Syro-Malabar Catholic Church

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (Classical Syriac: ܥܸܕܬܵܐ ܩܵܬܘܿܠܝܼܩܝܼ ܕܡܲܠܲܒܵܪ ܣܘܼܪܝܵܝܵܐEdta Qatholiqi D'Malabar Suryaya; Malayalam: മലബാറിലെ സുറിയാനി കത്തോലിക്ക സഭ Malabarile Suriyani catholika Sabha) or Church of Malabar Syrian Catholics is an Eastern Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church based in Kerala, India. It is a sui iuris particular church in full communion with the Pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

The Syro-Malabar Church is headed by the Metropolitan and Gate of all India Mar Cardinal George Alencherry of the Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly in Kerala. The Church uses the Divine Liturgy of Saints Mar Addai and Mar Mari belonging to the East Syriac Rite, which dates back to 3rd century Edessa,[4] as such it is a part of Syriac Christianity by liturgy and heritage. The name Syro-Malabar is coined from the words Syriac (referring to the East Syriac liturgy) and Malabar (the historical name for Kerala). The name has been in usage in official Vatican documents since the nineteenth century.[5] As per Mar Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar's travelogue Varthamanappusthakam (dated to 1790), the Church was known then as the Malankare Kaldaya Suriyani Sabha (Malankara Chaldean Syriac Church). The Church shares the same liturgy with the Chaldean Catholic Church based in Iraq and the Nestorian Chaldean Syrian Church based in Thrissur, Kerala, which is an archbishopric of the Assyrian Church of the East based in Iraq. The Syro-Malabar Church is the third-largest particular church (sui juris) in the Catholic Church (after the Latin or Roman Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church).[6]

The Syro-Malabar Church is the largest of the "Nasrani" (St. Thomas Christians) denominations with over 4 million believers[3] and traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century.[7][8][9][10] Syro-Malabar scholar and theologian Mar Placid Podipara describes the Church as "Catholic by faith, Indian by culture, and East Syriac/Oriental in liturgy." The Syro-Malabar Church members are predominantly of the Malayali ethnic group and speak Malayalam.The members of the Church are colloquially known in Kerala as Marthoma Nasranis and Malankara Nasrani. Following emigration of its members, eparchies have opened up in other parts of India and other countries due to facilitating the Malayali diaspora living in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom. Saint Alphonsa is the Church's first canonized saint, followed by Saint Kuriakose Chavara and Saint Euphrasia. It is one of the two Eastern Catholic churches in India, the other one being the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church which uses the West Syriac Rite.

Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Marthoma Nasrani Church
Mar Thoma Sliva
The Mar Thoma Sliva or Saint Thomas Cross, the symbol of the Syro-Malabar Church
TypeParticular church (sui iuris)
ClassificationEastern Catholic
OrientationEastern Christianity
TheologyEast Syriac Theology
MetropolitanMetropolitan and Gate of all India Mar George Alencherry
ArchdeaconArchdecon and Gate of all India Rev. Dr. Thadathil Joseph (In the absence of archdeacon ,Vicar of St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church, Kuravilangad is holding the position of Archdeacon)
RegionIndia (predominantly Kerala),
United States, Australia, U.K., Canada
LanguageLiturgical Syriac
LiturgyEast Syriac liturgical family
(Divine Liturgy of Saint Addai and Saint Mari, Liturgy of Mar Theodore, Liturgy of Mar Nestorius)
HeadquartersMount St. Thomas, Kakkanad
FounderThomas the Apostle
OriginAD 50[1][2]
Other name(s)Marthoma Nasrani Church,Malankara Nasrani.
Official websiteOfficial site


Saint Thomas Christians - Divisions- History in a nutshell

Coonan Cross Oath

A protest took place in 1653 with the Coonan Cross Oath. Under the leadership of Archdeacon Thomas, the Thomas Christians publicly took an oath that they would not obey the Jesuit Bishops or the Pope.[11] Church historian KOOTHUR observes that “the ‘Coonan Cross’ revolution obviously was the final outbreak of the storm that had been gathering on the horizon of the ecclesial life of the St. Thomas Christians for over a century”

Rome sent Carmelites in two groups from the Propagation of the Faith to Malabar headed by Fr. Sebastiani and Fr. Hyacinth. Fr. Sebastiani arrived first in 1655. He began to directly with the Archdeacon, Mar Thoma I. Fr. Sebastiani, with the help of Portuguese, gained the support of many, especially with the support of Palliveettil Mar Chandy, Kadavil Chandy Kathanar and Vengoor Geevarghese Kathanar . These were the three of the four counselors of Mar Thoma I, who had been defected with Francisco Garcia Mendes, SJ, Archbishop of Cranganore, before the arrival of Sebastaini, according to Jesuit reports.[11]

Between 1661 and 1662, out of the 116 churches, the Carmelites claimed eighty-four churches, leaving the native metropolitan Mar Thoma I with thirty-two churches. The eighty-four churches and their congregations were the body from which the Syro Malabar Catholic Church has descended. The other thirty-two churches and their congregations represented the nucleus from which the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Thozhiyur Church, Mar Thoma Syrian (Reformed Syrians), Syro-Malankara Catholic Church have originated.[12]

