Titus II Mar Thoma
Mar Thoma XVI, Mar Thoma Metropolitan
|of the Apostolic Throne of St Thomas
|5 November 1909
|6 July 1944
|Titus I Mar Thoma Metropolitan
|Abraham Mar Thoma Metropolitan
|9 December 1894
|Mar Thoma Metropolitan (Ecclesiastical Title of the Head of the Ancient Indian Church)
Joseph Titus Palakunnathu
6 May 1866
|6 July 1944 78) (aged
Titus II Mar Thoma Metropolitan (Mar Thoma XVI) (6 May 1866 – 6 July 1944) was the head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church with its center in Kerala state in south-western India. He was known as Thithoos Dwitheeyan Mar Thoma Metropolitan among his people. (Thithoos is Aramaic and Malayalam)
It was in the Malabar Coast in the 1st century CE, Thomas the Apostle arrived to preach the gospel to the Jews and non-Jewish locals, from whom emerged the Nasrani people and their Malankara Church. They followed a unique Hebrew-Syriac Christian tradition which included several Jewish elements and Indian customs. The Mar Thoma Syrian Church is still a part of this Malankara Church community.
In the 17th century, a member of the Panamkuzhy family (a branch of the Pakalomattam family), came and settled in Kozhencherry on the banks of river Pampa. Later they moved to Maramon, and lived at Chackkalyil, on the other side of the river. The second son in that family, Mathen moved to a nearby house at Palakunnathu. He had six sons and a daughter. The daughter was married to Mallapally Pavoothikunnel family and the first four sons moved to Themoottil, Neduvelil (Kozhenchery), Periyilel and Punamadom (Othera). The fifth son was a hermit priest (sanyasi achen). As was the custom, the youngest son Mathew lived at Palakunnathu family house. (This house still exists). Abraham Malpan, leader of reformation in Malankara church was the second son of Mathew. Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan and Titus I Mar Thoma Metropolitan (Marthoma Metropolitan I) were the sons of Abraham Malpan.
A number of other Marthoma Church leaders were also born in this family. Mathews Mar Athanasius Metropolitan and Titus I Mar Thoma Metropolitan (Marthoma Metropolitan I) were from this family. The present head of the Marthoma Church, Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan (Marthoma Metropolitan VII), is also from this family.
P.J. Dethos (Aramaic. Titus – English) was born on 6 May 1866 as the youngest son of Maramon Palakunnathu Joseph (brother of Mathews Mar Athanasius Metropolitan) and Mavelikara Vadakkethalackal Mariamma.
After primary education at Maramon he joined Kottayam seminary. He was at C.M.S. High school, Kottayam and at St. Joseph's school, Trivandrum, before returning home to study Syriac.
He was ordained by Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan in 1889 and was appointed as assistant vicar in his home parish at Maramon church.
He was elected as a member of the Managing Committee (now known as Sabha Council) and a Representative Assembly (now known as Prathinidhi Mandalam) of the church. During this period he took active participation in the consecration of Titus I Mar Thoma.
After the great swearing – Coonen Cross Oath in 1653, it became necessary to appoint a bishop. For this purpose, a special chair was made and Mar Thoma I the first bishop of Malankara church was enthroned. This throne, used for the consecration of Mar Thoma I, is in the possession of the Mar Thoma Church and is kept at Tiruvalla, It has been used in the installation of every Mar Thoma Metropolitan, to this day, so that the continuity of the throne of Mar Thoma is ensured. This was the throne used for the consecration of Mar Thoma XVI, Titus II Mar Thoma Metropolitan.
In 1896, the Representative Assembly of the church decided to consecrate Rev. P.J. Dethos as the successor of Titus I Mar Thoma. On 9 December 1896, Rev. P.J. Dethos was consecrated by Titus I Mar Thoma with the assistance of Geevarghese Mar Koorilose V (Karumamkuzhi Pulikkottil) Metropolitan of the Malabar Independent Syrian Church with the Episcopal title Thithoos Dwitheeyan Mar Thoma Metropolitan (Titus II Mar Thoma). It was held in Puthencavu palli, one of the biggest churches in Kerala at that time.
He was given proper training and guidance by Titus I Mar Thoma. It was a period when the church was growing. This continued until the end of his life in 1944. For eleven years he was suffragan Metropolitan and was able to consecrate 33 new parishes.
Titus I Mar Thoma, died on 20 October 1909. The enthronement of Titus II Mar Thoma took place on 20 October 1909 at puthencavu church
A number of important decisions were taken during this time.
In 1937, Mar Thoma Church made an unusual decision, that all activities of the Church should be carried out by voluntary contributions from its members. Though there was some skepticism in the beginning, it was a great leap forward for the church.
A number of organizations were started during his tenure. Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association (1888), Maramon Convention (1895), Mar Thoma Sunday School Samjam (1905), Mar Thoma Suvisesha Sevika Sanghom (1919), Mar Thoma Voluntary Evangelists' Association (1924), Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam (1933).
Some of the schools that were opened during his time: S.C. Seminary School, Tiruvalla (1902), Kozhencherry School (1904), Maramon School (1918, Kottayam Theological College (1923) Tiruvalla S.C. Training School (1925).
Union Christian College Aluva, one of the prominent educational institutions in Kerala state in South India was founded in 1921 as a joint effort of four churches in Kerala: Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Church of South India and Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church.
Even before Marett Rev. M. N. Abraham was ordained as a deacon in 1911, the church leaders unanimously decided to select him as a bishop of the Mar Thoma Church. He was consecrated as an episcopa on 27 December 1917 at Tiruvalla and was given the episcopal title, Abraham Mar Thoma Suffragan Metropolitan.
Because the number of parishes increased, the Representative Assembly (Mandalam) decided to have two more bishops. They selected Ayroor Cherukara Rev. C. M. John and Ayroor Kurudamannil Rev. C. T. Mathew. They were consecrated as episcopal on 30 December 1937 at Tiruvalla. Rev. C. M. John was given the title Juhanon Mar Timotheos and Rev. C. T. Mathew was given the title Mathews Mar Athanasius.
Titus II Metropolitan was a diabetic for a long time. By 1941 he lost his eyesight also. At this time, he was helped by the other Metropolitans. On Thursday 6 July 1944, Titus II Metropolitan died. He was interred in the Bishops' cemetery in the SCS Compound, Tiruvalla.
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