Saint Thomas Christians- Chronological Events from First Century to Twenty First Century

The main references are from, Mackenzie “ Christianity in Travancore” ( 1901), Placid “ The Thomas Christians” ( 1970), Brown “ The Indian Christians of Saint Thomas” ( 1956) , Tisserant “ Eastern Christianity in India ( 1957) and Mingana “ The early spread of Christianity in India” ( 1926), Mundadon “ History of Christianity in India” Volume I (1984) , Thekkedath “ History of Christianity in India” Volume II ( 1982) , Malekandathil “ Saint Thomas Christians and the Indian Ocean”, Menachery “ The Nazranies” ( 1998).

Saint Thomas Christians of India Division History

Saint Thomas Christians of India Division History

Contents

• PART A – FIRST MILLENIUM
• PART B- PERIOD FROM 1001 AD TO 1500 AD
• PART C- PERIOD FROM 1500 AD TO 1599 AD
• PART D- PERIOD FROM 1600 AD TO 1663 AD
• PART E- SUCCEEDING CENTURY AMONG CATHOLICS ( SYRO MALABAR CHURCH)
• PART F- SUCCEEDING CENTURY AMONG JACOBITES ( MALANKARA SYRIAC ORTHODOX CHURCH)
• PART G- THE DIVISION CHRONOLOGY FROM CATHOLICS ( SYRO MALABAR CHURCH)
• PART H- THE DIVISION CHRONOLOGY FROM JACOBITES ( MALANKARA SYRIAC ORTHODOX CHURCH)

PART A – FIRST MILLENNIUM

EVENTS YEAR
Saint Thomas the Apostle at King Gondaphares in North India c. 40 AD
Saint Thomas the Apostle lands at Cranganore c. 52 AD
Saint Thomas the Apostle builds churches or communities ( Palayoor, Kodungaloor, Parur, Kokamangalam, Niranam, Nilackal, Kollam) c. 52-72 AD
Martyrdom of  Saint Thomas the Apostle at Mylapore, India July 3rd. 72  AD
Mesopotamia and Assyria become Roman provinces c. 98-117 AD
Kuravilangadu Church founded c. 105 AD
Pantaenus visits India c. 190 AD
Sassanians become a major power 232 AD
Bishop David leaves Basrah for India c. 295 AD
Pallipuram Church founded c. 290 AD
Ambazhakad Church founded c. 300 AD
Aruvithara Church founded c. 301 AD
John of Persia and Greater India attend the Council of Nicaea 325 AD
Bishop Theophilos visits India c .354-356 AD
Yonan, a monk, priest visits the Monastery of St.Thomas in India c. 390 AD
North Pudukad Church founded c. 400 AD
Puthenchira Church founded c. 400 AD
Syond of Seleucia, Archbishopric of Seleucia- Ctesiphon 410 AD
Archbishop of Seleucia- Ctesiphon assumes the title of Catholicos 421 AD
East Syrian Catholicos Ahai deputed to handle piracy of ships returning from India and Ceylon c. 421 AD
Syond of Markabta- The Church of Mesopotamia becomes Independent from Antioch 424 AD
Mar Komai assisted by an Indian priest Daniel translated in to Syriac, the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans 425 AD
The Indian Church is firmly connected with Seleucia- Ctesiphon 450 AD
Akaparambu Church founded 450 AD
Angamali Church founded 450 AD
Ma’na of Riwarddasir ( Persia) sent a Syriac translation of the works of Diodore and Theodore to India. 470 AD
Muttuchira Church founded c. 510 AD
Kaduthuruthy Church founded c. 510 AD
Enammavu Church founded c. 510 AD
Udayamperoor Church founded c. 510 AD
An East Syrian Monk, Cosmas Indicopleustes visits South India c. 535 AD
Mattam Church founded c. 550 AD
Chambakulam Church founded c. 550 AD
East Syrian Monks Abraham Kashkar,  Bar Sahde visits South India c. 550 AD
Periodiota Bod visits South India c. 560 AD
Theodore, a Frankish monk visits Mylapore 590 AD
Edapally Church founded c. 593 AD
Chalakudy Church founded c. 600 AD
Mylakombu Church founded c. 600 AD
Dispute between India and Seleucia 650-60 AD
Kolenchery Church founded c. 650 AD
Moozhikulam Church founded c. 650 AD
The Metropolitan See of India is created 714/728 AD
Patriach Thimothy called the Archen ( Archdeacon) head of the faithful in India c. 800 AD
Bishop Thomas Cana arrives in Malabar 825 (?) AD
Mar Sabrisho and Mar Peroz arrive in Malabar c .825/880 AD
Kayamkulam Church founded c. 824 AD
Athirampuzha church founded c. 835 AD
The Syrian Church of India is granted full status    (Patriarch Theodosius ) c. 852/858 AD
Patriarch Theodose mentions Archbishop of India 852 AD
King Ayyanadigal granting two set of copper plates to Mar Sabrisho and Tarisapalli c.880 AD
King Alfred’s embassy to Mylapore 883 AD
Kottayam Church founded 890 AD
King Rajasimha Perumal granting Thazhekad Sasanam rock edict c.900 AD
Nagapuzha Church founded 900 AD
Manjapra Church founded 943 AD
Mavelikara Church founded 943 AD
Kadamattom Church founded 950 AD
Pazhuvil Church founded 960 AD
Arakuzha Church founded 999 AD
Nediasala Church founded 999 AD
Kottekad Church founded 999 AD
Kunnamkulam Church founded 999 AD

