Our Patron saint – St Gregorios Geevarghese popularly known as Parumala Kochu Thirumeni.
As we all know, Parumala Kochu Thirumeni was born in the distinguished priestly family of Chathuruthy in the village of Mulunthuruthy, on June 1848. He was baptized by name Geevarghese. From childhood he followed a very disciplined life, which was enriched by prayer & fasting. He had an extra ordinary ability to sing Syriac hymns beautifully.
His Holiness the Patriarch had consecrated six metropolitans of which Mor Gregorios was the youngest & hence he came to be known by the endearing name “Kochu Thirumeni”.
His brief history:
St Gregorios Geevarghese was blessed with the order of deacon at the tender age of 9. At the age of 18, he was ordained as Shamshono by His Grace Yuyakim Mor Koorilos. Shamshono Geevarghese was ordained as Kassisso [Full priest] in 1865, later Corepiscopa, again at the blessed hands of His Grace Yuyakim Mor Koorilos, H.G. Joseph Mor Dionysius Pulikkottil raised him to the order of Ramban in 1872. In 1876, His Holiness Ignatius Peter IV, the Patriarch ordained Ramban Geevarghese as Metropolitan by the name of “Gregorios” at the North Paravur St. Thomas Church.
At Parumala Seminary he led an ascetic life. His disciplined prayer life helped him to commune with God and receive guidance from Him. He believed that “Prayer brings truth, religious faith, honesty and respect among the people.”
Parumala Thirumeni was a master in the Syriac language. To him, the prayers forming an integral part of the Holy Qurbono had a real relevance and significance which held him steadfast in his loyalty to the Apostolic See of Antioch. He was true to the traditions and history built up by the Holy Fathers listed in the 5th TUBDEN, starting with the venerable St. James, Apostle, Martyr and the first Prelate of Jerusalem.
How relevant is Parumala Thirumeni’s teachings for life today
The answer is very clear & obvious for those who are honestly searching. Parumala Thirumeni was one who faithfully followed his master, Lord Jesus Christ & his teachings. Whatever Parumala Thirumeni preached was practiced.
God’s calling – Parumala Thirumeni had received the call. He was the messenger from our Lord Jesus. He surrendered himself absolutely to the Lord, renounced everything & followed Lord Jesus. We too should surrender to the Lord. Pray to God to throw us where we can be best used for his glory. Our calling will be the work of God to bring our heart to a path of obedience & it will bring peace and everlasting joy.
Dependence on God – Parumala Thirumeni’s life was complete dependence on God. We have to acknowledge that we can’t, but God can. Put our dependence completely on God for his strength, wisdom and goodness – not our own. Throw ourselves into the arms of Jesus and ask him to carry us as we do the work he has called us to do. As we begin to see success, don’t forget that it is God who strengthens us, provides the ability for us to do the work, gives us favor, and opens doors.
Parumala Thirumeni always remembered what Jesus said, “If we want to be great in the Kingdom of God, be a servant.” He served God’s people without expecting anything in return. Since he had experienced the unconditional love of God, he shared that love with others. He reached out and touched the lives of many that were in need. Thirumeni moved among the outcasts & the needy. He was in solidarity with the poor. He was concerned for their humiliation and rejection by society and he went out of his way to affirm them – seeking their restoration and healing. Indeed Thirumeni was a friend to the poor!
Once, when a smallpox epidemic struck Thumpamon and surrounding areas, he personally visited every home that had been affected, to pray for and comfort the sick, regardless of their caste or creed. His faith and his actions garnered him a lot of support, not only from within the Malankara Church but the entire Indian community.
God calls us to a service far beyond anything we could ever imagine, like Parumala Thirumeni. We were put on Earth to make a contribution. We weren’t created just to consume resources — to eat, breath, and take up space. God designed us to make a difference with our life. We were created to add to life on Earth, not just take from it. God wants us to give something back.
TRUSTING IN GOD
Parumala Thirumeni trusted in God for all his needs, he was never worried about “tomorrow.” Whatever he had, belonged to God, and he believed they were God’s gifts. Whatever he received from the people belonged to the Church.
Thirumeni’s ideals were strongly founded on Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him”
Trusting God is simply believing that He loves you, He’s good, He has the power to help you, He wants to help you, and He will help you. God wants us to put Him first in our lives. He wants us to put our confidence and trust in Him, all the time, in everything.
Parumala Thirumeni was the prophet of his time who set the moral tone for his people. He loved everybody specially the poor and needy. A saint is one who is totally dedicated to God and St. Gregorios Parumala Thirumeni was one who faithfully followed his master, Lord Jesus Christ. We too have the responsibility to follow the master, Lord Jesus Christ like him.
We celebrate the perunal of our Patron saint St. Gregorios every year. May the life of Parumala Thirumeni be an inspiration for all of us & encourage us to follow his exemplary qualities & spirituality. Let us supplicate him to intercede for us. May his prayers be a stronghold for us & lead us and our church to prosperity.