LL HG Pathrose Mar Osthathios | Feb 2nd I Champion of Gentiles ‘Malankara Gandhi’

Published by Jacob P Varghese on

Pathrose Mar Osthathios a great missionary and social reformist was born on 20 June 1886 as the ninth and youngest child to pious and devout Cherian Puravathen and Kunjumariamma of Mookencheril family in Tripunithura. His childhood pet name was Kochupilla.  After his initial preliminary education under Chandy Aashan and Pailey Aashan, he joined the Anglo Vernacular School Tripunithura. He was not very keen in his studies. Once his father punished him, by beating him, tying log wood on his shoulder. His cries were heard in the neighborhood and by God.

His attitude to studies changed dramatically and he bagged First rank in the fifth form and received a bunch of books as a prize from Ramaverma Maharajah. He also got first rank in the Matriculation Exam and continued to study in Maharajas College. He then took his B.A from St. Joseph’s college Trichy; He did his L.T from Trivandrum and started to teach in Tripunithura, Njarackkal High School. A photograph of M. P. Peter with his Dalit students was found in Njarackkal School. He also took B. Ed degrees.

He was inspired by the First student’s conference in January 1908, at Thiruvalla Ballikamadam School. He attended all the Student Conference each year, till the 58th Conference in 1966. He also served as secretary of the Students Conference for some time. During one of this Students Movement Conferences he came in contact with Brahmin Christian Priest Fr. Chakraborthy from Bengal, who invited him to come to north east India for mission work. He also felt the need to translate our books and prayers into Malayalam for the sake of the low placed Christians. Once he heard Fr. Holmes, speak about the Passion of Christ on the Cross. He was moved emotionally and started to cry. He felt embarrassed and turned back to see if anyone has noticed him crying. He saw everyone behind him was in tears. This incident brought him closer to Christ and Christianity. He was much disturbed, and he left home and stayed in a lodge in Ernakulum, spending sleepless nights praying, reading the Holy Bible and meditating. He left Ernakulum without informing his parents and relatives and went and met Vattasserril Thirumeni, who along with the First Catholicos Paulose Mar Ivanios ordained him as a deacon in 1916. He was a true disciple of Christ, who left his father, mother, brothers, sisters and followed Christ.

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple (Lk. 14:26-27). 

His association with MGOCSM from his youth days, M. P. Peter showed interest in social as well as spiritual activities. His revolutionary ideas gave a fundamental outlook towards his attitudes. He actively participated in Vaikom satyagraha. For his newly liberative ideas, he gave up his teacher hood. He was ordained as priest on 4 May 1926 by Yuyakim Mar Ivanios. In 1943 His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II ordained him as Ramban. On 15 May 1953, he was consecrated as Metropolitan Pathrose Mar Osthathios. He became the head of the Malabar Diocese. H.G. initially even refused the consecration as episcopa, fearing he would be unable to continue to the missionary work of the Church. Later H.G. Pathros Mar Osthathios thirumeni was chosen to shepherd the underdeveloped diocese of Malabar. Today, he is popularly know as ‘Malankara Gandhi’.   

On 14 September 1924 as a deacon, M. P. Pathrose started the “Sleebadasa Samooham” the Sleebadasa Community, ‘Order of the Servants of the Holy Cross’ with an aim to work for the upliftment of the Dalit Christians on the Social, Cultural and Spiritual fronts and gave leadership to missionary activities. ‘The Servants of The Cross Society’ focused on the upliftment of the separated and alienated classes in the society.  His Grace had to face stiff resistance from the strong laity members within the church, who offered their willingness to build separate churches for them. But Thirumeni refused the idea of separate churches for dalits. 
It signaled the service among the lower caste downtrodden and underprivileged, bringing the torch of the Gospel love as preached by Jesus Christ and shown on His Cross at Calvary. He introduced the Dalit people as the Crown and the Happiness.  The Diwan appointed Dn M P Peter as special officer for reformation and upliftment of the lower castes, at a time even Mahatma Gandhiji had not begun his movement for Harijans.

He had gained about 40,000 non-Christians from the lowest strata for Malankara Orthodox Church. He was appointed as the special officer of education department of Kochi Government. He was the first person to translate the Holy Qurbanas, Taksas, Promiyon and other prayers for Holy Services from Syriac to Malayalam. He accepted the Holy Bible, Cymbal, and the Lantern as the symbol of Servants of The Cross. In 1952, he had started a whole India Missionary journey for understanding and analyzing the Indian Society. He left for his eternal abode on 2 February 1968 and was laid to rest in Carmel Dayara, Kandanad. Pathrose Mar Osthathios Metropolitan was a man of courage, confidence and with a empathetic attitude towards his fellow beings.

Categories: Our Fathers


Thomas Cherian · February 3, 2021 at 8:39 am

An excellent article beautifully narrated on factual information about a devoted bishop in Orthodox Mission work. Thanks a lot for publishing in the net work. Bow before the highly respected Thirumeni in our sabha.

    Jacob P Varghese · February 3, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Thank indeed for your kind words. Glad that I am able to use this medium to share the knowledge that I have gained especially to the future generation of our Church.

george cherian · February 1, 2024 at 7:27 pm

He was a dedicated missionary bishop of the Malankara church. None of the present bishops can be compared to his dedication to the poor and needy.

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