PART B- PERIOD FROM 1001 AD TO 1500 AD

EVENTS YEAR
Kanjur Church founded 1001 AD
Kaduthuruthy Cheriapally founded c. 1001 AD
Pala Church founded 1002 AD
Muttam Church founded 1023 AD
Cherpunkal Church founded 1096 AD
Vadakara Church founded 1096 AD
Bharananganam Church founded 1100 AD
Changanacherry Church founded 1117 AD
Mar John, Archbishop (?) of India visits Rome 1122 AD
Thripunithara Church founded 1175 AD
Cheppadu Church founded c. 1175 AD
Chengannoor Church founded c. 1175 AD
Kudamaloor Church founded c. 1175 AD
Ernakulam Church founded c. 1175 AD
Kothanalloor Church founded 1220 AD
Mulanthuruthy Church founded 1225 AD
Kothamangalam Valiapally founded 1240 AD
Karthikapally Church founded c. 1240 AD
Kuruppumpady Church founded c. 1240 AD
Marco Polo visits Malabar and Mylapore 1293 AD
Friar John of Monte Corvino visits India 1293 AD
Haythonous, a Norbertine canon, visits Malabar c. 1300 AD
Alengad Church founded 1300 AD
Muthalakodam Church founded 1312 AD
Mar Jacob is the Metropolitan and Director of Church in India 1315 AD
Friar Jordan Catalani visits Thana, near Bombay 1321 AD
Friar Oderico de Pordenone visits Thana and Malabar 1321 AD
Friar Jordan Catalani visits Quilon 1322 AD
Friar Jordan Caralani becomes the first Latin Bishop of Quilon 1329 AD
Njarackal Church founded 1341 AD
Koratty Church founded 1381 AD
Friar John Marignola visits Quilon 1348-9 AD
Poonjar Church founded c. 1381 AD
Alleppey Church founded 1400 AD
Nicolas de Conti visits Mylapore and Malabar 1415-38 AD
Pope Eugene writes to Thomas the emperor of the Indians 1439 AD
Kanjirappilly Church founded 1450 AD
Kothamangalam Cheriapally founded 1455 AD
Kudavechur Church founded 1463 AD
A Saint Thomas Christian, Joseph goes to Mesopotamia 1490 AD
Division of the world mission lands between Portugal and Spain by Pope Alexander V1 1493 AD
Joseph comes back in Malabar with two Bishops, Mar Thomas and Mar John from Mesopotamia c.1496 AD
Vasco de Gamma’s first landing in India near Calicut 1498 AD
Cabral at Calicut 1499 AD
Churches of Saint Thomas Christians-and-the-divisions

Churches of Saint Thomas Christians-and-the-divisions

PART C- PERIOD FROM 1500 AD TO 1599 AD

EVENTS YEAR
Franciscan Friars at Cochin 1500 AD
Mar Yahballaha, Mar Denha and Mar Joseph arrive in Malabar 1501 AD
Vasco de Gamma’s first meeting with Christians of Saint Thomas 1503 AD
Dominican priests at Cochin 1503 AD
Cochin falls under Portuguese rule 1503 AD
Cranganore is captured by the Portuguese 1504 AD
The Latin Bishopric of Funchal is created with jurisdiction over Portuguese India 1514 AD
Jewish migration from Cranganore to Cochin 1514 AD
The tomb of Saint Thomas is re-discovered at Mylapore 1523 AD
Saint Francis Xavier’s first visit to Malabar 1523 AD
A Persian Cross ( Saint Thomas Cross ) rediscovered at Mylapore 1523 AD
Vasco de Gamma buried at Saint Francis Church, Fort Kochi 1524 AD
Goa diocese is erected ( Parishes- Kannur, Cochin, Quilon, Colombo and Sao Thome ( Madras) ) 1534 AD
Goa is made a suffragon bishopric of Funchal 1539 AD
Franciscan Fr. Vincent De Lagos starts the Cranganore Seminary 1540 AD
Saint Francis Xavier in Travanocre 1544-5AD
Dominican monastery founded in Cochin 1548 AD
Mar Jacob Abuna, the Chaldean Metropolitan stays at Saint Antonio Monastery Cochin 1549 AD
First Jesuit house in Cochin 1550 AD
The Chaldean Church is united with Rome 1552 AD
Death of Saint Francis Xavier 1552 AD
A Jesuit College opens at Cochin 1552 AD
Mattancherry palace built by Portuguese for King of Cochin 1555 AD
Chaldean Bishops Mar Joseph and Mar Elias reach Goa 1556 AD
Pope Paul IV erects the diocese of Cochin 1557 AD
Goa made Archbishopric and Cochin a suffragan bishopric 1557 AD
First Jesuit mission among the Syrian Christians 1557-60 AD
Chaldean Bishops Mar Joseph and Mar Elias arrives in Malabar 1558 AD
The King of Cochin publishes an edict of tolerance in favor Of Christian converts 1560 AD
Chaldean Bishop Mar Joseph made to go to Europe 1561 AD
Chaldean Bishop Mar Abraham arrives in Malabar 1563 AD
Mar Joseph returns to Malabar 1564 AD
Mar Abraham escapes to Mesopotamia 1564 AD
Mar Joseph send back to Europe 1565 AD
Mar Abraham comes back to Malabar 1565 AD
Archdiocese of Angamaly erected 1565 AD
First Council of Goa 1567 AD
Jews shifted to Mattancherry 1567 AD
Synagogue of white Jews built in Cochin 1568 AD
Chaldean Bishop Mar Joseph dies in Rome 1569 AD
Second Council of Goa 1575 AD
Vaipicotta Seminary of Jesuits started 1577 AD
Mar Simon comes to Malabar 1577 AD
Augustinians reached Cochin 1579 AD
First Synod of Angamaly convoked by the Metropolitan Bishop Mar Abraham 1583 AD
Third Council of Goa 1585 AD
Fourth Council of Goa 1592 AD
Alexis De Menezes becomes Archbishop of Goa 1595 AD
Death of the last Chaldean Metropolitan of the undivided church of Saint Thomas Christians- Mar Abraham’s death – St. Hormis church, Angamaly 1597 AD
Alexis De Menezes begins his vist in Malabar 1598 AD
Synod of Diamper 1599 AD
Fr. Franics Roz SJ becomes the Bishop of the Syrians 1599 AD
Sixteenth Century Churches

