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Venerable Archbishop Mar Ivanios

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Canonization of Venerable Archbishop Mar Ivanios


Catholicate Centre, Pattom, 
Trivandrum 695 004, 
Tel. 0471-2553737, E-mail: sgamarivanios@gmail.com



Promoter    :    Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos

Petitioners  :   Major  Archieparchy of Trivandrum
                       Congregation of the Order of Imitation of Christ
                       Congregation of the Sisters of Imitation of Christ
                       Congregation of the Daughters of Mary

Postulator    :    Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios OIC

Vice-Postulator       Rev. Dr  George Thomas Kochuvilayil   

Historical Commission for the Cause of Canonisation

President   :  Rev. Dr  James Puthuparambil OIC
Members   :  Rev. Dr Cheriyan Varikkattu
                 :  Rev. Fr  Joseph Poovathumtharayil

Board of Inquiry    
Episcopal Delegate    :    Rev. Dr Michael Vattappalam
Promoter of Justice    :    Rev. Dr Saju  Augastine Kuthodiputhenpurayil
Notaries                    :    Rev. Sr Jose Mary SH
                                  :    Mrs Pushpa Jacob


The Preliminary steps towards the cause of Canonisation of Archbishop Mar Ivanios
The Cause of Canonisation of Mar Ivanios was set in motion with the petition submitted by the Very Rev. Fr. Jerome Peedikaparampil OIC, Very Rev. Mother Philomina SIC, Very Rev. Mother Felix DM, the Superiors General of the Congregations of the Order of the Imitation of Christ, Sisters of the Imitation of Christ and Daughters of Mary on 15 July 1997 to the late His Grace Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios, the then Metropolitan-Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.  This request was taken into consideration by the Metropolitan-Archbishop and asked the Superiors General to do the needful.  Hence, after due consultation with His Grace and with His Grace’s consent Rev. Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC was appointed as Postulator.  The same was announced in the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church through a common Pastoral Letter of the Metropolitan-Archbishop.  The Cause of Canonisation was solemnly inaugurated in the Church through a concelebrated Holy Qurbono by the Metropolitan-Archbishop, other Bishops, Clergy and faithful at the St. Mary’s Metropolitan Church, Pattom, Trivandrum in February 1998. On 15th July 2005 the Canonical Petition to initiate the Cause of Canonisation of Mar Ivanios was submitted by the Postulator, Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC to His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Beselios, Major Archbishop- Catholicos of the Malankara Catholic Church.
Mar Ivanios the Servant of God
In consultation with the theologians and the Holy Episcopal Synod, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis the present Catholicos decided to accept the petition submitted by the postulator to declare Mar Ivanios as Servant of God. And the Syro Malankara Catholic Church witnessed the declaration of Archbishop Mar Ivanios as Servant of God on 14 July 2007 at the Pattom Cathedral


Two offices are functioning in the premises of the Cathedral in connection with the cause of Canonisation of Mar Ivanios. One is adjacent to the tomb of Mar Ivanios, which is mainly for the upkeep of public relations and to guide the pilgrims and the faithful who visit the tomb of the Servant of God Mar Ivanios from far and near.  The other is at the Catholicate Center and is meant for office purposes.

a    Every evening at 6.30 pm Sandhya Namaskaram (evening prayer) is chanted at the tomb.
a    Every Sunday evening and on the 15th of every month at 5.30 pm, 
Holy Qurbano is offered at the tomb for specific intentions of the faithful assembled
c    Facility for confession and counselling are being arranged at the tomb chapel
c    In consultation with the Vicar of the Cathedral Church, 
Holy Qurbono can be celebrated at the tomb at any time.
d    Two sisters of the team render their services at the tomb guiding the pilgrims 
and promoting spiritual programmes.
e    The tomb is kept open for the convenience of the faithful and a prayerful atmosphere 
is maintained in the vicinity. Every day many    visit the tomb to pray and to pay homage
to the Servant of God seeking intercession for their needs and for receiving favours.

July 15 is the feast of commemoration of the Servant of God Mar Ivanios. To prepare the faithful to celebrate the day in a befitting manner, a fourteen –day- preparation with Holy Qurbano, homily on the heroic virtues of Mar Ivanios and prayers of commemoration are offered from 1st July at the tomb. At the end of the day’s ceremony the faithful receive nercha.In connection with the Commemoration Day, a Padayathra is conducted from Perunadu, where Mar Ivanios founded the Bethany Ashram in 1919 and from different centers of the Eparchies of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. On 15th July morning all of them join together and enter St. Mary’s Cathedral at Pattom. With the official reception of the Padayathra, the day’s celebration starts.