In 1665 Mar Gregorios, a Bishop sent by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, arrived in India. The independent group under the leadership of the Archdeacon welcomed him.[13] Though most of the St. Thomas Christians gradually relented in their strong opposition to the Western control, the arrival of the Bishop Mar Gregorios of the Syriac Orthodox Church in 1665 marked the beginning of a formal schism among the St. Thomas Christians. Those who accepted the West Syriac liturgical tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch of Mar Gregorios became known as the Puthenkoor; they also continued to use the name "Malankara," the real name of the St. Thomas Christian community for the church. Those who joined the communion of Rome after the Synod of Daimper and remained in the communion even after the oath of bent cross, and those who joined the catholic communion from the Puhenkoor Malankara church during the Carmelite period, came to be known as the Syro Malabar Church from the last decade of the Nineteenth century onwards.[13] Some of the churches not joined in the Angamaly Padiyola (1787) later became Latin churches, e.g. Mathilakom (Pappinivattom), Maliankara, Thuruthipuram etc. One branch of the Syro Malabar Catholic church later left to form the Assyrian Church of the East aligned Chaldean Syrian Church when an Eastern Syriac rite bishop, Mar Gabriel, came to evangelize them in 1701. Kottayam cheriapalli was the headquarters of Mar Gabriel.

Restoration of the Syro-Malabar hierarchy

After the split in the church community, the Catholics of the Malabar coast faced an identity crisis and thus some priests and laymen attempted to persuade the hierarchy to improve the identity of the local church and for the appointment of bishops from local priests. To represent their position, Kerala's Syrian Catholics Joseph Kariattil and Paremmakkal Thomma Kathanar went to Rome in 1778. While they were in Europe, Kariatty Joseph Kathanar was installed in Portugal as the Archbishop of Kodungalloor Archdiocese. While journeying home, they stayed in Goa where Kariattil died before he could formally take charge. Before he died, Kariattil appointed Kathanar as the Administrator of Kodungalloor Archdiocese after him. The new administrator ran the affairs of the church establishing his headquarters at Angamaly. In 1790, the headquarters of the Archdiocese was shifted to Vadayar dodging the invasion of Tippu Sultan. In the last four years of his life, Thomma Kathanar managed church administration from his own parish, Ramapuram.

After being under Babylonian Assyrian Church of the East (Catholic faction of this church is known as Chaldean Catholic Church from 1681) bishops earlier and under Latin Church Roman Catholic bishops from 1599, Catholics of St. Thomas Christians obtained their own bishops from 1896. They were known as Catholic Chaldean Syrians during the period from around 1787(Angamaly Padiyola) to around 1911. They were known as the Catholic Syrians or Romo-Syrians to differentiate them from the Orthodox Syrians and Latin Church Catholics in Kerala. They came to be known as the Syro Malabar Catholics from 1932 onwards to differentiate them from the Syro-Malankara Catholics in Kerala. The Indian East Syriac Catholic Hierarchy was restored on 21 December 1923 with Mar Augustine Kandathil as the first Metropolitan and Head of the Church with the name Syro-Malabar.[14]

Time line of events

Time line of events

  • 1 Ancient Era
  • 2 Portuguese Era
  • 3 Era of Divisions
  • 4 The Dark Era of Invasions
  • 5 Era of Self-governance
  • 6 A Sui iuris Church.
  • 7 Title restoration

Syro-Malabar identity

Syro-Malabar Historian and theologian Fr. Placid Podipara describes it as "Christian by faith, Indian by culture & East Syrian/Syriac/Oriental in liturgy." Today, the Syro-Malabar Church finds herself as the second-largest Eastern Catholic Church in the world with over 5.1 million members worldwide.

Faith and communion of Syro-Malabarians

The St. Thomas Christians got their bishops from the Assyrian Church of the East/Chaldean Church from ca. 300 AD till the end of the sixteenth century, until it was stopped by the Portuguese Roman Rite Catholics in 1597, after the death of Mar Abraham.


As per the East Syriac tradition, liturgical day of the Syro-Malabar Church starts at sunset (6 p. m.). Also the worshiper has to face the east while worshiping. This is not followed after Latinization.[15]

According to the East Syriac Orthodox tradition which was prevalent before the induction of Catholicism, the following are the seven times of prayer:

  • Ramsha (ܪܲܡܫܵܐ) or the Evening Liturgy (6 p. m.)
  • Suba-a (ܣܘܼܒܵܥܵܐ) or the Supper Liturgy (9 p. m.)
  • Lelya (ܠܸܠܝܵܐ) or the Night Liturgy (12 a. m.)
  • Qala d-Shahra ( ܩܵܠܵܐ ܕܫܲܗܪܵ ) or the Vigil Liturgy (3 a. m.)
  • Sapra (ܨܲܦܪܵܐ) or the Morning Liturgy (6 a. m.)
  • Quta'a (ܩܘܼܛܵܥܵܐ) or the Third Hour Liturgy (9 a. m.)
  • Endana (ܥܸܕܵܢܵܐ) or the Noon Liturgy (12 p. m.)

The Holy Mass, which is called Holy Qurbana in East Syriac Aramaic and means 'Eucharist', is celebrated in its solemn form on Sundays and special occasions. During the celebration of the Qurbana, priests and deacons put on elaborate vestments which are unique to the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.

