St. Gregorios of Parumala – Nov. 2 I A Saint Par Excellence I Muttinmel Nilkunna Chathuruthy’

Published by Jacob P Varghese on

Saints are thosewho set apart themselves for God, who by their active faith and love, have become like God and show forth the image of God in its power and those who have obtained for themselves abundant grace. Christ lives in them, and they open their life to Christ and lives as Christ wills them to live. They are those who, having advanced closer to the goal of Theosis (becoming like God in Christ), can help the rest of us, through their example and prayers

Parumala Thirumeni was a man of God, a saint par excellence, who lived according to the law of God, at the towards the close of the 20th century. The holy man lived on a haunted island, called Parumala, leading a virtuous and austere monastic life, living on frugal diet enriched by prayer and fasting. He always led a life befitting a saint. He was the prophet of his time, who set moral tone for his people. Powerful like Prophet Elijah and glittering like John the Baptist, he remains the beacon and a great Saint of the Malankara Orthodox Church.

The growing flow of pilgrims to his tomb, several years after his demise, tells a story of a man of faith, prayer, healing, and great intercession. There are hundreds of instances that proved his Saintliness. Thousands of people receive favours and blessings through his intercession. Parumala Thirumeni shines in the cloud of witnesses as a bright luminary giving rays of hope to millions in their suffering and struggles.

Parumala Thirumeni received his divine call to serve the Lord and His people. He surrendered and submitted his life completely to God and allowed the Holy Spirit to indwell in him and to control and guide his life. He sought the heavenly treasures that was above and was never concerned with worldly riches. He led a very pious, simple and humble life. Even when he occupied the highest position of a bishop, he found enough time to communicate with the common man. He had great respect for elders and teachers. Many a times when Mar Gregorios visited his native village after becoming a Church dignitary, he would personally contact and offer gifts to the ‘Nilathezuthu Aasan’ and he would not even sit in the presence of his teacher. His life was one of righteousness and holiness. He never deviated from truth, even in adverse situations or just for a worldly benefit.  

He put his sole trust in God and depended upon Him and for his physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs. He was not concerned about tomorrow or what would happen to him in the future. He believed that God would provide for him. He believed that, whatever he had and received belonged to God, as they were God’s gifts. He used to spend time in fasting and prayer.  He was a prayer “warrior”. How aptly he was called as ‘Muttinmel Nilkunna Chathuruthy’, as many always found him on his knees with God. He was often called as a Bishop who stands on knees. If today we miss bed coffee, we get headache, but Parumala Thirumeni missed a prayer, due to any reason, he was irritated for the day.

His disciplined and regimented prayer life helped him to commune with God and receive guidance from Him. He was a man of prayer, who very accurately combined daily prayers, meditation and fasting and daily routines. He was a person who walked with God, worked with God and talked with God. He had a close relationship in communion and communication with God. Like Jesus, he combined his prayerful life, with his personal ministry.

He was a dedicated and devoted teacher, a teacher who taught his disciples by examples. He was a lifelong student. He studied Syriac, the Holy Scriptures, theology, worship, Church history and canon law. He never missed any opportunity that he got to learn. He continued his studies throughout his life. He provided religious and spiritual training for all the deacons who lived with him at Parumala Seminary. He influenced all of them by his life and example. Many of his students became spiritual leaders in Malankara Orthodox Church.

He was a compassionate and caring shepherd of his flock. He identified himself with the least, the lost and the last. During the deadly attack of small pox in Thumpamon he stayed there, visited the patients, prayed and arranged for their treatment and comforted all people till the contagious disease completely disappeared. He healed the sick and served others. He served God’s people without expecting anything in return. He reached out and touched the lives of many that were in need. People asked him to pray for them. Many miraculous healing took place during his lifetime. The healing ministry of Parumala Thirumeni is still continuing. He was a friend of the poor and downtrodden. He always preferred to dedicate and sacrifice himself, for the cause of needy.  He looked after the sick and the destitute. He spread the Gospel to the low caste people who lived among the Syrian Christians.

He was an exalted high priest who made worship a heavenly experience. He was a talented musician who mastered the nuances of Syrian liturgical music. He was a gifted literary genius. Thirumeni’s book ‘Journey to Jerusalem’ is one of the foremost travelogues in Malayalam literature. He takes the readers to the heights of physical perception and spiritual enlightenment when he depicts his experiences during the pilgrimage.

He was a defender of Orthodox Faith. As a priest and a metropolitan, he defended the Orthodox faith and taught the believers through letters, articles, and sermons. He glorified God in sickness. Even in his sickness and suffering, he glorified God and thanked Him for His grace.

Thirumeni was an able administrator of the Church, an exemplary bishop and a spiritual leader. He ruled three dioceses, at one time – Niranam, Kollam and Thumpamon. He was an able bishop who ministered to the spiritual and temporal needs of his flock. He was a social reformer anda missionary with a vision. Thirumeni converted a number of low caste people into Christianity. He built separate churches for them with the noble intention of bringing them gradually to the main stream of our church

He was an educational visionary. Thirumeni always emphasized the importance of English education. He established a number of schools like St. Thomas School Mulanthuruthy, MJD School Kunnamkulam, MGM School Thiruvalla and MG School Thumpamon.

The grace he earned through mortification and miracles that his presence or words wrought were well acknowledged by the Christians and non-Christians of his time. No evil has ever been found in him during his childhood, youth or later. During his lifetime and after his death numerous miracles have taken place, through him. Through the prayers of Mar Gregorios, many were cured from serious illness and many receive peace and spiritual prosperity. Many in his generation can testify their personal experience in being blessed with divine grace revived by them through this holy father. 

Parumala Thirumeni the Vigilant (One who is awake) is the power generator for the devotees, a refuge for millions, a shelter for the needy and a model even to the great leaders. One Centenary has passed by millions have benefited through him. But how many of us could pattern our life to his life. Very, very few!

May his prayers be a stronghold for us!

May his life be an inspiration for all of us!!

 Let us all ask him to intercede for us!!!


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