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Short History

The Mar Thoma Syrian Christian Community of Kerala was an autonomous Church in the unity of the Catholic Church, ever since its foundation in 52 A.D by St. Thomas, the Apostle. They remained one body and flourished in the course of years. But in the seventeenth century, due to the intervention of the Portuguese missionaries a schism occurred. A good section of the Syrians eventually became Jacobites under the Patriarch of Antioch.

Ever since the schism, attempts at reunion were made. On September 20, 1930 the Reunion Movement took shape with the reunion of two eminent Jacobite Prelates, the late Archbishop Mar Ivanios and late Bishop Jacob Mar Theophilos. It was a triumph of ecumenism as their reunion took place as a church accepted with its liturgy, customs and jurisdiction. Thus it prepared a way for a complete reunion of the Jacobite-Orthodox Church of Kerala.

As the Reunion Movement developed speedily, Pope Pius XI established the Malankara Hierarchy for the reunited people and established the Archeparchy of Trivandrum and the Eparchy of Tiruvalla by the Apostolic Constitution, Cristo Pastorum Principi dated June 11, 1932.

Accordingly the Eparchy of Tiruvalla was established on November 6, 1933 and Rt. Rev. Jacob Mar Theophilos was enthroned as its first Bishop. He was called for his eternal reward on 27th June 1956. His Excellency Most Rev. Thomas Mar Dioscoros Metropolitan reunited with the Malanakra Catholic Church and joined in the Eparchy of Tiruvalla from the Knanaya Jacobite Church on November 12, 1939 and led a private life at Thirumoolapuram. He passed away on 21st February 1943. His Grace Most Rev. Joseph Mar Severios, Metropolitan of the Niranam Diocese of the Orthodox Church reunited with the Malankara Catholic Chuch on November 29, 1937. Due to the ill-health of Mar Theophilos the Holy See appointed His Grace Joseph Mar Severios as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tiruvalla in 1938. He was appointed the Bishop of the Eparchy of Tiruvalla in 1951. He was given the honorary title ĎArchbishopóbishopí by the Holy See. He was called for his eternal rest on 18th January 1955. The Holy See appointed Reverend Father Cherian Polachirackal Auxiliary to the Bishop of Tiruvalla. His consecration was on 22nd April 1954 and he took the name Zacharias Mar Athanasios. The Holy See appointed Zacharias Mar Athanasios as Bishop of Tiruvalla on January 27, 1955. The Eparchy was extended from the river Pampa in the south to the river Ponnani in the north and from the Arabian Sea in the west to the Western Ghats in the east. The Eparchy was further extended to the north from the river Ponnani by the decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches, by Prot N. 534/43 dated February 14, 1958 and brought under it the whole of Malabar region of Kerala, the civil districts of Coimbatore and Nilgiris and Karoor Taluk in Thiruchirappally District of Tamil Nadu and the districts of Mysore, Mandya, Coorg, Hassan, Chickamangalore, Shimoga and South Kanara of Karnataka State. His Excellency Zacharias Mar Athanasios entered into eternal rest on 28th September 1977. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Mathew Nedungattu was elected the Administrator.

His Holiness Pope John Paul II by the Apostolic Constitution of October 28, 1978 separating the civil districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur of Kerala, Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu and Coorg, Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, South Kanara, Chickamangalore and Shimoga of Karnataka from the Eparchy of Tiruvalla, established the Eparchy of Bathery and appointed His Excellency Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios as its first Bishop. The official inauguration of the Eparchy was on 2nd February 1979. Very Reverend Father Isaac Koottaplackal was appointed Bishop of Tiruvalla to succeed His Excellency Most Rev. Zacharias Mar Athanasios. His consecration took place on 28th December 1978 at Mar Ivanios Nagar, Thirumoolapuram and he received the name Isaac Mar Youhanon.

His Holiness Pope John Paul II sent His Eminence Cardinal Wadislaw Rubin, the Prefect of Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches as his delegate to the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Reunion Movement, held in December 1980 at Kottayam in the Eparchy of Tiruvalla. The Golden Jubilee of the establishment of the Eparchy was celebrated in January 1984 at St. Johnís Cathedral, Tiruvalla. Mar Youhanon was called for eternal peace on 28th April 1987. Rev. Fr. George Chundevalel was elected the Administrator who later was appointed the Bishop of the Eparchy with the name Geevarghese Mar Timotheos. His consecration took place on 6th August 1988 at St. Johnís Cathedral, Tiruvalla.