Sixteenth Century Churches

PART D- PERIOD FROM 1600 AD TO 1663 AD

After the Coonan Cross

After the Coonan Cross

EVENTS YEAR
Padroado rule imposed on Saint Thomas Christians 1600 AD
Franics Roz SJ was appointed as the first Latin bishop of Thomas Christians 1601 AD
Second Synod of Angamale  convoked by Franics Roz 1606 AD
Angamale again becomes an Archbishopric 1608 AD
Erection of diocese of Cranganore 1609 AD
Limiting Pastoral Jurisdiction of Nasranis to Malabar by Metropolitan of Goa 1610 AD
Death of Bishop Francis Roz 1624 AD
Dominican Seminary at Kaduthuruthy 1624 AD
Edappally Ashram started for the Religious Community of St. Thomas Christians 1626 AD
Fr. Frnacis Donati in Malabar 1628 AD
Thomas de Campo becomes the Archdeacon 1637 AD
A monk called Athallah, reaches Mylapre, not allowed to enter Malabar 1652 AD
Coonan Cross Oath at Mattancherry, Cochin 1653 AD
Mar Thoma I ordained bishop at Alangad by the laying of hands by 12 priests 1653 AD
First Carmelite mission to Malabar 1657 AD
The Vicariate of Malabar is erected by Pope Alexander VII 1659 AD
First Latin Vicar- Apostolic of Malabar is consecrated Bishop Sebastiani 1659 AD
Bishop Sebastiani lands at Cochin. Second Carmelite mission in Malabar 1661 AD
Quilon is captured by the Dutch 1661 AD
Cranganore is captured by the Dutch 1662 AD
Cochin is captured by the Dutch 1663 AD
Bishop Sebastiani consecrates Bishop Mar Alexander de Campo (Mar Chandy Palliveettil ) and leaves Malabar 1663 AD

PART E- SUCCEEDING CENTURY AMONG CATHOLICS ( SYRO MALABAR CHURCH)

Divisions among the Syro Malabar after the Coonan Cross

Divisions among the Syro Malabar after the Coonan Cross

EVENTS YEAR
A seminary is founded at Verapoly 1682 AD
Angelus Franics is nominated Vicar Apostolic of the Catholic Syrians 1700 AD
Mar Simon of Adana, a Chaldean Bishop arrives in Malabar 1700 AD
Death of Church of East Bishop Mar Gabriel 1730-1 AD
Mar John, a Chaldean Bishop comes to Malabar 1747 AD
The Seminary of Verapoly is revived 1764 AD
Dr. Joseph Cariati is nominated as the Archbishop of Cranganore 1782 AD
Dr. Joseph Cariati dies at Goa 1786 AD
Cochin is captured by the British 1795 AD
The first Anglican missionaries arrive in Travancore 1816 AD
A congregation of Syro Malabar Carmelite territories founded 1829 AD
The Apostolic Vicariate of Verapoly is created 1838 AD
Mar Rokos Thomas, a Chaldean Bishop from Mesopotamia arrives  at Cochin 1861 AD
Mar Rokos Thomas returns to Mesopotamia 1862 AD
Mar Mellus Ellias, a Chaldean Bishop from Mesopotamia arrives In Malabar 1874 AD
Mar Mellus Ellias , excommunicated by Rome, leaves India 1882 AD
The Seminary of Puthenpally becomes the central seminary for Syrians and Latins 1886 AD
The Catholic Hierarchy is established in India 1886 AD
The Apostolic vicariates of Kottayam and Trichur are created for Syrian Catholics 1887 AD
Two new apostolic vicariates are created at Ernakulm and Changanacherry. Changanacherry replaced that of Kottyam 1896 AD
The Mellusians of Trichur joined the Assyrian Church of East 1907 AD
The Apostolic Vicariate of Kottayam is created for the Catholic Syrians of Southist community 1911 AD
The Syro Malabar hierarchy is erected 1923 AD
Mar Ivanios and Mar Theophilos become Catholic 1930 AD
The Syro- Malankara hierarchy created 1931 AD
The Seminary of Puthenpally is transferred to Alwaye 1933 AD
Mar Severios, Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Niranam become Catholic 1937 AD
Mar Dioscoros, the Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Southists becomes Catholic 1939 AD
Syro Malabar diocese of Palai is erected 1950 AD
Jubilee celebrations of Saint Thomas and Saint Franics Xavier 1952 AD
Cardinal Eugene Tisserant, visits Malabar 1953 AD
Syro Malabar diocese of Tellicherry is erected 1954 AD
The jurisdiction of the Syro Malabar hierarchy is extended in Travancore and Cochin, in Madras State and in Mysore State 1956 AD
Syro Malabar diocese of Kothamangalm is erected 1956 AD
Restored Liturgy in force and Holy Qurbana changed to Malayalam from Syriac 1962 AD
19TH Centenary celebrations jointly by Catholics, Jacobites, Marthoma, CSI churches 1972 AD
Pope John Paul II visits India 1986 AD
Syro Malabar Church raised to a Major Archiepiscopal Sui iuris Church 1992 AD
Syro Malankara Church raised to a Major Archiepiscopal Sui iuris Church 2005 AD

