99th DUKRONO OF MOR DIVANASIOUS V JOSEPH (PULIKOTTIL THIRUMENI II) ON JULY 11, 2008
The Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church commemorates the 99th dukrono of its former Malankara Metropolitan and regional head, H.E. Mor Divanasious V Joseph Pulikottil with special prayers during Holy Qurbono on July 12th and 13th, this year. His Beatitude the Catholicos and Metropolitan trustee of the Malankara Syrian Church, Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I will lead the holy service at the St. Athanasius Cathedral, Puthencuriz. During this death centenary year of the Holy Father, the Church is to organize various conferences and exhibitions at different places in the next one year which will culminate with Holy Qurbono on July 11, 2009.
Mor Divanasious V Joseph (Pulikottil Thirumeni II)
H.E. Mor Divanasious V Joseph, popularly known as Pulikottil Thirumeni II, is one of those illustrious fathers of the Church who for nearly four and half decades led the Malankara Syrian Community; first as the assistant to the then Apostolic delegate Mor Kurillos Yuyakim (Mulanthuruthy) and later as the head (Malankara Metropolitan) of the Malankara Edavaka (Archdiocese).
Born in the Pulikottil family of Kunnamkulam, Mor Divanasious V was ordained Metropolitan by Patriarch Ignatius Yakub II at the Church in Amida, Turkey in A.D. 1865. (Founder of the Syrian seminary at Kottayam, Mor Divansious II, is the first prelate from the family). Mor Divanasious V's tenure as metropolitan was a very crucial period in the history of Malankara Church. At that time the European Missionaries belonging to the Low Church of England were trying to implement their anti-orthodox faith through force and other means. Under their influence in the local government, a great number of the Syrian Christian churches in South Kerala including the lone Seminary of the Jacobite Syrian Christians at Kottayam came under the control of the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S). It was in this pretext that the Malankara Church seek the help of its supreme head, the Patriarch of Antioch. Consequently in 1875, His Holiness the Patriarch Mor Ignatius Peter IV travelled to Britain and met the King of England and convinced him of the problems created by the local British rulers for the Syrian Church in Malabar. This was a changing point in the history of the Malankara Church with the Government and judiciary under British rule started to function impartially. However the internal administration of the Malankara Church remained a complicated affair because of the continued interference of Palakkunnath Athanasius Methran who was already excommunicated from the Church for his anti-church activities.
In March 1876, the Patriarch, after successfully completing his visit to Britain reached Malabar, following which he led a series of discussions with the representatives of the Syrian Christian community to restructure the administration of the Malankara Church. In June 1876, Patriarch Mor Ignatius Peter IV convened the historic Synod at the Mulunthuruthy Marthoman Church, which gave birth to the popular and democratic 'Malankara Syrian Christian Association'; a body comprising of representatives from the Parishes of Malankara. As per the decision of this historic Synod, Malankara Edavaka (Syrian Archdiocese in India) was divided into six new dioceses for administrative convenience, and Metropolitans were ordained for each (St.Gregorios of Parumala was one of those new Metropolitans ordained by the Patriarch Mor Ignatius Peter IV). Decision was also taken then to elevate the senior most Metropolitan of Malankara Church Mor Divanasious Joseph Pulikottil, as the first Metropolitan President of the newly formed Association and as the chief of the local Synod, with the designation MALANKARA METROPOLITAN.
During his reign Mor Divanasious V initiated a series of measures for the social development of the members of the Church. He established the Parumala Seminary and the St. Thomas Press at Kottayam Seminary, authorized printing of Texts for the liturgy (Thaksa) and festivals, started Monthly magazines under the titles The Malankara Edavaka Patrika and the The Syrian Evangelist. Many schools including the M.D. Seminary High School (1892) at Kottayam were also established by him.
The famous Church historian, E M Philip Edavazhikkal, the author of the book -The Indian Church of St.Thomas, was his most trusted aide. E M Philip was also the secretary of the Pulikottil Mor Divanasious Metropolitan. Mor Divanasious was the founder of the Trivandrum Church and Monastery at Vettickal.
In 1901 the silver jubilee of his ordination was celebrated at Kottayam in an unprecedented manner. In 1902, Chathuruthy Mor Gregorios Geevarghese Metropolitan, who was considered to be his successor, passed away. Five years later in 1907, on the same day, Kadavil Mor Athanasius Paulose of Ankamaly-Kottayam diocese also passed away. Later in 1908 Patriarach Abdulla II ordained two Metropolitans, Mor Koorilos Paulose Kochuparambil and Mor Divanasios Wattasseril, for the Malankara Church at St. Mark's Dayro, Jerusalem.
On 11th July 1909 Malankara Metropolitan Pulikottil Mor Divanasious V was called to his heavenly abode at the age of 76. His body was entombed on the northern side of the Syrian Seminary Chapel, Kottayam.
Biography of Pulikottil Mor Divanasious V - a book published by Varghese Mappillai of Malayala Manorama in 1901
The biography of Pulikottil Mor Divanasious V, published in connection with the Jubilee celebrations of his sacramental ordination (1901) gives an insight to the history of the Church in the 19th century. To the students of Church history itâs a very interesting as well as an informative book. The most interesting part of this biography of Mor Divanasious Methran is the elaborate description of his journey to the Patriarchal head quarters in Turkey in 1865. Of the total 144 pages in the book, 87 pages are dedicated exclusively for this section. The travelogue begins with the 5th chapter (Anthiochia Yathra Alochana) and ends with the 19th chapter (Tigris Muthal Bombay Ware). If it was printed earlier, this would have been the first printed travelogue in Malayalam. (The first printed version of a travelogue available in Malayalam is that of Parumala Thirumeni - âOorsalem Yathra Vivaranamâ, published in 1895)
John Philip K