Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious II.
Metropolitan of the Malankara Church
Enthroned April 30, 1865
Reign ended July 11, 1909
Predecessor Cheppad Philipose Mar Dionysius
Successor Geevarghese Mar Dionysius of Vattasseril (Dionysius VI)
Personal details
Born November 12, 1833
Died 11th July 1909

Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious II was born into the family of Pulikkottil(Kunnamkulam), a famous and important family in the annals of the history of Malankara church. He was a courageous, popular, spiritual leader, who guided his followers through one of the most difficult times in the history of Malankara Church. He dedicated his life to the church. Gifted by his integrity, and loyalty to the church he was even prepared to lay down his life for the church and its beliefs. [1] At a time when modern mode of transportation could not even be dreamed of, he crossed the seas, passed through dangerous and unfamiliar terrain, with toil and travail, he went up to Antioch to get ordained as a bishop by the Patriarch of Antioch.[2]

Early life


Kunnamkulam is a city and a municipality in Thrissur district in the Indian state of Kerala. It is around 23 km from Thrissur town and 10 km from Guruvayur. The Arabians, Greeks, and Persians left their foot prints on this land years ago. The archaeologists unearthed a collection of old Roman coins which was buried around BC 123 and AD 117. These coins are exhibited at archaeological museum of Thrissur. [3][4]

It is believed that Saint Thomas the disciple of Jesus Christ arrived here and a Christian congregation was formed in the first century. Now majority of the population are Syrian Christians.

His family

Pulikkottil is an ancient family which moved from Aarthattu and settled in Kunnamkulam. Tharu Kurien, a member of this family was the nephew of Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious I (Mar Thoma X). Joseph (Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious II) was born as the son of Tharu Kurien and Thandamma, daughter of Paingamukku Kuthooru Geevarghese Kathanaar, on November 12, 1833.

In addition to theology and Syriac he learned Sanskrit and Hindustani at Kunnamkulam.


He received the deaconship from Cheppad Mar Dionysius on 6 October 1846 and on 18 August 1853 he was ordained as a priest by Metropolitan Yuyakim Mar Kurilos at Challiserry church.

On 29 April 1865 at Ameed, Patriarch Yakoob III elevated him to the rank of Ramban.On 30 April he was consecrated as Metropolitan Joseph Mar Dionysios.

Because Patriarch Yakoob III was not a bishop of Malankara church, Pulikkottil Joseph Ramban was given the episcopal title Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious. Moreover he was not seated on the Malankara throne (on which Mar Thoma I to Mar Thoma XII were seated at the time of their consecration) he did not get the title Mar Thoma. He was the fifth bishop in the Malankara Church to get this title Dionysius

During the eventful forty-four years between 1865 A.D to 1909 he adorned the Malankara Metropolitan's position with extraordinary skill. It was during that period that the Mulanthuruthy Synod, division of dioceses and the 'Holy Mooran Koodasha' took place. Through his unstinting effort, spiritual organizations like Sunday School and Students movement, and Church institutions like Parumala Seminary, Kunnamkulam Sehiyon Bungalow, Kottapuram Seminary and M.D. Seminary developed.

After the death of Mathews Mar Athanasius Metropolitan, Thomas Mar Athanasius took charge as Metropolitan. Then Joseph Mar Dionysious II made a claim that he and the fellow trustees were the lawful owners of the Church and demanded the possession of the Seminary and control of the assets of the Church. Dionysius filed a case at Alappuzha civil court on March 4, 1879 (O.S.No.439 of 1054). In the final verdict announced on July 12, 1889. Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan lost all claims to the church properties. It mentioned that the consecration, the authority of Thomas Mar Athanasius as Metropolitan and the properties of the individual parishes were not under the jurisdiction of the court.[5]. So litigations for individual churches began.

Last days

Kunnamkulam Pulikkottil Joseph Dionysious II died on 11 July 1909. His mortal remains were interred in the northern side of the chapel in Pazhaya Seminary. His Death Anniversary is on 12 July.


  1. Titus Varghese, Prof. V. (1970) Thomas Mar Athanasius. (Malayalam).
  2. Mathew, N.M. ‘’Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram’’, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume II (2007).
  3. Mathew, Adv.P.C., Aarthattu pallipattum charitra rekhakalum. Page 40.
  4. Induchudan, V.T. "Keralathile Sthalanama Charithram" in Mathrubhumi Annual 1970.
  5. Verdict Para 19 and 20.

See also

External links

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