PART F- SUCCEEDING CENTURY AMONG JACOBITES ( MALANKARA SYRIAC ORTHODOX CHURCH)

Divisions among the Syriac Orthodox after the Coonan Cross

Divisions among the Syriac Orthodox after the Coonan Cross

EVENTS YEAR
Mar Gregorios, the first Syriac Orthodox Bishop comes to Malabar 1665 AD
Mar Gregorios and Mar Thoma I died 1670-3 AD
Second Syriac Orthodox mission, Mar Basil ( Catholicos) , Mar John came to Malabar 1685 AD
Mar Simon of Adana, a Chaldean Bishop arrives in Malabar 1700 AD
Mar Thomas IV tries to unite with Rome 1704 AD
Mar Thomas IV died 1728 AD
Death of Church of East Bishop Mar Gabriel 1730-1 AD
Mar John, a Syriac Orthodox Bishop comes to Malabar 1741 AD
Mar John, a Chaldean Bishop comes to Malabar 1747 AD
Mar Thomas V tries to unite with Rome 1748 AD
Mar John, the Syriac Orthodox Bishop who came in 1741 was deported 1751 AD
Third Syriac Orthodox mission, Mar Basil ( Catholicos) , Mar Gregory and Mar John  to Malabar 1751 AD
Mar Thomas V died 1765 AD
Mar Thomas VI succeeded Mar Thomas V 1765 AD
Mar Thomas VI was consecrated as Mar Dionysius I at Niranam by Syriac Orthodox Bishops Mar Gregory and Mar John 1772 AD
The Anjoorians ( Thozhiur- known today as Malabar Independent Syrian Church) formed by the expulsion of Mar Cyril by Mar Dionysius I from Travancore and Cochin State 1772 AD
Cochin is captured by the British 1795 AD
Mar Dionysios I becomes Catholic for six months 1799 AD
Mar Dioscoros, a Syriac Orthodox bishop comes to Malabar 1807 AD
Mar Dionysios I died 1808 AD
Successor of Mar Dionysios I, Mar Thomas VII died 1809 AD
Mar Thomas VIII succeeded 1809 AD
Mar Thomas VIII died 1815 AD
Mar Thomas IX succeeded 1815 AD
Mar Dionysius II consecrated by Mar Philoxenos of Anjoor ( the non- hereditary indigenous Bishop ) 1815 AD
Mar Dionysius II deposed Mar Thomas IX 1815 AD
The first Anglican missionaries arrive in Travancore 1816 AD
Mar Dionysius III consecrated by Mar Philoxenos of Anjoor ( Anglican missionaries become influential among Jacobites) 1818 AD
Mar Dionysius III died and Mar Dionysius IV consecrated 1825 AD
Mar Jacob is send to Malabar by the Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Patriarch 1825 AD
The first Syond of the Malankara Syriac Orthodox ( Mavelikara)- Mar Dionysius IV Officially acknowledged the jurisdiction of Patriarch of Antioch 1836 AD
A breach occurs between Malankara Syriac Orthodox and the Protestant missionaries and both parted ways and divided common properties 1837 AD
Some 6000/12000 Jacobites joined Anglcian Church 1837 AD
Mathew Mar Athanasius arrives in Malabar and tried deposing Mar Dionysius IV 1843 AD
Mar Kurillos, a Syriac Orthodox bishop comes to Malabar after Mar Dionysius IV informed the patriarch about the Anglican tendencies of Mathew Mar Athanasius 1846 AD
Mar Kurillos deported and Mar Dionysius IV died 1855 AD
Mar Stephanos, a Syriac Orthodox bishop arrived 1855 AD
Court ruling asking Anglican missionaries to leave the affairs of Malankara Syriac Orthodox free 1857 AD
Mar Kurillos failed in court cases to recover the churches from Mathew Mar Athanasius 1857 AD
Pulikottil Joseph consecrated as Mar Dionysius V 1865 AD
TheSyriac Orthodox Patriarch Peter VII, reaches Malabar 1875 AD
Mathew Mar Athanasius excommunicated 1875 AD
Mathew Mar Athanasius died, Thomas Mar Athanasius succeeded 1875 AD
Mar Dionysius V assumes the title of Metropolitan of Malankara 1876 AD
The Second Malankara Syriac Orthodox Syond      ( Mulanthuruthy) 1876 AD
Six more Bishops consecrated in Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church and six eparchies Created. 1876 AD
Mar Dionysius V and party victories in Court case 1876 AD
The Marthoma Church comes into being — Thomas Mar Athanasious before then they were known as Reformed Jacobites. 1876 AD
A delegate of the Syriac Orthodox Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch resides in Malabar 1908 AD
Mar Dionysius V died 1909 AD
The Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Abdallah visits Malabar 1909 AD
The Syriac Orthodox Jacobites of India split into two parties( Under Mar Dionysius VI  called as Bishop Party and under the Patriarch called as Patriarch Party 1910-12 AD
The Southist Jacobite bishopric created in Chingavanam 1910 AD
The deposed Syriac Orthodox Jacobite Patriarch Abd-ul-Massih comes to Malabar and erects a Catholicosate 1912 AD
Two Bethany Congregations founded by Fr. PT Givargjeese 1919 AD
Mar Dionysius VI visits Syrian Orthodox  Jacobite Patriarch and a Catholic WestSyrian Bishop 1924 AD
Mar Ivanios and Mar Theophilos joined Catholic Church 1930 AD
The Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch , Elias III, comes to Malabar 1931 AD
The Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Elias III dies in Malabar 1933 AD
Official contacts with Catholicos Party of the Malankara Syriac Orthodox and Greek Patriarchate at Constantinople 1956 AD
End of the division among the Malankara Syrian Orthodox of India 1958 AD
Supreme Court decision in favor of Bishop Party ( known as Orthodox) 1959 AD
19th Centenary celebrations jointly by Catholics, Jacobites, Marthoma, CSI churches 1972 AD
Split in the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church of India resulting from the actions of Syrian Patriarch   ( Jacobites & Orthodox) 1975 AD
Supreme Court judgment that there is only one Orthodox Church in India with two faction 1995 AD