Restoration of East Syriac liturgy

Mar George Cardinal Alencherry
Metropolitan and Gate of all India Mar Geevarghese metropolitan, Successor of Marthoma Sleeha (St. Thomas Apostle).
Crowning in Syro-Malabar Nasrani Wedding by Mar Gregory Karotemprel
Crowning Ceremony during a Syro-Malabar wedding

East Syriac liturgy has three anaphorae: those of the Holy Apostles (Saints Addai and Mari), Mar Nestorius, and Mar Theodore the Interpreter. The first is the most popularly and extensively used. The second was traditionally used on the Epiphany and the feasts of St. John the Baptist and of the Greek Doctors, both of which occur in Epiphany-tide on the Wednesday of the Rogation of the Ninevites, and on Maundy Thursday. The third is used (except when the second is ordered) from Advent to Palm Sunday. The same pro-anaphoral part serves for all three.

In the second half of 20th century, there was a movement for better understanding of the liturgical rites. A restored Eucharistic liturgy, drawing on the original East Syriac sources, was approved by Pope Pius XII in 1957 and for the first time on the feast of St. Thomas on July 3, 1962, the vernacular, Malayalam, was introduced for the celebration of the Syro-Malabar Qurbana.[16] Currently they celebrate the Divine Liturgy of Addai and Mari and the Anaphora of Mar Theodre in mostly Malayalam, with Syriac and English influences.

Besides the Anaphora of Mar Addai and Mari being used currently in Syro-Malabar liturgy, there are two more anaphorae known as Anaphora of Mar Theodore and Anaphora of Mar Nestorius. That the Anaphora of Mar Theodore which was withdrawn from use after the Synod of Diamper(a large number of churches used it up to 1896) is being used again in Syro-Malabar Church after 415 years is indeed an important historical reality.In a way SyroMalabar church rejected Synod of Diamper Pope Pius XII during the process of restoration of the Syro-Malabar Qurbana in 1957 had requested the restoration of the Anaphorae of Mar Theodore and Mar Nestorius. The draft of the Anaphora of Mar Theodore was restored after meticulous study by the Central Liturgical Committee, Liturgical Research Centre, various sub-committees and the eparchial liturgical commissions. Many changes befitting to the times have been made in the prayers maintaining maximum fidelity to the original text of the Second Anaphora. It was this text so prepared that was sent to Rome for the recognition of the Apostolic See in accordance with the decision of the Syro-Malabar Synod. The Congregation for the Eastern Churches gave its approval for using this anaphora on an experimental basis for three years on 15 December 2012.[17]

After almost 420 years, the Anaphora of Mar Nestorius is restored in SyroMalabar church "".Aftermath the so-called Synod of Diamper, any text related to Mar Nestorius were systematically burnt by the Jesuits, who represented and ruled Latin Church of India in 1599.In a way SyroMalabar church rejected Synod of Diamber (Udayamperoor) by restoring the Anaphora of Mar Theodore and Anaphora of Mar Nestorius.

The Latinization of the Syro-Malabar rite churches was brought to a head when in 1896 Ladislaus Zaleski, the Apostolic Delegate to India, requested permission to translate the Roman Pontifical into Syriac. This was the choice of some Malabar prelates, who chose it over the East Syriac Rite and West Syriac Rite pontificals. A large number of Syro-Malabarians were Assyrian schismatics at that time and various problems and concerns delayed the approval of this translation, until in 1934 Pope Pius XI stated that Latinization was no longer to be encouraged among Eastern Rite Catholics.[18] He initiated a process of liturgical reform that sought to restore the oriental nature of the Latinized Syro-Malabar rite.[19] A restored Eucharistic liturgy, drawing on the original East Syriac sources, was approved by Pius XII in 1957 and introduced in 1962.

The church uses one of several Bible translations into Malayalam.

Liturgical calendar

Syro-Malabar Liturgical Calendar-2008
Syro-Malabar liturgical calendar

Syro Malabar Church has its own liturgical year. It is ordered according to the flow of salvation history. It focuses on the historical life of Jesus.[20] There are nine seasons for the liturgical year. They are:

  1. Annunciation (Suvara)
  2. Nativity of Jesus
  3. Epiphany (Denha)
  4. Great Fast (Sawma Rabba)
  5. Resurrection (Qyamta)
  6. Apostles (Slihe)
  7. Summer (Qaita)
  8. Elijah-Cross-Moses (Elijah-Sliba-Muse)
  9. Dedication of the Church (Qudas-Edta)

Major feasts

Major feasts of the Church are,[21]

Syro-Malabar hierarchy

Syro-Malabar major archiepiscopal curia

Syriac inscription at Syro-Malabar Catholic Major Archbishop's House Ernakulam
Syriac inscription at Syro-Malabar Catholic Major Archbishop's House, Ernakulam.

The curia[22] of the Syro-Malabar Church began to function in March 1993 at the archbishop’s house of Ernakulam-Angamaly. Later, on 27 May 1995, it was shifted to new premises at Mount St. Thomas near Kakkanad, Kochi. The newly constructed curial building was opened on 3 July 1998.

