"Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever", Daniel 12:3
Born on 15th June 1848, ordained bishop on 10th December 1876 at the young age of 28, passed away on 2nd November 1902 at the age of 54 his short life span in this world was synonymous with purity, prayer and fasting. When we read the life history of the only canonized saint our church has ever groomed, we can't but be amazed at the wonderful fruits of the Spirit that Parumala Thirumeni attained.
- A compassionate and caring shepherd of his flock. In 1890 when deadly small pox started spreading in Thumpamon area Thirumeni immediately reached Thumpamon, stayed there, visited the patients, prayed and arranged for their treatment and comforted all people. He stayed in Thumpamon until the contageous disease completely disappeared.
- An able administrator of the church. At one time three dioceses - Niranam, Kollam and Thumpamon - were ruled by Parumala Thirumeni.
- A teacher who taught his disciples by example. Fr Geevarghese Vattasseril (later Vattasseril Thirumeni) and Punnoose Ramban (later Geevarghese II Catholicos) were two of his disciples who followed their master's illustrious path.
- A social reformer and a missionary with a vision for the future of the church. In those days when untouchability and casteism were prevalent in Kerala, 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. In 1889 Thirumeni ordained a bishop (Alvares Mar Julius) for a group of Roman Catholics who joined our church. In 1892 he went to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to ordain a bishop (Vilathy Mar Thimothios) for a group of believers who joined our church from United States of America.
- 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.
- An exalted High Priest who made worship a heavenly experience.
- A talented musician who mastered the nuances of Syrian liturgical music.
- A gifted literary genius. Thirumeni's book 'Journey to Jerusalem' is one of the foremost travelogs in Malayalam literature. He takes the readers to the heights of physical perception and spiritual enlightenment when he depicts his experiences during the pilgrimage.
Words of Wisdom
(From 'Saint Gregorios of Parumala' published by Sunday School Association)
- "Prayer is the enthusiasm of childhood, the refuge of youth and peace during old age."
- "Prayer helps education to cultivate truth, morality, faith, devotion, mutual respect among people."
- "He who prays to God every day would never be without truth, morality, faith and devotion, and would never turn against his master or society."
- "When we pray with a heart full of devotion, God accepts it and we receive blessings in return."
- "If man does not raise his hands in prayer for himself and for the sake of his people, even after knowing God, how can we say man is better than animals who are not wise and cannot think about their future."
- "Prayer is, in many ways, the golden chain that binds this world to the feet of God."
- "Pray earnestly to God during day and night. Such prayer is the best way to remove the darkness and fatigue in us: and also the means to attain salvation and the Kingdom of Heaven. Put your faith in God and pray to Him."
- "God is on the side of the poor. Remember God in what ever you do; then everything will turn out for good."
- "Whatever is due to the Church must be given forthwith. If your mind is pure in that matter, your house will also be pure. If in such things you think of any gain or revenue, then you will lose that ten-fold. Therefore all of you be pure in depending on God, in brotherly love and in loving your neighbors."
- "Don't try to be smart, nor be foolish. Never love body more than sprit, and money more than God."
- "Forgiveness is strength. It gives a person good name. It is the distinguishing feature of righteous people."
- "Consult God in everything; consult your father too. If your father abandons you, God will also abandon you. Do not be adamant in silly things, which will bring in dislike of both God and men."
- "Never be proud. Let God save you from every grave danger. Hold on to God in everything. He will bless you abundantly."
- "Avoid arrogance, quarrel, and pride while dealing in Church matters; instead, let your humility shine before others. Those who place their trust in God, and satisfy the people are blessed. May God bless them."
- "Remember God in every thing. Let no one grieve because of you. Never let go of an opportunity to do something good. Only those things will remain with you till the end."
- "As far as possible never do evil to any one; or it will ruin you, your children and your house. Hold on steadfastly to prayer, fasting and works of charity. Do them with faith and devotion."
- "If you are lazy, your learning cannot progress. Hold on to God tight. Humility should be the best ornament for you."
- "Death is at everybody's door. Keep that in mind."
- "You must regularly read the Holy Bible. You must obey your spiritual fathers and increase their good name and honor before God and men by your exemplary life."
- "Those who disobey their parents and join their enemies, are liable to be cursed by them. They will not inherit the legacy of their parents and will be disqualified for this world as well as the next."
- "Never be proud, pride is followed by fall. Humility is followed by greatness."
- "If there is a quarrel in the family, keep away from it. A quarrelsome house is the haven of the devil; and God is nowhere near it."
- "Be rich in love of man and love of God. Brothers should never cheat each other. When you move away from unity you are sure to move away from God."
- "It is not spiritual wisdom to try to conquer the enemy with evil than with virtue. If you depend on the God of Truth and go out with a truthful heart, God will accomplish things for you."
- "Loss and difficulties come when God moves away. On such occasions, never look for a reason or another. Instead, know that God has kept away because of your sins; then cling to God, he will show mercy upon you."
- "Be obedient in all your dealings. Identify the good and love it; throw away laziness; be enthusiastic to do good things, day and night."