A new website on Mor Dionysius I the Great alias Mor Thoma I
- A webpage on the life and times of Mor Dionysius I the Great, alias Mor Thoma I (d. 1808), the sixth native Metropolitan of the Syrian Church of Malabar has been uploaded last day. The concerened page can be accessed via link -
Born in the anicent pakalomattom family, he is considered by many as the greatest of all the Metropolitans of Malankara. Initially he was known as Mor Thoma VI after being choosen by his immediate predecessor to succeed him in the seat of the Metropolitan of Malabar. However the controversy surrounding the ordination of his predecessor prompted him to accept valid consecration from the patriarchal delegates after which he came to be known as Mor Dionysius I. For the next 24 years we see him working very hard for the overall development of the syriac christian community in Malankara along with Mor Ivanios, one of the patriarchal delegates, with whom he had a very good rapport.
Being a person with keen interest in the unity of all Syriac christians of Malankara, he was at many times misunderstood and misinterpretted by many. There are historians who claim that he was very much willing to accept Roman Catholic faith and they are showing his letters addressed to the pope and service conducted by him in a Roman Church as proofs to his attitudes. But those who closely moniter the history can understand that whatever he has done was under severe pressure from the Romans and morever, because of undue influence of a rich and powerful businessman of the time, Mathu tharakan. And for whatever so-called wrongthings he had to commit, though under pressure from opponents, he had repented later in his life. As a penalty for his guilt, he had the Holy Eucharist celebrated in all the Syrian churches at his own private expenses.
It was he who presented the old Syriac Jacobite bible manuscript that was in Malankara for centuries to Dr. Claudius Buchanan and which is now in Oxford library. Also it was he who took the initative in translating part of the Holy Bible to Malayalam for the first time. Four Gospels were transalted by Ramban Philipose then.
The famous Vattipanam, a deposit in govt. treasury, had its begining during his tenure. Another major hurdle he had faced during his life time was the attack of Mysore king Tippu Sultan who robbed many Syrian churches in north. In short, his life time was one the eventful as well as difficult period in the malankara Church history and he was able to overcome majority of those problems which infact made him one of the greatest of all the Metropolitans of malabar.
Biograpy of Mor Dionysius I: http://www.syrianchurch.org/bio/MorDionysiusI.htm
St. Joseph's Cathedral