The administration of the Syro-Malabar Church has executive and judicial roles. The major archbishop, officials, various commissions, committees, and the permanent synod form the executive part. The permanent synod and other offices are formed in accordance with the CCEO. The officials include the chancellor, vice-chancellor, and other officers. Various commissions are appointed by the major archbishop: Liturgy, Pastoral care of the migrant and Evangelisation, Particular Law, Catechism, Ecumenism, Catholic Doctrine, Clergy and Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The members of the commissions are ordinarily bishops. But there are also priests in different commissions. For judicial activities there is the major archiepiscopal ordinary tribunal formed in accordance with CCEO and it has a statutes and sufficient personnel with a president, as its head. At present, Rev. Dr. Jose Chiramel is the president. The Major archiepiscopal curia functions in the curial building in Kerala, India. They have prepared the particular law for their Church and promulgated part by part in Synodal News, the official Bulletin of this Church. There are statutes for the permanent synod, for the superior and ordinary tribunals. Regarding economo, CCEO c. 122 § 2 is specific in the particular law, that the term of the office shall be five years and the same person shall not be appointed for more than two terms consecutively.[23]

Provinces, (Arch)Eparchies and other jurisdictions

Syro Malabar Bishops at Mar Varghese Payyappilly Palakkappilly S D Convent
Syro-Malabar bishops at the Generalate of S. D.

There are 35 eparchies (dioceses). Five of them are Archeparchies at present, all in southern India: The major Archbishop's see Ernakulam-Angamaly, Changanacherry, Trichur, Tellicherry and Kottayam.

Those have another 13 suffragan eparchies : Bhadravathi, Belthangady, Irinjalakuda, Kanjirapally, Kothamangalam, Idukki, Mananthavady, Mandya, Palai, Palghat, Ramanathapuram, Thamarassery and Thuckalay within the canonical territory of the Major Archiepiscopal Church.

There are 13 further eparchies outside the canonical territory of which Adilabad, Bijnor, Chanda, Gorakhpur, Jagdalpur, Kalyan, Rajkot,Sagar,Satna,Faridabad,Hosur,Shamsabad and Ujjain in India are with exclusive jurisdiction and the St. Thomas Eparchy of Chicago in the United States of America and St. Thomas the Apostle Eparchy of Melbourne in Australia,Eparchy of Great Britain,Eparchy of Mississauga, Canada enjoy personal jurisdiction.[24]

Proper Ecclesiastical provinces

Most believers of this church are organized under 5 Metropolitan Archeparchies (archdioceses), all in Kerala, and their suffragan eparchies.

Mar Varkey Vithayathil
Late Mar Varkey Vithayathil former Major Archbishop.

Eparchies Outside Kerala

Exempt jurisdictions

Outside India:

Syro-Malabar Religious Congregations

The Religious Congregations are divided in the Eastern Catholic Church Law (Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches – CCEO) as Monasteries, Hermitages, Orders, Congregations, Societies of Common Life in the Manner of Religious, Secular Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Active are :


Institutions #
Parishes 3,224
Quasi-parishes 539
Missions 490
Institutes of consecrated life – men & women 53
Major & minor seminary 71
Regular, technical & other colleges 691
Teachers’ training institutes 24
Engineering colleges

Higher Secondary & Primary Schools



Kindergartens 1,685
Non-formal & adult education 503
Special schools 4,021
Health care institutions 700
Nurse's training schools 44
Hospitals, dispensaries & health centers

Medical colleges



Specialized health care centers, incurables & leprosy care centers 54
Old age homes 211
Children’s homes 185
Orphanages 230
Rehabilitation centers and other institutions 1,616
Total 13,805
Religious sisters 35,000
Religious brothers 6,836
Seminarians 2,907
Diocesan and religious priests 9,121
Bishops 56
Major archbishop 1
Total 51,097

According to the Annuario Pontificio (the pontifical yearbook) for 2016 there were about 4,189,349 members in the Syro-Malabar Church.[24]

Within the proper territory

There are sixteen eparchies in the proper territory of the Syro Malabar Church.

Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly has 510,000 members with 347 parishes, 731 religious/secular priests, 632 male religious and 4935 female religious. Archeparchy of Trichur has 471,328 members with 195 parishes, 418 religious/secular priests, 358 male religious and 3315 female religious. Eparchy of Idukki has 270,000 members with 129 parishes, 119 religious/secular priests, 109 male religious and 1320 female religious.

Archeparchy of Changanacherry has 390,000 members with 266 parishes, 615 religious/secular priests, 534 male religious and 2705 female religious. Eparchy of Palai has 348,128 members with 169 parishes, 502 religious/secular priests, 127 male religious and 3312 female religious. Archeparchy of Tellicherry has 317,782 members with 222 parishes, 293 religious/secular priests, 263 male religious and 1664 female religious. Eparchy of Irinjalakuda has 258,200 members with 128 parishes, 233 religious/secular priests, 132 male religious and 2350 female religious.

Eparchy of Kothamangalam has 217,420 members with 115 parishes, 242 religious/secular priests, 163 male religious and 2210 female religious. Eparchy of Kanjirapally has 192,000 members with 136 parishes, 314 religious/secular priests, 210 male religious and 1840 female religious. Archeparchy of Kottayam has 175,300 members with 149 parishes, 161 religious/secular priests, 107 male religious and 1233 female religious. Eparchy of Mananthavady has 170,100 members with 140 parishes, 413 religious/secular priests, 358 male religious and 1546 female religious. Eparchy of Thamarasserry has 129,600 members with 128 parishes, 247 religious/secular priests, 257 male religious and 1321 female religious. Eparchy of Palghat has 68,004 members with 106 parishes, 167 religious/secular priests, 82 male religious and 1360 female religious.[24]

According to a study conducted, in Kerala about 30 percent of the Syro Malabar Church members lived in the erstwhile Cochin State. The remaining 70 percent lived in Travancore state.[citation needed] In the Travancore state, Meenachil Taluk had the largest proportion, followed by Changanaserry Taluk.

