At the turn of the 20th century, there lived a holy man on a haunted island, called Parumala, on the banks of River Pampa in Kerala, India. He was the prophet of his time, who set moral tone for his people. Powerful like Prophet Elijah and glittering like John the Baptist, he remains the beacon and a great Saint of the Malankara Orthodox Church.
It was on June 15, 1848, that Kochu Ipeora(Geevarghese) was born in Chathuruthy family, Mulanthuruthy, Kerala. His parents were Kochu Mathai and Mariam, who had three sons and two daughters. After the birth of fifth child Ipeora, Mariam died. After the early days of education under Malpan(teacher) Geevarghese of Chathuruthy, Kochu Ipeora was ordained as decon on September 14, 1859; he was only ten years old at that time.
One day Malpan became seriously ill with smallpox. Deacon Geevarghese was the only one who stayed and took care of him, while all others were sent home. On the eight day Malpan died and Deacon became ill. During this time he had a vision of St. Mary in his dream, descending to console him, and exhorting him to dedicate the rest of his life to the lord. He pledged: "He Would". This was a heavenly vision that enable him to become a humble servent of God. Very soon the deacon recovered. At the age of 18, in 1865 he was ordained as a priest. Joseph Mar Dionysios raised him to the order of monks(Ramban) in 1872. The Patriarch of Antioch consecrated four(4) metropolitans at Paravoor Church, Kerala in december 10, 1876. The youngest amoung them was Geevarghese Ramban and who was named Mar Gregorios. Because of his age everybody called him "Kochu Thirumeni"(Youngest Bishop). Mar Gregorios was appointed the bishop of Niranam, Kerala. He started a monastry at Parumala, Kerala.
Mar Gregorios was a man of God, who lived not according to the way of the flesh but according to the law of god. He led a virtuous and austere life, like a monk, living on frugal diet enriched by prayer and fasting.
At Parumala Seminary he led a austere life. He woke up at 4am in the morning and prayed till 5am. He taught deacons till 7am followed by prayer and his lite breakfast. From 9am till 11am he taught deacons again. From 11am to noon he took care of administrative matters and again went to prayer at noon and then to lunch. He rested till 1:30pm and taught till 4pm with a brief prayer in between. From 4pm to 5:30pm he was busy with his administrative duties. After evening prayers and supper he taught bible to the deacons. After the complining, at 9pm he would let the deacons go to bed, but he would still be praying until midnight. On Wednesdays and Fridays and lenten days, he would fast till evening. Besides, he observed his own special fasts. People came from far and near to seek his blessings and paternal advices.
In his own words "Prayer brings truth,religious faith, honesty and respect amoung the people."
St. Gregorios became sick when he returned from Veeyapuram Church after blessing a marriage. Even from the beginning of his illness he knew that he was in his last days. The news of illness spread all over Malankara. Although he grew weaker day by day, his face shone brighter and brighter. It was on November 2, 1902, midnight he was ready to meet his heavenly father. He left his earthly abode and flew to eternity. In 1947, The Holy Episcopal synod canonised and proclaimed him a Saint of th Orthodox Church. There are hundreds of instances that proved his Saintilness. Thousands of people receive favours and blessings through his intercession.
The growing flow of pilgrims to his tomb, several years after his demise, tells a story of a man of faith, prayer, healing, and great intercession.
The most important of the spiritual centers of the Malankara is the Tomb of His Holiness the "Parumala Thirumeni". The 30 cents of land that Arikupuram Koruthu Mathen donated to Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysios in July 1872 became in later years Parumala Seminary. The Arikupuram family also gave land for building a church adjacent to the Seminary. The Church was constructed as a result of the efforts of Parumala Geevarghese Mar Gregorios. On 27 January 1825 a provisional consecration of the Church was conducted. Later, on 19 August 1912 His Holiness Abdheth Misheha, the Patriarch consecrated the Parumala Church. The Church is built and named after the Apostle St. Peter and St. Paul. The burial place of Yuyakim Mar Ivanios can also be seen here.
On 8 September 1912 Kallasseril Geevarghese Mar Gregorios and on 3 November 1930 Puthencavu Geevarghese Mar Philexinos were consecrated in Parumala. On 29 April 1991 at the seminary the installation of His Holiness Baselios mar Thoma Mathews II Catholicos took place. Here 5 Episcopas were consecrated on 30 April 1991 and on 16 August 1993 2 more Episcopas were consecrated.
Here the Malankara Association met in 1873 and on 18 February 1878 with Pulikkotil Joseph Dionysius in the chair and again on 10 September 1992 and on 26 May 1994. The Church is situated 1/2 a K.m away to the east from the Mannar Junction and is 10 Kms towards the south from Tiruvalla on Thiruvalla- Mavelikara Road and 9 K.ms towards the north from Mavelikara. Here on Fridays the Holy Qurbana with three celebrants (Munninmel) is conducted and meditative discourse is given. During the day of 'Pentecost' the 'tarrying Meet' and during the '3 day Fast' and the 'Lenten season', 'Meditation Meets' are conducted.
November 1 and 2 are the main feast days. In connection with this feast a whole week is being observed as 'Pilgrimage Week'. Various Seminars are conducted and lectures given. Medical camps are also held under the auspices of the Mar Gregorios Hospital in Parumala. The New Church in Parumala is being constructed at the cost of Rupees Three Crores. Rev.Fr. P.M.Kuriakose is the Manager.
This web page is dedicating on the occasion of the Saint's 100th death Anniversary (2nd Nov, 2002)
Parumala Church side.
In his own words "Prayer brings truth,religious faith, honesty and respect among the people." Bishop, Saint Gregorios, Parumala.
(100th death Anniversary (2nd Nov, 2002)
This Saint is the most favoured patron for prayer and comfort for millions of Indians in many countries. He lived in the late half of the 19th century,in South India (Parumala in Central Travancore)
Govt. of India (news report March 06, 2002) decided to issue 'Stamp & first day Cover' to commemorate Parumala Thirumeni,.(The announcement was made by central govt.Minister, Mr.O.Rajagopal.
Also see below for the relaated news: http://www.geocities.com/malankarav/Mano_6_mar_02.htm
His life, leadership and social message reached beyond many limits existed in the racial and British colonial society, that time.