PART G- THE DIVISION CHRONOLOGY FROM CATHOLICS ( SYRO MALABAR CHURCH)

From Catholics ( Syro Malabar Church) – Formation of Mellusians ( known today as Chaldean Syrian Church )

EVENTS YEAR
Mar Mellus Ellias, a Chaldean Bishop from Mesopotamia arrives In Malabar 1874 AD
Mar Mellus Ellias , excommunicated by Rome, leaves India, entrusted followers to a Chaldean Chorepiscopa 1882 AD
The Mellusians of Trichur joined the Assyrian Church of East 1907 AD

PART H- THE DIVISION CHRONOLOGY FROM JACOBITES ( MALANKARA SYRIAC ORTHODOX CHURCH)

From Jacobites ( Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church) ) – Formation of Thozhiyur Church ( known today as Malabar Independent Syrian Church).

EVENTS YEAR
The Anjoorians ( Thozhiur- known today as Malabar Independent Syrian Church) formed by the expulsion of Mar Cyril by Mar Dionysius I from Travancore and Cochin State 1772 AD

From Jacobites ( Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church) – Formation of Reformed Jacobites ( known today as Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church )

EVENTS YEAR
A breach occurs between Malankara Syriac Orthodox and the Protestant missionaries and both parted ways and divided common properties 1837 AD
Mathew Mar Athanasius arrives in Malabar and tried deposing Mar Dionysius IV 1843 AD
Mathew Mar Athanasius excommunicated 1875 AD
The Marthoma Church comes into being —  Thomas Mar Athanasious before then they were known as Reformed Jacobites. 1876-89 AD

From Orthodox ( Malankara Orthodox Syriac Church) – Formation of Syro Malankara Church

EVENTS YEAR
Mar Dionysius VI visits Syrian Orthodox  Jacobite Patriarch and a Catholic West Syrian Bishop 1824 AD
Mar Ivanios and Mar Theophilos joined Catholic Church 1830 AD

Split as two groups known today as Orthodox and Jacobites

EVENTS YEAR
The Syrian Orthodox Jacobites of India split into two parties( Under Mar Dionysius VI  called as Bishop Party and under the Patriarch called as Patriarch Party) 1910-12 AD
End of the division among the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Jacobites of India 1958 AD
Split in the Syriac Orthodox Jacobite Church of India resulting from the actions of Syriac Patriarch of Antioch   ( as Jacobites & Orthodox) 1975 AD
Supreme Court judgment that there is only one Orthodox Church in India with two factions 1995 AD

29 Comments

  1. The formation of the St. Thomas Evangelical Church and the St. George Syrian Orthodox Cathedral,Karingachira near Thripunithura is not mentioned.

    Post a Reply
  2. *Mar Ivanios and Mar Theophilos joined Catholic Church*

    Is it 1830 or 1930 ??

    Post a Reply
  3. You have omitted an imporatant event, the 1952 Jubilee Celebrations of St.Thomas Christians.
    Pope Pius XII initially opposed to declare the nineteenhundreth year of arrival of St.Thomas in Kerala, for “lack of evidence”,sent Cardianal Tisserant,the head of Oriental Congregation, as Pope’s representative to participate in the celebrations.Pope had earlier proclaimed the same year as
    Jubilee year of St.Francis Xavier’s arrival in India.With the patronage of Cardinal Tisserant,the
    spring of Syro-Malabar Christians started.

    Post a Reply
  4. Lack of evidence is not unique to St. Thomas. I was reading through some Jewish literature of recent origin. It is about Israeli archaeological finding of the real grave of St.Peter in present day Israel. Of course the Roman Catholic church would never accept this. I find the evidence rather convincing as there are other graves nearby said to be of St.Mary, Martha and Lazarus!Now the question arises. Did St.Peter go to Rome during his last days? We must learn to keep an open mind. Everything in the world cannot be divinely ordered and inspired.

    Post a Reply
  5. Dear B. George,

    I would be very interested to read the evidence found for the tombs of the Apostles Kepha (Peter), Maryam, Martha and Lazar in the Jerusalem area. Would you supply further details of these publications please? For example, titles, publication dates, authors, publisher and ISBNs if available.