Erstwhile Cochin State, Meenachil (Palai) and Changanaserry together had 56 percent of the total Syro Malabar population. Kottayam, Pala, Muvattupuzha, Kanjirappally, Thodupuzha, Kothamangalam, Cherthala, Mukundapuram (irinjalakkuda-chalakkudy), Wadakkancherry, Thrissur, North Parur, Alwaye, Kunnathunadu, Ambalapuzha, Kuttanad, Peerumedu, Nedumkandam and Devikulam etc. are the prominent taluks.[24]

Outside the proper territory

There are eleven eparchies outside the proper territory of the Syro Malabar Church.

The Eparchy of Kalyan has 100,000 members with 106 parishes, 146 religious/secular priests, 105 male religious and 270 female religious. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago, USA has 85,000 members with 11 parishes, 45 religious/secular priests, 13 male religious and 16 female religious. The Eparchy of Canada has 14,079 members with 5 parishes, 51 religious/secular priests, 182 male religious and 352 female religious. The Eparchy of Adilabad, has 13,273 members with 25 parishes, 50 religious/secular priests, 41 male religious and 143 female religious. The Eparchy of Rajkot has 12,850 members with 12 parishes, 140 religious/secular priests, 142 male religious and 421 female religious. There is a significant diaspora of Syro-Malabar Catholics in countries not under the jurisdiction of any of the existing eparchies.[27]

Saints, Blesseds, Venerables and Servants of God

Mar Varghese Payyappilly Palakkappilly Funeral
Funeral of Venerable Mar Varghese Payyappilly Palakkappilly on 6 October 1929.
Mannam Church
St. Joseph's Syro-Malabar Monastery Church, Mannanam where the mortal remains of Mar Kuriakose Elias Chavara are kept.


Beatified people


Servants of God

List of prominent Syro-Malabar Catholics in history

Prominent Syro-Malabar Catholics who worked for unity of Nasranis


The Varthamanappusthakam is the first travelogue written in the Malayalam language. It is written by Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar. It describes the history of the Nasrani Church between the years 1773 and 1786 with emphasis on the journey of its author and Malpan Mar Ousep (Joseph) Kariattil from Malabar to Rome via Lisbon and back. Despite attempts by European ecclesiastical authorities to destroy it the major part of this book survived.

Shared history with other Saint Thomas Christians

Mar Abraham of Angamaly

Abraham of Angamaly (Syriac: ܐܒܪܗܡ ܡܛܪܢ, Mar Abraham died c. 1597) was the last in the long line of Mesopotamin Bishops who governed the Church of Saint Thomas Christians. In spite of the express approbation of the Pope, he was not welcomed by the Portuguese ecclesiastical authorities.

Mar Abrham died in January 1597 at Angamaly and his body was buried in Mar Hormiz Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Angamaly (old Cathedral church).

See also


  1. ^ "Ramban Pattu by maliekal Thoma Ramban"
  2. ^ "Elements of Syro Malabar History by Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar, P.15"
  3. ^ a b "religiousdenominationsofkerala" (PDF). Retrieved 8 July 2018. External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ Addai and Mari, Liturgy of. Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press. 2005
  5. ^ St. Raphael Syro Malabar Catholic Mission of Cleveland (2014)
  6. ^ Annuario Pontificio- The Pontifical year Book for 2008
  7. ^ Official Website
  8. ^ George Menachery (1973) The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, Ed. George Menachery, B.N.K. Press, vol. 2, ISBN 81-87132-06-X, Lib. Cong. Cat. Card. No. 73-905568; B.N.K. Press – (has some 70 lengthy articles by different experts on the origins, development, history, culture... of these Christians, with some 300 odd photographs).
  9. ^ Leslie Brown, (1956) The Indian Christians of St. Thomas. An Account of the Ancient Syrian Church of Malabar, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1956, 1982 (repr.)
  10. ^ Thomas Puthiakunnel, (1973) "Jewish colonies of India paved the way for St. Thomas", The Saint Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, ed. George Menachery, Vol. II., Trichur.
  11. ^ a b Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, "Eastern Christianity in India"
  12. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia profile of "St. Thomas Christians" - The Carmelite Period
  13. ^ a b Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India”
  14. ^ Fr. George Thalian: "'The Great Archbishop Mar Augustine Kandathil, D. D.: the Outline of a Vocation'". Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2011.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link), Mar Louis Memorial Press, 1961. (Postscript) Archived 2017-02-21 at the Wayback Machine (PDF) Archived 2017-02-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Divine Praises in Aramaic Tradition by Pathikulangara Varghese Kathanar
  16. ^ The Origin and Progress of the Syro-Malabar Hierarchy By Varkey J. Vithayathil
  17. ^ Official Website
  18. ^ The Synod of Diamper and the Liturgy Jacob Vellian The Synod of Diamper Revisited, George Nedugatt, ed.
  19. ^ A Study of the Syro-Malabar Liturgy (George Vavanikunnel)
  20. ^ Pathikulangara, Varghese. Mar Thomma Margam (A New Catechism for the St. Thomas Christians of India), Kottayam: Denha Services, 2004
  21. ^ Syro Malabar Church-Major Feasts Archived 2009-07-08 at the Wayback Machine, The Nazrani. Also major article on the same in The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India Vol. II
  22. ^ Francis Eluvathingal, Patriarchal and Major Archiepiscopal Churches in the Eastern Catholic Legislations based on CCEO Canon 114–125
  23. ^ Francis Eluvathingal, Syro-Malabar Church Since the Eastern Code
  24. ^ a b c d [1] Archived 2012-08-11 at the Wayback Machine, Syro Malabar Church: An Overview.
  25. ^ a b "Provisions for the Syro-Malabar Church, 10.10.2017" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  26. ^ At a Glance Archived 2009-09-04 at the Wayback Machine, Syro Malabar Church Website.
  27. ^ "Syro-Malabar Church Dublin Ireland". Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.

