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St Thomad Orthodox Syrian Church, Malad

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Church History

1. INTRODUCTION

Malankara Orthodox Church is the ancient Church of India and it traces its origin to as far back as A. D. 52 when St. Thomas one of the Disciples of Jesus Christ came to India and established Christianity in the South Western parts of the sub-continent. The St. Thomas Christians or the Indian Christians exist at present in different churches and denominations. But a major section of the parent body of St. Thomas Christians which has maintained its independent nature constitutes the Orthodox Church under the Catholicate of the East with Headquarters at Devalokam, Kottayam.

2. THE ARRIVAL OF ST. THOMAS AND THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH

Even from the period of King Solomon (BC 976-937), India had trade relationship with the wide world. The main ports of trade were Ponnani at Muchiri and Alexandria at Africa. Jews were the chief part of this trade and India especially South India was famous all around the world. In AD 45 Hippalus discovered the monsoon wind and the duration of travel was minimized to 45 days. These circumstances helped St. Thomas to arrive in Kodungalloor (Muziris) in Kerala in 52 AD. St. Thomas preached the gospel, established seven churches, and moved on to other kingdom, returning to Madras (Mylapore) in 72 AD where he was martyred that year. Writers of the 4th century, St. Ephrem and St. John Chrysostom knew also about the relics of St. Thomas resting at that time in Edessa, having been brought there from India by West Asian merchants. The seven original churches were located at Malankara (Malayattoor?), Palayur (near Chavakkad), Koovakayal (near North Paravur), Kokkamangalam (South Pallipuram?), Kollam, Niranam and Nilackel (Chayal). Of the same pattern adopted by the other Apostles, each local Church was self-administered, guided by a group of presbyters and presided over by the elder priest or bishop.

 

Rev. Fr. P. Philipose
1971 - 1975
Rev. Fr. A. M. Peter
1976 - 1981
Rev. Fr. C. J. Punnose
1982 - May 1984
Rev. Fr. Mathew Abraham
June 1984 - May 1987
Rev. Fr. Joseph Kalapurayil
June 1987 - October 1989
Rev. Fr. Koshy Plamootil
November 1989
Rev. Fr. Thomas Varghese
January 1990 - October 1992
Rev. Fr. Abraham Joseph
November 1992 - May 1996
Rev. Fr. Benjamin S. Philip (Asst. Vicar)
June 1995 - May 1996
Rev. Fr. T. A. Daniel
June 1996 - May 1999
Rev. Fr. Joshua John
June 1999 - May 2005
Rev. Fr. M. S. Geevarghese
June 2005 - May 2008
Rev. Fr. Benjamin Stephen
October 2008 - May 2010
Rev. Fr. Jacob Thomas
June 2008 to September 2008
June 2010 onwards