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Marthoma Metrans

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Metrans is a title of Orthodox Christian leaders in India. Marthoma Metrans refers to a group of leaders since the disruption of relations with the Roman Catholic Church. The "Mar" is an Indian title of respect - it was concatenated with "Thoma" to indicate succession from Saint Thomas the Apostle, the person believed to have founded Christianity in India. This line lasted from 1652 to 1817.


After the The Great Swearing in Ceremony, the parish elders (Idavaka Mooppens) of the Church met together and elected Kuravilangad Parampil Thomas Kathanar as Malankara Elder (Malankara Mooppen). Following the ancient custom [1] twelve Idavaka Mooppens laid their hands on him and appointed him as Malankara Mooppen. The Catholics considered this illegitimate, because this was not their practice. So the Marthoma Nazranis were forced to send letters to various other eastern Churches asking to send a bishop. In 1854, Mar Gregorios Abdul-Jaleel, Patriarch of Jerusalem arrived. Thus began the relation between the Malankara Church and the Antiochan Jacobites.

The lineage

All nine Marthoma Methrans were members of the Pakalomattam family.

Marthoma I. - In 1653, Thomas of Pakalomattam Thravadu was consecrated with the title Marthoma I by Mar Gregorios. Marthoma I survived a number of assassination attempts. He died on April 25, 1670 and was interred in Ankamali Marthommen Palli. (church).

Marthoma II. – (1670-1686) Consecrated by Marthoma I and Mar Gregorios. Died on April 14, 1686 and was interred at Niranam Palli.

Marthoma III. – (1686-1688) Consecrated by Mar Ivanios Hirudyathulla (from Antioch), died on April 21, 1688. Laid to rest at Kadampanad, Near Adoor.

Marthoma IV. - (1988-1728). Consecrated by Mar Ivanios Hirudyathulla. Died on March 24, 1728 and was interred at Kandanad Palli.

Marthoma V. - (1728-1765) – Consecrated by Marthoma IV. Died on May 8, 1765 and laid to rest at Niranam Palli.

Marthoma VI. – (1765-1808) Consecrated by Marthoma V. Died on April 8, 1808 and laid to rest at Puthenkavu palli. Important events:
  • On June 1770, to avoid a split in the Church, he accepted re-consecration and the title Dionysius from Antiochan bishops.
  • Marthoma VI did not approve the appointment of Kattumangattu Abraham Mar Coorilos as a metropoiltan by a bishop from Antioch. This was the beginning of Malabar Independent Syrian Church.
  • Forced to conduct a service according to Catholic rites, but escaped during a rebellion in Travancore under Velu Thampi.[2]
  • Rev.Dr. Claudius Buchanan visited and made arrangement for the translation of the Bible into Malayalam. Marthoma gave him the manuscript of the Bible written in the oldest Syrian. This manuscript was deposited in the public library of the University of Cambridge.[2]

Marthoma VII. – (1808-1809) Consecrated by Marthoma VI in 1796. During his time on December 1, 1808, a sum of 3000 Star Pagoda (in 2002 one Star Pagoda coin had a market value of £475) was given as loan in perpetuity to the British resident Colonel Maccaulay. This is known as Vattipanam. Marthoma died on July 4, 1809 and was interred at Kolencherry palli.

Marthoma VIII. – (1809-1816) Consecrated on July 2, 1809 by Marthoma VII. During his time Kottayam Suryani Seminary was opened and modern education began in Kerala. Marthoma died on January 26, 1816 and was interred at Niranam palli.

Marthoma IX. – (1816-1817). Consecrated by Marthoma VIII without the consent of the people. So he retired to Kadamattom palli and spent the rest of his days in prayer and fasting.

Marthoma X (Malankara Metropolitan)– (1816-1816). Also known as Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, was consecrated by Mar Philoxenos II, of the Malabar Independent Syrian Church (Thozhiyoor Sabha). Marthoma died on November 25, 1816 and laid to rest at Seminary palli. Important events:

  • First Metropolitan to be recognised by Travancore and Cochin as Malankara Metropolitan, by a Royal Proclamation to receive interest of Vattipanam (Fixed Deposit).
  • Opened the Kottayam Suryani Seminary.
  • Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.) missionaries arrived to teach there.


  1. Mar Thoma Church, Mar Thoma Metropolitans
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mar Thoma Church, Mar Toma VI.

Also refer

Mar Thoma Church

Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches of Oriental Orthodoxy
Autocephalous Churches
Alexandria | Antioch | Armenia | Eritrea | Ethiopia | India
Autonomous Churches
Alexandria: British Orthodox Church | French Orthodox Church

Antioch: Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church

Armenia: Catholicos of All Armenians | Cilicia | Constantinople | Jerusalem

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