References and bibliography

  • ASSEMANI, Bibliotheca Orientalis (Rome, 1719–28); DE SOUZA.
  • Orientale Conquistado (2 vols., Indian reprint, Examiner Press, Bombay).
  • Gouvea, Jornada do Arcebispo Aleixo de Menezes quando foy as Serra do Malaubar (Coimbra, 1606).
  • Fr. tr. De Glen, Histoire Orientale etc. (Brussels, 1609); DU JARRIC.
  • Thesaurus rerum mirabilium in India Orient (3 vols., Cologne, 1615).
  • India Orientalis Christiana (Rome, 1794).
  • Mackenzie, Christianity in Tranvancore, with Census Report of 1901 (Trivandrum). Ed.& Reprinted, Prof. George Menachery in the Nazranies i.e. The Indian Church History Classics I, 1998.
  • Medlycott, India and the Apostle St. Thomas (London, 1905). Ed. & Reprinted, Prof. George Menachery in the Nazranies i.e. The Indian Church History Classics I, 1998.
  • Thalian, Fr. George: "`The Great Archbishop Mar Augustine Kandathil, D. D.: the Outline of a Vocation'"., Mar Louis Memorial Press, 1961. (Postscript) (PDF).
  • Menachery G (1973) The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, Ed. George Menachery, B.N.K. Press, vol. 2, ISBN 81-87132-06-X, Lib. Cong. Cat. Card. No. 73-905568; B.N.K. Press  – (has some 70 lengthy articles by different experts on the origins, development, history, culture ... of these Christians, with some 300 odd photographs). Vol. 1, 1982. Vol. 3, 2010.
  • Mundadan, A. Mathias. (1984) History of Christianity in India, vol. 1, Bangalore, India: Church History Association of India.
  • Podipara, Placid J. (1970) "The Thomas Christians". London: Darton, Longman and Tidd, 1970. (is a readable and exhaustive study of the St. Thomas Christians.)
  • Philip, E. M. (1908) The Indian Christians of St. Thomas (1908; Changanassery: Mor Adai Study Center, 2002).
  • Aprem, Mar. (1977) The Chaldaean Syrian Church in India. Trichur, Kerala, India: Mar Narsai, 1977.
  • Menachery, Professor George. (2000) Kodungallur – The Cradle of Christianity In India, Thrissur: Marthoma Pontifical Shrine.
  • Menachery, Professor George & Snaitang, Dr. Oberland (2012)"India's Christian Heritage". The Church History Association of India, Dharmaram College, Bangalore.
  • Acts of St. Thomas (Syriac) MA. Bevan, London, 1897
  • Tisserant, E. (1957) Eastern Christianity in India: A History of the Syro-Malabar Church from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. Trans. and ed. by E. R. Hambye. Westminster, MD: Newman Press.
  • Michael Geddes, (1694) A Short History of the Church of Malabar together with the Synod of Diamper, London. Ed. Prof. George Menachery in the Nazranies i.e. The Indian Church History Classics I, 1998.
  • Puthur, B. (ed.) (2002): The Life and Nature of the St Thomas Christian Church in the Pre-Diamper Period (Cochi, Kerala).
  • T.K Velu Pillai, (1940) "The Travancore State Manual"; 4 volumes; Trivandrum
  • Menachery G (ed); (1998) "The Indian Church History Classics", Vol. I, The Nazranies, Ollur, 1998. ISBN 81-87133-05-8.
  • Menachery, George. Glimpses of Nazraney Heritage.SARAS 2005 Ollur.
  • Palackal, Joseph J. Syriac Chant Traditions in South India. Ph.d, Ethnomusicology, City University of New York, 2005.
  • Joseph, T. K. The Malabar Christians and Their Ancient Documents. Trivandrum, India, 1929.
  • Leslie Brown, (1956) The Indian Christians of St. Thomas. An Account of the Ancient Syrian Church of Malabar, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1956, 1982 (repr.)
  • Thomas P. J; (1932) "Roman Trade Centres in Malabar", Kerala Society Papers, II.
  • Marco Polo.(1298) LATHAM, R. (TRANSL.) "The Travels" Penguin Classics 1958
  • Bjorn Landstrom (1964) "The Quest for India", Double day English Edition, Stockholm.
  • Francis Eluvathingal (ed), Syro-Malabar Church Since the Eastern Code, Mary Matha Publications, Trichur, 2003.
  • Francis Eluvathingal, "Patriarchal and Major Archiepiscopal Curia in the Eastern Catholic Legilations based on CCEO Canons 114–125" ORISI, Kottayam, 2009.

External links

Coordinates: 9°58′56″N 76°16′35″E / 9.9823°N 76.2763°E

Basilica of St. Mary, Champakulam

Champakulam Kalloorkadu Marth Maryam (St. Mary's) Basilica (Malayalam: ചമ്പക്കുളം വലിയ പള്ളി) is an ancient Christian Church in Kerala. It belongs to the Syro-Malabar Church under the Archeparchy of Changanacherry. It is a Forane church, with several parishes under it.

