April 2000


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The Patriarch offers Holy Qurbono at Chingavanam

April 10, 2000
The Patriarch at Chingavanam

The Patriarch of Antioch H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas offered Holy Qurbono at specially erected altar at the Mar Aphrem Dayro, Chingavanam, near Kottayam today assisted by sixteen metropolitans of the Syrian Orthodox Church. The celebration of the Divine Mysteries was the culmination of the golden jubilee celebrations of episcopal consecration of the Knanaya Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan, Qooberneeyto Hakeemo H.E. Mor Clemis Abraham.

Conclusion of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations

His Holiness addressed a very large gathering at the dayro following the eucharistic services concluding the golden jubilee celebrations. Quoting the parable of talents from the Holy Gospel, His Holiness noted the talents given by God should be used for the good of others. This is a calling from God to each person living in a community. A community can do good only when each of its members recognize and act according to the will of God. His Holiness noted that H.G. Mor Clemis Abraham was a personality who exemplified this ideal. H.G. Mor Clemis is a great spiritual leader who has well employed the talents received from God in service of the Knanaya community, the Malankara Church and the nation of India, His Holiness continued.

Even though of many persuasions, we are all brothers and sisters. This brotherhood must persuade us to abide in love and unity. Noting the historic tolerance between religions in India, His Holiness invoked prayers to God that love and unity flourish in the century ahead.

His Holiness expressed great satisfaction that the golden jubilee celebrations of H.G. Mor Clemis Abraham were conducted in a befitting manner and thanked the community and political leaders in organizing the events. The Patriarch noted that this was an indication of the indelible mark that H.G. Mor Clemis has made in the social and religious spheres of life. His Holiness expressed his immense happiness in gracing the occasion with his presence. Concluding his address, His Holiness invoked the blessings of God upon H.G. Mor Clemis for a long and fruitful life, health and fortitude to lead the Church in the years ahead.

The gathering was then addressed by H.E. Mor Yulius Yeshu` Cicek, Metropolitan of Central Europe, representing the metropolitans from the Church in Middle East and its diaspora. "We come from the land that the Knanaya community originated from," the metropolitan said expressing thanks to H.G. Mor Clemis Abraham for inviting the metropolitans to the event and the warm welcome and love showered on all by the people of Malankara.

The opposition leader of the Kerala State Assembly, and former Chief Minister of the State, Mr. A.K. Antony, addressed the gathering noting the able leadership of H.G. Mor Clemis over the past decades. Mr. Antony stated that the emphasis on tolerance, peace and love in the addresses by His Holiness will encourage all people to practice these ideals. Mr. Antony greeted His Holiness on behalf of people of the state.

Several other religious, community and political leaders addressed the gathering, including Very Rev Cor Episcopus Kaniamparambil Curien, Members of the Legislative Assembly Mr. Oommen Chandy, Mr. C.F. Thomas, Mr. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, and Dr. K.C. Joseph, former Karnataka Minister Chevalier K.J. George, Malayala Manorama Chief Editor Mr. K.M. Mathew, Deepika Chief Editor Fr. Jose Planthottathil, among others. The Metropolitan of the Cochin diocese, H.G. Mor Gregorios Joseph welcomed the gathering and the metropolitan of Malabar, H.G. Mor Philexinos Yuhanon proposed the vote of thanks.

His Grace Mor Clemis Abraham thanked the people from all walks of life who participated in the golden jubilee celebrations and shared his happiness at this blessed occasion. Expressing his sincere desire for peace and unity in the Malankara Church, H.G. Mor Clemis expressed his desire to retire from active service to the community.

To Puthekurishu

The Patriarch at Puthenkurishu

After presiding at the Knanaya association meeting, His Holines departed from Chingavanam at 3:50 pm to Puthenkurishu to address a gathering near the site of the Patriarchal Center of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church under construction. Enroute, His Holiness stopped at the Perumpilly Simhasana Church at 5:30 pm to offer prayers of incense at the tomb of late metropolitan, H.G. Mor Gregorios Gheevarghese (Perumpilly Thirumeni). Metropolitans H.G. Yulius Kuriakose, and H.G. Mor Themotheos Thomas were with His Holiness at Perumpilly. The Patriarch addressed the gathering there from the sanctuary of the church before proceeding to the Mulanthuruthy Mar Thoman Church to offer prayers of incense at the tombs of the fathers of the Syrian Orthodox Church who came to Malankara over the ages--Mor Ivanius Hidayathullah, Mor Gregorius Yuhanon, and Mor Koorilose Yukim. The Patriarch was earlier given a hearty welcome at Kanjiramattom by the Mar Ignatius Church. Proceeding to Puthenkurishu from Perumpilly, the Karingachira and Varikoli churches gave His Holiness a hearty welcome at the Thiruvankulam junction. His Holiness arrived at Puthenkurishu at 6:30 pm travelling in an open vehicle, accompanied by metropolitans and priests. Thousands of people had gathered to greet the Patriarch.

H.G. Mor Dionysius Thomas, President of the Holy Synod of the Malankara Church (Patriarchal faction) welcomed the Patriarch, the metropolitans, and the gathering assembled there to witness the historic event. His Grace stated the Patriarch faction's earnest desire for peace in the Malankara Church but asserted again that acceptance of the Patriarch of Antioch as the spiritual head of the Church was a necessary prerequisite. His Grace expressed hope that the current stalemate in the efforts for peace would come to an end.

In the address to the gathering, His Holiness dwelled on the theme of being faithful children of the church and ideal citizens of the country. The Patriarch's address was translated to Malayalam by H.G. Mor Themotheos Thomas. His Grace also read the Patriarchal encyclical declaring late Mor Ostatheos Sleebo (Kunnamkulam Arthat Simhasana Church) and Mor Gregorios `Abdel Jaleel as saints of the Malankara Church. After the encyclical was read, ceremonial fireworks were lit. H.G. Mor Philexinos Yuhanon, Malankara Synod Secretary and H.G. Mor Greogorios Joseph (Diocese of Cochin) also addressed the gathering.

The Patriarch and accompanying metropolitans retired to the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Seminary at Udayagiri, near Mulanthuruthy for the night. Seminary Principal Very Rev. Dr. Adai Jacob welcomed His Holiness to the seminary. Following prayers, His Holiness and metropolitans dined with the members of the Managing Committee of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church.

Source: On-line editions of Malayalam newspapers-- Deepika, Malayala Manorama, and Kerala Kaumudi.

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