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Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious I (Mar Thoma X)

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Most Rev. Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious I (Mar Thoma X )
Malankara Church.
Enthroned March 22, 1816
Reign ended November 1816
Predecessor Mar Thoma IX
Successor Punnathara Mar Dionysious (Mar Thoma XI)
Consecration March 22, 1816
Personal details
Birth name Joseph Ittoop
Born January 15, 1742
Kunnamkulam
Died November 24, 1816
Kottayam
Buried Kottayam Pazhaya Seminary.

Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious I was the Metropolitan only for nine months, but he made lasting contributions to the Malankara church. He was able to keep up the traditions, to improve the knowledge of the people and to decree that the assets of the Metropolitan would be assets of the Church. During his life time, he renovated and managed one of the oldest churches in Kerala. was the mastermind in opening of the first formal educational institution, in Kerala Kottayam Suryani Seminary, and was able to do a lot for the Malankara church. [1]

His nephew Tharu Kurien's son Joseph was later consecrated by the Patriarch of Antioch. He was also given the same episcopal title Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious and was known as Dionysious II. (1833-1909).

Malankara church

On the South Western coast of India lies a small state known as Kerala It was here in the first century, Thomas the Apostle arrived to preach the gospel to the Jewish community. Some of the Jews and locals including the wise men who saw Jesus as a baby at Bethlehem, became followers of Jesus of Nazareth. They were known as Malabar Nasrani people and their church as Malankara Church. They followed a unique Hebrew-Syriac Christian tradition which included several Jewish elements and Indian customs.

Kunnamkulam

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. [2] [3]

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.

Early days

Joseph Ittoop was born on January 15, 1742 in Pulikkottil an ancient family which moved from Aarthattu to Kunnamkulam. He was ordained as a priest by Mar Thoma VI and was known as Pulikkottil Joseph Ittoop Kathanar. He was the vicar of his parish, Chattukulangara Aarthattu church.

Invasion of Tippu Sultan

Mysore ruler Tippu Sultan invaded Guruvayur and adjacent areas, in AD 1740. The people of Kunnamkulam defended the attack with all their effort. The soldiers of Tippu Sultan set fire on Aarthattu church and murdered a number of people. One of them was killed inside the sanctuary. Witnessing all these atrocities Pulikkottil Joseph Kathanar was hiding inside this church. A large number of refugees left Aarthattu and settled in Kunnamkulam under the leadership of Joseph Kathanar. After Tippu Sultan left, Joseph Kathanar returned to the parish and renovated the church, removing that area of the sanctuary where the man was killed.

Consecration

Introduction

File:Malankarathrone.jpg

After the great swearing in 1653 it became necessary to appoint a bishop. For this purpose a special chair was made and the first bishop of Malankara church was enthroned. This was the throne used for the consecration of Mar Thoma X, Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius .

As ramban

As per the decision of the meeting of the representatives from parishes at Kandanad, on September 14, 1809, Pulikkottil Joseph Ittoop Kathanar was ordained as a Ramban. [4]. [5].

Consecration

Mar Thoma VIII died on January 26, 1816. Before his death, he consecrated Mar Thoma IX. He was not accepted by the people and clergy. They met together and selected Pulikottil Joseph Ittoop Ramban as the next Metropolitan. But there were no bishops to consecrate him. So members of Malankara church invited Geevarghese Mar Philexenos (Kidangan) (1811-1829) of the Malabar Independent Syrian Church. Even though the first bishop of his church was driven out of Malankara church, without a grudge Mar Philexenos accepted the invitation.

Pulikottil Joseph Ittoop Ramban was consecrated on March 22, 1816 as Mar Thoma X. Because he was consecrated by Geevarghese Mar Philexenos of the Malabar Independent Syrian Church, a bishop of another church, he was given the episcopal title Dionysius a Graeco-Roman name. He was the second bishop in the Malankara Church to get this title Dionysius.

Syrian seminary

From the very beginning Pulikottil Joseph Ittoop Ramban took active interest in the establishment of the Syrian Seminary at Kottayam. Government of Travancore provided tax free land and the foundation stone was laid in February 1813. The work went on very fast and classes began in March 1815.

Qualified teachers to teach various subjects were also appointed. They were Maramon Palakunnathu Abraham Malpan (Syriac), Konattu Varghese Malpan (Syriac), Kozhikode Kunjan Assan (Sanskrit), Poet Laureate Chekottu Kuruvilla Assan (Malayalam) and from Kochi Mose Esarphathi (Hebrew & Greek) were the first teachers of this first education institution in Kerala. By AD 2000 Kerala became the most literate state in India.[6]

English missionaries

Rev.Dr. Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815) who visited Kerala in1806, and met Mar Thoma VI. After his return to England, missionaries who were members of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) began to arrive in Kerala. Rev.Thomas Norton arrived in Kochi on May 8, 1816 and began to open schools in and around Alappuzha. Rev. Benjamin Baily arrived in October 1816 and established a printing press at Kottayam. He also began to translate the Bible into Malayalam.[7]

Last days

At the age of 74, and only nine months as Metropolitan, Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius died on November 24, 1816. He was entombed at Kottayam Syrian Seminary chapel.

After his death Geevarghese Mar Philexenos (Kidangan) (1811-1829) of the Malabar Independent Syrian Church took over the duties of the Metropolitan till a successor was enthroned.


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See also

References

  1. Chacko, T.C. (1936) Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charithra Samgraham’’. (Concise History of Marthoma Church). Page 62.
  2. Mathew, Adv.P.C., Aarthattu pallipattum charitra rekhakalum. Page 40.
  3. Induchudan, V.T. "Keralathile Sthalanama Charithram" in Mathrubhumi Annual 1970.
  4. Mathew, N.M. ‘’Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram’’, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume 1. P.232-236.
  5. Ittoop Writer, ‘’Malayalathulla Suryani Chistianikauleday Charitram’’. (History of Syrain Christians in the land of Malayalam) Page 155-157.
  6. Mathew, N.M. ‘’Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram’’, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume 1. P.241.
  7. Juhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan, The Most Rev. Dr. (1952). Christianity in India and a Brief History of the Marthoma Syrian Church. Page 36.

For further reading

    1. Juhanon Marthoma Metropolitan, The Most Rev. Dr. (1952). Christianity in India and a Brief History of the Marthoma Syrian Church.. Pub: K.M. Cherian.
    2. Zac Varghese Dr. & Mathew A. Kallumpram. (2003). ‘’Glimpses of Mar Thoma Church History’’. London, England. ISBN 81/900854/4/1
    3. Chacko, T.C. (1936) Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charithra Samgraham’’. (Concise History of Marthoma Church), Pub: E.J. Institute, Kompady, Tiruvalla.
    4. Eapen, Prof. Dr. K.V. (2001). ‘’Malankara Marthoma Suryani Sabha Charitram’’. (History of Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church). Pub: Kallettu, Muttambalam, Kottayam.
    5. Ittoop Writer, (1906). ‘’Malayalathulla Suryani Chistianikauleday Charitram’’. (History of Syrain Christians in the land of Malayalam)
    6. Mathew, N.M. ‘’Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram’’, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume 1.(2006), Volume II (2007). Volume III (2008) Pub. E.J.Institute, Thiruvalla
    7. Mathew, Adv.P.C.,(1994). Aarthattu Pallipattum Charitra Rekhakalum. (Historical records and Aathattu church songs).

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