Fathima Matha Chapel, Kandeswaram

Fathima Matha Chapel, Kandeswaram, in Thrissur, India is under St Mary's Church Cheloor/Edathirinji. The old chapel was blessed on 13 May 1956 and the new chapel building was blessed in 2007 by Mar Joseph Paster Neelankavil CMI (Emeritus Bishop of Sagar Diocese). Fr. Joy Puthenveettil was the Vicar in this period.

Little Flower Forane Church, Nilambur

Little Flower Forane Church, Nilambur is a Syro-Malabar church situated at Nilambur in Malappuram district.

Mar Hormizd Syro-Malabar Church, Angamaly

Mar Hormizd Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Angamaly is a church located in Angamaly, Kerala, India. It was established in 1570 by Mar Abraham, the last Chaldean Metropolitan to reach Malabar Coast. It is dedicated to Mar Hormizd, a seventh-century Chaldean saint.

Marth Mariam Cathedral

Marth Mariam Cathedral is the cathedral of the Chaldean Syrian Church of India, part of the Assyrian Church of the East. It is located in Thrissur City in the state of Kerala, It is the city's first Christian church inside the fort gates and is the fourth church in the Thrissur Municipal Corporation

The church established in 1814 by Chaldaya Suriyani (Ancient Indian Christian community) and was originally known as Our Lady of Dolours Church. Abraham Kathanar of Palai was the head of the Chaldean Syrian faction in 1814, whose headquarters was at Thrissur. The other faction of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church was Roman Syrians (East Syrians Latinized as per the directions of Diamper Synod1599) whose head was Sankurickal Geevarghese Kathanar and headquarters was at Alappuzha. The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic church in communion with the Pope, the head of Catholic church).In 1860 Chaldean Catholic bishop Mar Thoma Rocos arrived in India and his headquarters was Thaikkattussery,Ernakulam Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and returned to MiddleEast in 1862. In 1874 the Chaldean Catholic bishop Elias Mellus arrived in India by the request of ChaldeanSyrian faction and convinced a large part of the Syro-Malabar Christian community to accept him as their bishop.

The group supporting Mellus was based in Our Lady of Dolours. They eventually broke with the Catholic hierarchy and formed the Chaldean Syrian Church which is part of the universal Assyrian Church of the East. They retained the Our Lady of Dolours building, but renamed it(revived the old name) Mart Mariam. In 1929 the Chaldean Syrian Catholics(Independent group) who left from Mart Mariam Church, Thrissur joined/returned Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and erected a new building, the Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours.Mar Raphel Thattil belongs to this group. Mart Mariam church,Thrissur now serves as the cathedral of the Chaldean Syrian Church of India which is part of the universal Assyrian Church of the East.

Mary Queen Church, Thoppil

Mary Queen Church, popularly known as Thoppil Palli, is a parish church coming under the Syro-Malabar Catholic Major Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly. It is situated along Thrikkakkara - Kakkanad road, at Thoppil, in Ernakulam district of the south Indian state of Kerala.

Our Lady of Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral

Our Lady of Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral, one of the largest churches in Kerala, is located in the heart of Thrissur City in the state of Kerala, India. Dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, the Syro-Malabar Catholic church is noted for its imposing interior. The main attraction is an underground shrine, considered a masterpiece of architectural design. Fr John Maliekkal is said to have planned and constructed this church. The exterior of the church features an Indo-European facade with white spires. The centenary of this church was celebrated during the historic visit of Pope John Paul II to Thrissur City in 1986. The cathedral church attracts thousands of pilgrims every month.

Sisters of the Destitute

Sisters of the Destitute (S. D.) is a Syro-Malabar Catholic women's religious institute.

St. Antony's Church, Kodanad

St. Antony's Church, is a church in Kerala, India.

St. George Syro-Malabar Basilica, Angamaly

St. George Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica is a basilica in Angamaly, Kerala, India. This Church was established in A.D 450. Angamaly was the first Syrian Archdiocese in India, established on 29 August 1567. Its jurisdiction was extended whole over India till the 16th century.The most ancient University for Malpan training was established at Angamaly before the arrival of the Portuguese. The Chaldean bishop Mar Abraham was ordained as the Archbishop of Angamaly diocese and Mar Hormiz Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Angamaly was the Cathedral church at that time.

The New Angamaly St. George Basilica was constructed under the bold leadership of late Very Rev. Fr. Paul Kariatty and it was consecrated on 31 December 2006. On 24, June 2009 Pope Benedict XVI raised St George Forane Church to the status of Basilica. The Present Rector of this Basilica is Very. Rev. Dr. Kuriakose Mundadan. Along with an underground Parish hall where weddings gatherings are commonly held, it covers about 24,000 sq ft (2,200 m2). It has a large chandelier as an added accessory, switched on daily along with two others in each and every mass. It is one of the most Visited Churches in Kerala.

St. Joseph Chapel, Americankettu North West

St. Joseph Chapel, Americankettu North West, is in Cheloor, a village in Irinjalakuda, Trichur, Kerala, India, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The nearest beach is Kakkathuruthi. It has one of the magnificent churches of the Kerala Syro Malabar Catholic community. St. Joseph Chapel, Americankettu North West, is under the governance of Cheloor St. Mary's Church.