His Eminence Achille Cardinal Silvestrini, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches visited the Eparchy in February 1996. Rev. Fr. Mammen Chackalapadickal was appointed Auxiliary to the Bishop of Tiruvalla. He was consecrated Bishop on the 17th July 1997 at St. Johnís Cathedral, Tiruvalla with the name Thomas Mar Koorilos.

The septuagenial of the Reunion Movement was celebrated at Tiruvalla on 27th December 2000. The Patriarch Emeritus of the Syrian Catholics in Antioch and the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, His Eminence Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud was the chief guest. His Holiness Pope John Paul II bifurcated the Eparchy of Tiruvalla and established the Eparchy of Muvattupuzha, which includes the revenue Districts of Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad of Kerala. The new Eparchy was inaugurated on 6th February 2003 and His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Koorilos was appointed by the Holy Father as the first Bishop of Muvattupuzha. On 29th March 2003 the Holy See accepted the resignation of His Excellency Geevarghese Mar Timotheos from the eparchial administration due to super-annuation. Rev. Dr. Stephen Thottathil was elected the Administrator. The Holy See appointed His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Cleemis as the sixth Bishop of the Catholic Eparchy of Tiruvalla on September11, 2003. His Excellency Isaac Mar Cleemis took charge of the Eparchy on 2nd October 2003 at St. Johnís Cathedral, Tiruvalla. The newly built St. Johnís Cathedral was consecrated on 20th and 21st of September 2004 by His Grace Cyril Mar Baselios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Malankara Catholic Church.

His Eminence Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud paid a visit to the Eparchy on 12th May 2005. The Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Catholic Church decided on 3rd December 2005 to elevate the Eparchy of Tiruvalla to the status of an Archeparchy with the Eparchies of Bathery and Muvattupuzha as its suffragans, and the Bishop of Tiruvalla as Metropolitan Archbishop. With the consent and blessings from the Holy See, His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios Catholicos, the Major Archbishop of the Malankara Catholic Church, announced the proclamation on 15th May 2006 at St. Johnís Cathedral, Tiruvalla. His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Cleemis was installed as the first Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Tiruvalla on 10th June 2006 at St. Johnís Metropolitan Cathedral, Tiruvalla. His Beatitude Cyril Baselios, the Major Archbishop-Catholicos, was the main Celebrant and about thirty Bishops and a vast group of civil and social leaders and thousands of faithful participated in the Installation Ceremony.

His Excellency Thomas Mar Koorilos, the bishop of the Muvattupuzha Eparchy, was elected by the Holy Episcopal Synod as the second Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla on 26th March, 2007 and installed as Metropolitan Archbishop on 2nd May 2007.

With the establishment of the Eparchy of Puthur, the Metropolitan Eparchy of Tiruvalla has three suffragan eparchies.

Rev. Dr. Stephan Thottathil was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archeparchy of Tiruvalla on 25th of January 2010 and was consecrated Bishop on 13th March 2010 at Mar Ivanios Vidhya Nagar Nalanchira, Trivandrum with the name Philipos Mar Stephanos. On 6th November 2010, inaugurated the Idukki Region. His Excellency Mar Stephanos is given incharge of the Pastoral Care of the Region and he resides in the Jyothis Pastoral Centre, Kattapana.

Considering the meritorious leadership and faith life of the priests and laity were given honorary tittes. The following priests were elevated as Corepiscopoi in the Archeparchy: Rev. Mathew Karimpil and Rev. Cherian Ramanalil. Rt. Rev. Thomas Pathiparampil Corepiscopo went to his eternal reward on 8th January 2009. Among the Laity, Mr. Varghese Karippayil was awarded the Pontifical title Cheveliar on 21st September 2004, and Mr. George Erumeda, Thomas Pulikathara were awrded Bar Itho Kashiro and Mrs. Aleyamma Varghese Madelil, was awarded Bar Itho Khasirtho September 20, 2008. Mr. Joy Thazhamon was also awarded the Archeparchial Mathabodhana Ratna for his long standing contribution to the faith formation ministry.