    Thank you.

    Best regards,
    Steven.

    Post a Reply
  6. Dear Steven,
    The literature on the subject is extensive. I have chosen the most informative but quotation of the whole is beyond the scope of this post . But please make a Google search for “The Discovery of Peter’s Tomb in Jerusalem” By F.Paul Peterson. I am sure you will find all you want.
    Even if I was a Catholic which I am not I would never have accepted the story of Peter’s burial in Vatican since Paul’s epistles do not speak of Peter’s whereabouts excepting their meeting in Jerusalem.
    Regards
    B.George

    Post a Reply
  7. Dear B. George,

    Thank you for these references, which I have looked up:
    http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/peters-jerusalem-tomb.htm
    Very interesting reading. The inscription in question is casually written, but the consonants read in Aramaic ShM`WN BR YWNH, i.e. “Shem`on Bar Yonah”. In archaeology, the context of finds is key to their interpretation. Pictures of the other biblical names Maryam and Martha and Lazar are given from the same funerary context, but their inscriptions are less distinct, see:
    http://biblelight.net/DF-table28-fot78.jpg This image shows the consonants: M(R)T’ WM(R)Y’ i.e. “Ma(r)tha waMa(r)ya”.
    If the context is really an early Christian cemetery (as it appears to be) and these other NT names are also found in the same context, then the identification of this inscription with Shem`on Bar Yonah seems to have a very good scientific basis.

    I am persuaded by early Christianity and quite devoted to that, but I am certainly not persuaded, and I am not ashamed to be sceptical of its later Greek, western and modern forms. As soon as Christianity was adopted by the political elites of the early 4th century AD, truth was thrown out of the window.

    Best regards,
    Steven.

    Post a Reply
  8. The Syrian Church of India is granted full status (Patriarch Theodosius ) c. 852/858 AD. I want to know more details about this

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  9. Yes I second the above. What does it mean?

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  10. Where in is the details of Palackal Thomma Malpan and the Pallippuram Seminary?
    How can the History of the Nazanis be complete wihout the History, the Contributions and the initiatives of Palackal Thomma Malpan?

    Post a Reply
  11. Kurian Joseph,

    Even i like to know more abt Pallipuram church.. WHat i understood is that the church was build in 3rd century AD.. Here its stated 290 AD.. yes its 3rd century.. But how they got the figure 290 AD ???

    Post a Reply
  12. Gentlemen,

    It seems that there were some Chaldean seminaries and monasteries in Malabar before the arrival of the Portugeues. These were abolished by the Portuguese It is known that one such seminary and one monastery were functioning at Kuravilangad.

    Can anybody give some information on these seminary and monastery?

    NIDHIRY

    Post a Reply
  13. It must be a reality that there must be monastries and convents in the early church as they are the mainstay in our system.
    the early history must have been destroyed or spoiled due to faulty material or storage .let us hope some body bring some information.

    dr.abraham p.sam

    Post a Reply
  14. Dear dr.abraham p.sam,

    Early Christianity was an eastern religion based around wandering teachers who lived off of the land and sometimes from the hospitality of friends. They taught disciples and engaged in debate with other religious leaders and scribes. John the Baptist and our founder and God, Isho` Meshiha both exemplified this ascetic way of life which is vividly described in the gospels.

    It may surprise you to hear that the first Christian monastery was invented centuries after Christ. The first Christian cenobic monasteries appeared in Egypt c. AD 320. These first monasteries were started by a Coptic monk called Abba Pachom near Qena in Upper Egypt. Then the monastic idea began to spread rapidly. The first monastery in Mesopotamia was founded by Mar Awgin of Clysma, on Mount Izla near Nisibis in c. AD 330. Further details can be found by clicking on the link under my name above and scrolling to the brief article I have written about Mar Awgin under the date AD 362 – 363. I have provided references there, should you wish to dig further into the background of these historical events.

    It is also interesting to read the partly legendary Acts of Yehudi Thoma (Thomas) which were originally composed in Syriac. These acts have been edited and translated into English by William Wright, (this book is available to read on-line, or as a free download). Book details:
    Wright, William 1871. ‘Apocryphal acts of the apostles’ 2 volumes, London & Edinburgh. Reprinted by Georg Olms, Verlag Hildersheim, Zürich, NY 1990.

    In the Syriac Acts of Thomas, Mar Thoma is depicted as a wandering teacher who comes to India at the command of Marya Isho Meshiha. The ascetic lifestyle of Mar Thoma is that of a wandering teacher, the same lifestyle more or less, as is described in the gospels.

    With best wishes,
    Steven Ring.

    Post a Reply
  15. Dear Dr. Abraham,

    You wrote ‘..It must be a reality that there must be monastries and convents in the early church as they are the mainstay in our system…”

    I am not sure of above. YOu should be aware that the unique thing about us Malabar Nazerenes was that there was no ‘eccelestial setup’ as in the West or Ethopia/Egypt/Persia etc.. We had our Jaathi Moopans as our leaders and priests and there is no record of Bishops and similar within an eccelestial setup.

    Indeed, the CoE did have an eccelestial set up and it can be argued that we Malabaris came under the CoE. It can also be argued that the ties with the Persian CoE was weak,as our faith and beliefs were leaning heavily towards Indian/Hindu cutlure. The Synod of Diamper was thick with allegations that we followed much pagan practices/traditions. Can you imagine an eccelestial set up in Malabar in full communion with the CoE of Persia?