Built in 2009–10 and consecrated on 1 May 2010 on the feast of May Day, a special day for the patron of workers, St. Joseph, this chapel was named after him. Mr. A. O. Jacob of Achangadon built this chapel out of his own money and handed it over to St. Mary's Church.

Daily rosary prayers are offered by the neighbours here in the evening. Built in a modern architectural style it attracts many visitors.

St. Mary's Forane Church, Karimannoor

St. Mary's Forane Church is located in Karimannoor panchayath 11 km away from Thodupuzha.

The church belongs to the Syro-Malabar Catholic Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Kothamangalam.

St. Thomas Church, Kokkamangalam

St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kokkamangalam which holds a midway position among the seven churches founded by St. Thomas, is in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Archdiocese of

Ernakulam-Angamaly, in the South Indian state of Kerala. A portrait of St. Thomas is venerated here and was brought from the Carmelite Monastery Mannanam in 1897 by "", pursuant to a revelation. This portrait is mounted in a decorated waft of great artistic value.St. Thomas sailed to Kokkamangalam where he preached the gospel for about a year. 1600 people converted to Christianity through him according to the narration in "Rampan Pattu", an ancient form of Christian folk-song prevalent in Kerala. He formed a Christian community at Kokkamangalam and enshrined a Cross for the faithful. This cross was later cut off by saboteurs, and thrown into the Lake Vembanad, through which it floated up to Pallippuram, where it is enshrined.The Relic of Apostle St. Thomas enshrined here was brought from Ortona in Italy by Pope John Paul II in November 1999. Special Novena prayers are held on Friday evenings to venerate the Relic. Devotees who aspire for jobs in foreign countries seek the intercession of the Apostle here.

St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Church, Malayattoor

The St Thomas Syro malabar catholic International Shrine, Malayattoor (or Malayatoor Church) is one of the eight international shrines in the wolrd, situated in Malayattoor Angamaly, Ernakulam district of Kerala, India.

The Malayatoor Church attracts a large number of devotees from not just India, but from all over the world.

St. Thomas the Apostle was the one who took initiative to begin Christian community in Kerala later found . He also set up the church here which has been designated by the Vatican as one among the eight International shrines in the world. It is believed that St. Thomas held prayer at this church when he landed in Kerala. The hilltop church is located 15 km away from the town of Kalady. Malayatoor and Kodanad villages are located on the opposite banks of the Periyar river with unspoiled and rustic views of the surroundings.

St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Church, Palayoor

St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Palayur is located at Palayur (also spelt Palayoor), in Thrissur district in Kerala on the west coast of India. According to tradition, it was established in 52 AD by St Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. It is one of the oldest churches in India, second only to Kottakkavu Mar Thoma Church, North Paravur and is called an Apostolic Church credited to the Apostolate of St. Thomas who preached and also started conversion of people to Christianity here. It was part of the seven churches that he established in India; the other six churches were established at Cranganore, Kokkamangalam, Kottakkavu, Kollam, Niranam, and Chayal (Nilackal). The original small Church structure has been retained at the oldest site. But substantial improvements around it were carried out during the 17th century by Reverend Fenichi, as necessary, without sacrificing the main sanctity of the place.

St Mary's Church, Cheloor

St Mary's Church is a Syro-Malabar parish church in Cheloor/Edathirinji, Kerala, India (in diocesan records Mary Immaculate Church, Cheloor). The church follows leadership by Syro-Malabar Catholic Church under Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Irinjalakuda.

Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of London

Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of London is a church in Arnos Grove, North London. It is part of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, the largest denomination of the Saint Thomas Christians, based mainly in India. It is estimated that there are 55,000 Indian Catholics in the UK.

The church in London was first established in 2002 by the initiative of Fr. Biju john Kochuparampil, and was officially recognised by the three Catholic Dioceses in 2005. The new Coordinator of the church is Rev.Dr. Thomas Parayadyil.

The Syro-Malabar Church London was founded with the initiative of Rev. Fr. Biju John. Though he was staying in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Newsouthgate, he was initiated a process of spiritual renewal among the Syro-Malabar Catholics living in the UK (who is been migrating from Kerala to the United Kingdom). Then there was only a very few priests from the Syro-Malabar church living in the UK. With the help of some lay leaders he established around 52 communities in the UK for the Syro-Malabar Church. Rev. Fr. Biju John resigned his post as the first co-ordinator of the Syro-Malabar church, he even sacrificed his place of residence for the future co-ordinator. After his resignation the church in London was looked after by four priests of the same rite.

Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of St. Thomas of Chicago

The St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Chicago is an Eastern Catholic eparchy for Syro-Malabar Catholics in the United States. The eparchy, established in 2001, is one of the three eparchies of the Syro-Malabar Church outside India, and it has jurisdiction over Syro-Malabar Catholics in the entire US. It is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Syro-Malabar Catholic Church hierarchy
Major Archiepiscopal province
Other proper provinces in southern India
Proper Archeparchy without suffragan
Eparchies within Latin provinces in India
Exempt jurisdictions
Bible and
By country
of the faithful
West Syriac, legacy of
the Patriarchate of Antioch
East Syriac, legacy of
the Church of the East
(the "Nestorian Church")
Saint Thomas Christians,
legacy of
the Malankara Church
(1st century–1601)
in India
Key figures
See also
Religious organisations
Related articles
Assyrian Church
of the East
Oriental Orthodox
Oriental Orthodox
Catholic Church
See also

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