Case
(Dr. Juhanon Mar Thoma was the first defendant) and was examined by the court for many days. His statements during the trial regarding the faith and practices of the Church are commendable. Achen was a gifted orator and writer.
6 April, 1839: Abraham Malpan ex-communicated his cousin brother for plucking vegetables (Colocasia) on Sunday. Sunday was regarded as a day of rest for the Syrian Christians and no one was allowed to work on that day.
Abraham Malpan, as vicar of the Maramon Mar Thoma parish ex-communicated his cousin brother because he uprooted a Chembu- Colocasia (a vegetable similar to potato) on a Sunday morning to make vegetable curry. He was taken back only after a proper written apology.
Guinness book of world record holder under the entry – ‘longest religious service’ passes away (1984)
28 March, 1984: Rev. K. M. Jacob Kottara, Pooyappally (June 1881) passes away. Rev. K.M. Jacob, of Cherukarakunnil family of Kottara Bethel Mar Thoma Church, was born in June, 1881. He became a deacon of the church in 1897, and priest on 8 October, 1903.
He was the first convener of the Kottarakkara Mar Thoma Convention and was one of the founding members of the Jubilee Mandiram in Kottarakkara.
For certain parishes he was the Vicar for more than 40 years. Achen was called to his eternal home on 28 March, 1984. Achen served the Church for more than 86 years and his name is in the Guinness book of world record under the entry – ‘longest religious service.’
21 March, 1978: Rev. P. C. Cherian passes away (b.18 Jan 1907). After passing his B.A., L.T., examinations he served St. Thomas School in Keezhillam as a teacher and headmaster. He became a deacon on 15th April 1938. He served as the vicar of Keezhillam and Thodupuzha parishes. His brother P. C. George was the founder of the Manganam Agathimandiram.