Saint Gregorios of Parumala
Saint Gregorios of Parumala is popularly known as ‘Parumala Thirumeni’. Mar Gregorios was born on 15th June 1848 (Malayalam Era – Mithunam 3, 1023) to Kochu Mathai and Mariam of Pallathetta family in the Chathuruthy house at Mulamthuruthy. He was called by the name ‘Kochaippora’ and was given the baptismal name ‘Geevarghese’ He was ordained as a reader of the Church (Korooyo) on 14th Sept 1858 at the age of ten by Palakkunnath Mathews Mar Athanasios at Karingachira Church. Koroyo Geevarghese continued his training under Geevarghese Malpan until the Malpan died due to small pox. Although Deacon Geevarghese was also infected with small pox, he miraculously survived it. Afterwards Deacon Geevarghese moved to Pampakuda and continued his studies under Konat Geevarghese Malpan.
In the mean time Dn. Geevarghese became associated with the visiting Syrian Bishop Yuyakim Mar Coorilos. Mar Coorilos had great admiration for the deacon and was pleased to ordain him as full Deacon, Priest and Cor-episcopa within a few months in the 1865. Geevarghese Corepiscopa started a strenuous life of prayer and fasting at Vettickal Dayara. Having heard about the vigorous asceticism practised by Geevarghese Corepiscopa,the then Malankara Metropolitan Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius made him a ‘Rambaan’ (Monk Priest) in 1872.
In 1875, the Antioch Patriarch, His Holiness Peter III visited Malankara. The Patriarch chose Ramban Geevarghese as his Secretary and translator during the entire visit. Along with the Patriarch, Geevarghese Rambaan visited many churches. He also assisted the Patriarch in the consecration of the Holy Mooron and in the historic synod of Mulanthuruthy in 1876. Pleased with the Rambaan Geevarghese, the Patriarch decided to consecrate him as Metropolitan. On December 10,1876 the Patriarch consecrated six priests as bishops including Ramban Geevarghese at St.Thomas Church, Paravur. He was given the new name Geevarghese Mar Gregorios and was given the charge of Niranam Diocese. Mar Gregorios took charge of the Niranam Diocese and started staying at Parumala.
The Blessed Saint left his earthly abode on 2nd November 1902. The funeral was conducted at Parumala on Tuesday the 3rd of November 1902 in the presence of thousands of people and hundreds of priests. The many testimonies to the Saintly intercession of Mar Gregorios made Parumala Church and the tomb,a centre of pilgrimage. In 1947 Mar Gregorios of blessed memory was declared as a Saint of the church by the then Catholicos of the church, His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II. May the prayers and intercession of this blessed Saint be a strong fortress for our lives.