CHURCHES & MONASTERIES
Aluva Thrikkunnathu Pally
ST. MARY'S CHURCH
(Angamali Diocese)

 

The St. Mary's church at Thrikkunnathu, Aluva, was founded in 1880 by Metropolitan Ambatt Mor Kurillos Geevarghese, the first primate of the Angamali diocese. The church was renovated two times later. The present church building was constructed in early 1930's by St. Athanasius Paulose, who is popularly known among the Malankara Syrian Christians as Valiya Thirumeni. The church's Muron consecration was held on 24th Meenam, 1932 by the Suryoyo Metropolitan Mor Clemis Yuhanon who came to Malankara along with Patriarch St. Ignatius Elias III.  In 1964, the church was extended towards west during the tenure of Metropolitan Mor Gregorios Vayaliparambil.

The holy Patriarchs of Antioch, Mor Ignatius Abdedí Aloho, St. Ignatius Elias III and Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III had visited this church and celebrated Holy Qurbono during their apostolic voyages to Malankara in 1911, 1931 and 1964 respectively. The church is blessed with the sacred tombs of Malankara Metropolitan St. Athanasius Paulose Pynadathu (Valiya Thirumeni, 1953) and the former Angamali diocesan Metropolitans, Mor Athanasius Paulose Kadavil (1907)  and Mor Gregorios Geevarghese Vayaliparambil (1966). Their tombs are situated side by side, in a room adjacent to the Madbho of the church on the northern side. When Malankara Orthodox Church's Angamali diocesan Metropolitan Philipose Theophilose died in 1997, he was entombed in a room constructed just outside, but adjacent to the St. Mary's church. The church have four shrines under its ownership in different places of Aluva town; two of them are dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary and the other two are named after Mor Kuriakose Sahdo and Patriarch St. Ignatius Elias III of Manjinikkara.  Unfortunately this church, which is one of the most important parishes of the Syrian Christians of Malankara, is remaining closed for the last 25 years due to certain disputes and claims raised by a section. 

 

Sacred tombs of  Paulose Mor Athanasius Kadavil, St. Paulose Mor Athanasius (Valiya Thirumeni)

and Geevarghese Mor Grergorios Vayaliparambil

 

Thrikkunnathu Seminary

The adjacent Thrikkunnathu Seminary and its properties, situated next to the St. Mary's church is another place of great importance for the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church. It originally belongs to the Angamali diocese of the Malankara Church. The foundation for this seminary building was laid by Kadavil Paulose Mor Athanasius, the second Metropolitan of Angamali diocese. However the construction of both the seminary building as well as the St. Mary's church was completed under the initiative of St. Athanasius Valiya Thirumeni, who was the diocesan Metropolitan as well as the Malankara Metropolitan.

In 1911 an historic association meeting of the parishes of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church was held in Thrikkunnathu Seminary under the president-ship of the visiting Patriarch of Antioch and all the East Moran Mor Ignatius Abdedí Aloho II and elected Mor Koorilos Paulose Kochuparambil as the Malankara Metropolitan.  After his passing away in 1917, St. Athanasius Valiya Thirumeni was chosen as the Malankara Metropolitan.

During the tenure of St. Athanasius Valiya Thirumeni as the chief of the Church in India, the headquarters of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church functioned from here. It was he who started a seminary here for the training of clergy of the Jacobite Syrian Church. In 1931 another important association meeting of all the parishes of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church was held at Thrikkunnathu Seminary under the patronship of the then supreme head of the church, Patriarch St. Ignatius Elias III (Manjinikkara Bava). During his sojourn in Malankara the holy father stayed in this seminary building for many months.

Until the passing away of Metropolitan Mor Gregorios Vayaliparambil (fourth Metropolitan of Angamali diocese), it was here that all the Jacobite Syrian Church Metropolitans of the diocese resided.  But after the second split in the Malankara Church that happened following a brief stint of unity, the seminary building and its properties came under the control of the Malankara Orthodox Church as the Metropolitan then residing there in his capacity as the diocesan head of the united Church since late 1960's, sided with them. Since then their Metropolitans are occupying this seminary building which was before, under the possession of the Angamali diocese of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church. The ownership issue with regards to this seminary building and the nearby St. Mary's Church is continuing to be a matter of great dispute even after the passing away of many decades. When Malankara Orthodox Church's Angamali diocesan Metropolitan Philipose Theophilose died in 1997, he was entombed in a room constructed just outside, but adjacent to the nearby St. Mary's church.

 

Photo taken in 1931 when Patriarch St. Elias III (Manjinikkara Bava) stayed at the Thrikkunnathu Seminary, the then

headquarters of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church.

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Malankara Metropolitan St. Athanasius Paulose (Valiya Thirumeni) is sitting next to the Patriarch.

Also seen in the photo are the two Suryoyo Metropolitans, Rambans and priests

 

Mass Hall, the center of the Jacobite Syrian Church

As the St. Mary's church is remaining closed due to disputes, the Jacobite Syrian Christians of this parish now uses the 'Mass Hall', located at a few distance away from the St. Mary's Church, as their chapel. Various spiritual organizations like the Jacobite Syrian Sunday School, Marth Mariam Samajam, Youth Association, Anthiochea Viswasa Samithi, Family forums etc., functions in this parish.

Every year thousands of pilgrims visit the St. Mary's church on 26th January, to pray and participate in the dukrono celebrations of St. Athanasius Valiya Thirumeni, one of the most revered Metropolitans of Malankara Syrian Church after St. Gregorios of Parumala. Conferring to the wishes of multitude of faithful in Malankara, the supreme head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church Patriarch H.H. Ignatius Zakka I, on 19th August 2004 issued the historic bull, canonizing Mor Athanasius Paulose Valiya Thirumeni as the Saint of Malankara Church. The sacred tombs of three of their most important primates in Malankara makes the St. Mary's church at Thrikkunnathu a holy place for the Jacobite Syrian Christians.

 

Another View of the Thrikkunnathu St. Mary's Church at Aluva

MASS HALL  located at a few distance away form the Thrikunnathu  church

The Holy Qurbono and other services of the Jacobite Syrian Christians are held in this rented building (Mass Hall) which is being

used as a Chapel for almost a quarter of the century after the main Church was closed in 1970's.

 


This is not an official site of the Thrikkunnathu St.Mary's Church