    Monastries and convents are ‘Institutions’ and can come only in an eccelestial setup, as it alone can support administration of these institutions. Small ashrams would have been possible, but not monastries and convents.

    Information so far obtained, shows that we were and are not a homogenious group and like the early church, we were of different origins, beliefs and traditions. It was the Inquisition which tried to bring us under one belief and faith. This did not last for long.

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  16. Dear Mr. Steven Ring,

    You wrote ‘..It is also interesting to read the partly legendary Acts of Yehudi Thoma (Thomas) which …”

    Kindly advise as to why you use the words ‘partly legendary’ in the above. I have read the ‘Acts’ and I am no scholar (and my head spins). I understand your choice of ‘partly legendary’. Yet, I would like to have your reasons.

    This book is vital to us Malabar Nazerenes and heavy scholastic work on this is long overdue. Can you please oblige?

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  17. ‘NIDHIRY’ wrote (Post : 287336) :

    “It seems that there were some Chaldean seminaries and monasteries in Malabar before the arrival of the Portugeues. These were abolished by the Portuguese It is known that one such seminary and one monastery were functioning at Kuravilangad.

    Can anybody give some information on these seminary and monastery?”

    Dr. Mar Aprem Metropolitan of the Chaldean Syrian Church of The East in India may have reliable information in this regard. Has this matter been discussed with Dr. Mar Aprem?

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  18. There are mentions in many European authors that there were monasteries in Angamali, Kuravilangadu, Mailappore and Edappalli.

    Joseph, the famous Indian cathanaar has mentioned in AD 1501 that there were in Malabar, hermitages with monks dressed in black clothes, who live in chastity, and also nuns.

    Read section 5b About the Clergy and 5c Monasteries and Nunneries in the article ‘The Story of Joseph the Indian, a Historical appraisal…..’

    http://nasrani.net/2010/06/05/the-story-of-joseph-the-indian-with-a-historical-appraisal-of-the-affairs-of-st-thomas-christians/#identifier_40_839

    Monk Younan who came to Malabar in AD 905 along with Bishop Mar Denha, Rabban and Maravan as described in the Chronicles of Niranam, was based in the monastery at Kuravilangadu and later buried in the Church at Udayampeeroor.His tomb was demolished by the authorities and remains of his and other three or four persons in a pot and buried in the church at Udayampeeroor.

    I have heard that there still a place called Younakkuzhy near Kuravilangadu.

    .

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  19. Dear Mathai Varghese

    Re Post : 302442

    What you have asked for: A proper critical edition and an English translation of the Syriac Acts of Thomas is a difficult thing and a lot of work. If this work were to be done, how many people would really read it and appreciate it these days? The work is a monument of Syriac literature and one of the earliest extant Syriac literary texts. The scholars Paul-Hubert Poirier, F. Bovon and P. Geoltrain have shown interest in this work and produced French translations and bibliographies for the AT, but I don’t know if any of these intend to critically edit and translate the AT.

    The late William Petersen was one of the most recent scholars to look into the Acts of Thomas. He did not edit or translate it, he merely commented on it. He says, (‘Diatessaron’ p. 213) that there are six known Syriac manuscripts that contain these Acts, reference:

    William L. Petersen, ‘Tatian’s Diatessaron’ Supplement to Vigiliae Christianae Vol. XXV ISBN 900 409 469 5 E. J. Brill, Leiden 1994, pp. 213-215.

    Despite what Bill Petersen wrote, in my part-time amateur studies into the Syriac tradition so far, I have managed to identify 13 manuscript copies of this work. However, not all of these copies are complete and due to wars etc., not all of them can be accessed. About 8 of these 12 manuscripts are potentially accessible to me.

    Kind regards,
    Steven.

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  20. Dear Mathai Varghese

    Re Post : 302442

    I forgot to answer your question about the legendary nature of the Acts of Thomas. Initially, some scholars thought that the AT was an entirely legendary tale, however this view has gradually changed over time. More recent research has found certain connections to real historical people in the AT. There are also other features in the AT like the one I pointed out above, which suggest that the AT is at least partly historical, or perhaps it developed from an historical work.

    Best wishes,
    Steven Ring.

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  21. Dear Mr. Kuruvilla Cherian,

    I am happy to be corrected if it is established that there was a seminary in place X and monastry in Kuruvilangad. However, I would advise to be very careful in the usage of the words ‘seminary’ and ‘monastry’. These are English words and strongly indicate institutions. A pro Western leaning would conviniently translate the Indian word ‘Ashram’ into ‘Monastry’ or ‘Seminary’.

    For instance during the years around AD 1599, the title and name ‘Arch Deacon George’ comes up importantly in our history, subtly making our mindset ‘Western Christian’, while the the priest’s title and name would have been ‘Jaathi Moopan Geevarghese’. Arch Deacon George is not the same as Jaathi Moopan Geevarghese’. Is Bombay the same as Mumbai? If one uses the word ‘Bombay’ today, then it reveals the inside of the user.

    My accessment (with no evidence) is that there was an small Ashram in Kuravilangad where the presence of the Persian CoE was noticable/evident and this Ashram (after the arrival of the Portugeese) was conviniently denoted as ‘Monastry/Seminary’ just the way that Jaathi Moopan Geevarghese is named today as ‘Arch Deacon George’.

