Did Frumentius the West Syrian Bishop come to India?
- Did Frumentius the West Syrian Bishop come to India?
by Rev. Fr. Prince Mannathoor, Rome
When studies are conducted on St.Thomas Christians, the historians make their conclusions according to their whims and fancies. They try to uphold their own traditions.
In this short essay I wish to point out some realities of the ancient Indian Church history. Frumentius was the saint of Ethiopian Church. But all of the ancient historians mentioned that he visited India. In this essay I wish to focus on some realities.
Frumentius was a Syrian bishop, from Tyre (West Syrian City, now situated in Lebanon).( JOHN AIKIN, General Biography,Vol.4, London, 1803.p.254). He was ordained by Athanasius Patriarch of Alexandria. (----STANLEY BURSTEIN, ` The Introduction of Christianity to Axum', Ancient African Civilizations, New Jersey 1997. p.96----, ) He came to India (JOSIAH CONDER, The Modern Traveller: A Description, Geographical, Historical and Topographical of the various countries of the Globe, Vol.7, James Duncan, London, 1830. p. 143.)with one West Syrian Philosopher named as Meropius. Frumentius was the nephew of Meropius. He had done a lot of missionary works in Malabar including establishment several churches. .(WALTER CHAPIN, The Missionary Gazetteer, Comprising a view of the Inhabitants and a Geographical description of the countries and places, where protestant Missionaries have laboured; Alphabetically arranged and so constructed as to give a particular and general History of Missions throughout the World with an Appendix containing an Alphabetical List of missionaries, their Stations, the Time of Entering Removal or decease, David Watson,Woodstock, 1895. p. 343-344.)
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