THE SAINT OF PARUMALA
Geevarghese Mar Gregorios or "Parumala Thirumeni" is the greatest saint the Ma!ankara Orthodox Church has given birth to. "Canonizing of Saints" is not a .usual practice in the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the fact that Parumala Thirumeni is the only canonized saint in the Malankara Church, goes to prove how widely and spontaneously he was acclaimed as a saint during and after his relatively short span of earthly life. He died at Parumala on 2nd November 1902 and was canonized on 2nd November 1.947, forty-five years after his demise, by the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Church presided over by His Holiness Baselius Geevarghese II, Catholicos of the East, himself a prime disciple of Parumala Thirumeni.
Parumala Thirumeni is the saint par excellence in the Malankara Orthodox Church. The holiness of his disciplined life, humility, fasting and prayer, the grace he earned through mortification, and the miracles that his presence or words wrought, were well acknowledged and appreciated by Christians and non-Christians of his time. Those who met him were deeply touched and impressed by his unassuming life and purity of conscience. His intercession has been effective to those who sought it, during his life, and even after his death the number of people who place their trust in his intercessory prayers, has tremendously increased. The beneficiaries include people of different cultures, languages and religions. The tomb of St. Gregorios at Parumala is the refuge for thousands people who are being plagued by the ills of body and mind, and the multitudes who throng his tomb bear witness to this. Mar Gregorios lives as a brilliance in the minds of the members of the Church, and also of those outside it.
Parumala Thirumeni was born on 15th June 1848 in 'Chathuruthy' house at Mulanthuruthy in Kerala as the youngest son of Kochu Mathai and Mariam. The baptismal name of the boy was Geevarghese (George). He had two brothers, Kurian and Varkey and two sisters, Eli and Mariam. The members of the family lovingly called the young child "Kochaipora." The ancestral home of Geevarghese was 'Pallathattu' in Mulanthuruthy. 'Pallathattu' is said to be a variant of Pallithattu (Royal house). There is a story behind this. A King of Cochin had given a house as a present to this family and it was called 'Pallithattu’, which later came to be known as 'Pallathattu’.
Mariam, the mother of Geevarghese was the sole heir of Kallarackal Pallipurathu House. They had I migrated from Pallipuram in the south. Her parents did not live long after her marriage. After the death of his in-laws, Kochumathai shifted his residence to the ancestral house at Chathuruthy and Geevarghese was born here.
Geevarghese’s mother died when he was small boy. So his elder sister Mariam, who was married into the 'Palaal' family in Aikkara came to Chathuruthy and took charge of the upbringing of her young brother. Mariam had a son of almost Geevarghese’s age and hence she could look after the two boys as her own children.