    Bombay smacks of Colonial British India and Mumbai smacks of Saffron Shiv Sena. They are not the same, though the GPS coordinate are the same.
    This is a little difficult for me to express, but I am trying!

    I will even venture out to say that the Ashram would have been in the same ‘plot’ of the Jaathi Moopan’s house/palace, the same entity as his house.

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  22. Dear Mr. Steven Ring,

    Thanks for the info.

    Initially, when I read (in English) the AT, I mentally dismissed it as a ‘legend’ and not as facts. How can a snake talk in AT?

    Acts of Judas Thomas, Act 3 “..The snake saith to him: “I am reptile, the son of reptile and harmer, the son of harmer; I am the son of him, to whom power…”

    If Jesus said in Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you…”, then why should I have a problem in not believing in a talking snake in AT?

    In Numbers 22: 28, a donkey talks to Balaam.

    I am not saying that the AT should or should not be Scripture, but saying it is a very important book for us Marthomites. It is sad, that you, a non Marthomite know much much more of this book than us. We have a long long way to go.

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  23. Dear Mathai Varghese,

    So, I’m interested in your post above. Does anyone know what a Nasrani ashram was like and how it functioned?

    This interests me because there were other kinds of ascetic Christian community (i.e. not cenobic monasteries as such) which existed in the Middle East up to the 7th or 8th century AD. So, I wonder how Nasrani ashrams compare to those?

    Best regards,
    Steven.

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  24. Dear Sir,

    Difficult to answer right away, about the Nasrani Ashram. This is probably the first time this subject is even being addressed. Need much information. But I can cast information into the ring and ones who are gifted in ‘synthesizing’ can put together subject. Mine is only an attempt by an amateur.

    An Ashram is a Hindu/Jain/Buddhist word for a place of religious retreat/fellowship, usually under a guru. Some to all Syrian churches in Kerala have their own ashrams. For instance the Marthoma Syrian Church has an Ashram in Sihora, Madya Pradesh and the ‘Reeth (Syro Malabar Catholic Church) has an Ashram in Kurushumallai in Idukki Dist., Kerala.

    Prior to the Inquisition in AD 1599 and after, Nazerenes were led by the ‘Jaathi Moopans’ or the ‘Heads of the castes’ or for a Westerner to understand, it would be ‘Head of the clans’. The Malabar Nazerenes were highly family and clan oriented and strong evidences of this orientation/structure exists even today in modern Kerala.

    The priestly families like Pakalomattom, Kalli etc.. were the religious leaders and these families were also the elite with possible large agrarian land holdings. In the main house or near the main house of the Jaathi Moopan was the ‘Ashram’ where people resided as guests/members, for spiritual and physical/medical reason. Attached to such estates were also the ‘Pallies’, which then meant ‘place of learning’ and which today means ‘church’.

    So it was a ‘combo kit’ having the 3 entities,

    1)Main household of the Jaathi Moopan, with his immediate and extended family, servants etc..
    2) Ashram, where the guests/members resided for spiritual and medical(?) reasons, usually fed from the kitchen in the main house.
    3) Palli to accommodate for worship a few hundred people on the 7th day and the 1st day.

    The Bible as we know it today was simply not freely available to the masses then. The priestly families would just have had a few copies of the Bible and that too not the entire collection of the Book, but just individual books here and there. Because of this, I would imagine that the priestly households were the center of focus on religious matters. Religious studies and liturgy was of-course in Syriac and so guests/members often resided there, as knowledge in religious Syriac was uncommon. This place would have been commonly (and collectively?) called ‘Palli’ than Ashram.

    Today, people in Kerala do not say ‘I am going to the Ashram for worship’, rather they say that I am going to the Palli for worship! Ashram is a place where those seriously into religion reside and pursue their calling. Young students and seniors from other places would have resided in these small religious centers and such religious centers would be called a small Ashram.

    It is further possible, that the word ‘Ashram’ was not used, but rather the word ‘Palli’ was used. As Palli means ‘Place of learning/studies’, it can also include ‘Place of residence of those engaged in learning/studies’.

    A very popular usage all over India would be ‘Gurukulam’, which is the place where the teacher lives with his extended family and also were students learn and live, sometimes under the same roof. The concept of Gurukulam should have extended to the Malabar Nazerenes. The key words of the Malabar Nazerenes Ashram/Palli/Gurukulam would have been ‘Family of the sub Jaathi Moopans and the Chief Jaathi Moopans’.

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  25. Dear Mr. Steven Ring and the Administrator,

    May I suggest that the Admin. of this forum request Mr. Ring to write an article on the ‘Acts of Thomas’.

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  26. Dear All
    I would like to know about the work of St.Thomas in India.Will you refer some books which can enlighten m curiosity.Either of Syrian Catholic or of Syrian Orthodox/Jacobite origin is Ok for me
    Syriac

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  27. Dear Syriac,

    Here is the online book in English titled ‘Acts of Holy Apostle Thoma’. I like to call it ‘Acts of Mar Thoma’.

    It is very tough reading and it speaks about his work in India. I must repeat again, that this is a very complex book. You have start at the fundamentals. What is India? IWhat is Taksila? What is Mylapore?, What is Malabar? What are these hellenized names doing in the book? Who was the king Gondhophorus? Who was the Jewish slave girl? Ah!! There are so many things to know very well, before you can even understand 5% of the book.

    The book may take you for a ‘head spin’. Safe landing!

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  28. There is no mention of the formation of the Anglican Church at Thalavady under auspices of Bishop Norton?

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