Biographies of Mar Ivanios
01.    Archbishop Mar Ivanios, 2 Volumes - Fr. Thomas Inchackalody
02.    Malankara S?ryan - Peter C. Abraham
03.    In His Master’s Foot Steps - Peter C. Abraham
04.    Mahatmavaya Mar Ivanios - M.V. Thomas
05.    Bethaniyude Mar Ivanios - Fr. Louis Moolaveettil
06.    Mar Ivanios Ente Smaranayil - Fr. Philip Pantholil
07.    Pray?nam – Dr. P.M Joseph
08.    Mar Ivanios, Oru Patanam - Varghese Kilichimala
09.    Mar Ivanios – Fr. Ommen Ayyaneth
10.    Mar Ivanios, Arshajnanathinte Pravachakan - Dr. George Onakkur
11.    Thapovanthile S?ryan - Dr. George Onakkur
12.    Mar Ivanios, Prophet of Ascetic Wisdom - Dr. George Onakkur
13.    The Sun of the Hermitage - Dr. George Onakkur
14.    Mah?n?ya Mar Ivanios -K. Tharakan
     Moolaveetil, Fr. Louis, The Spiritual Life of Mar Ivanios, OIRSI 22, 
St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Kottayam, Kerala,India, 1977
     Gnanadas, Mar Ivaniosinte Sanyasadarsanam, 
Bethany Publications 94, Kottayam, 2001.
     Chempakassery, Fr.Philip, Thapovanavismayangal, 
Bethany Sisters’ Generalate, Kottayam, 2004
     Pascal, Mar Ivaniosinte Athulyasidhikal, Thiruvananthapuram
     Valiyavilayil, Dr. Antony (ed.), The Theological Visions of Mar Ivanios, 
Bethany Vedavijnana Peeth Publications 1, Pune, 2004.
     Jacob, B.J., Mar Ivaniosinte An?dhab?lan, 
Bethany Publications (ed.),
     Abo Geevarughese (Janmasathabdi Smaranika), 
Bethany Publications 19, Kottayam, 1983.
     Narimattathil, Fr. Chacko, 
Archbishop Mar Ivanios – Pastor and Prophet of Ecclesial Communion in the Syro-Malankara Church (1882-1953), unpublished doctoral thesis, Rome 1993.
The Ivanian Voice

     The Ivanian Voiceis a biannual publication from the office of the Canonisation. The first volume of the same was released by His    Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios - Catholicos on 2 January 2007.
Books available in the office
A) English Books
01.    Girideepam (autobiography), Mar Ivanios  ( Available in Malayalam and Tamil)
02.    Blossoms of Meditation, Mar Ivanios
03.    The Liturgical Year, Mar Ivanios
04.    A Guide to Malankara Sanyasa, Mar Ivanios
05.    The Holy Qurbono, Mar Ivanios
06.    The Sacrament of Confession, Mar Ivanios
07.    In His Masters Food Steps, Peter C. Abraham
08.    The Theological Vison of Mar Ivanios, Dr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC (ed.)
09.    Archbishop Mar Ivanios (1882-1953), Apostole of Church Union- Margaret Gibbons
10.    Malankara S?ryan - Peter C. Abraham
11.    Mar Ivanios, Prophet of Ascetic Wisdom - Dr. George Onakkur
B) Malayalam Books
12.    Archbishop Mar Ivanios, 2 Volumes - Fr. Thomas Inchackalody 
13.    Mar Ivanios, Arshajnanathinte Pravachakan - Dr. George Onakkur
14.    Daivadasan Archbishop Mar Ivanios, A collection of Essays on Mar Ivanios, Dr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC (Ed.)
15.    Prarthana Manjari, Canonisation office publication
16.    Bethaniyude Punyatheerdham, Bethany Sisters’, Generalate, Kottayam
17.    Bethaniyude Maharadhan, Bethany Sisters’, Generalate, Kottayam



Geevarghese was born on 21 September 1882 at Puthiyakavu in Mavelikara as the son of Thoma Panicker and Annamma of Panikeruveedu.  After his training in Kalari (Elementary School), he joined the CMS English School nearby and later continued his studies in a Government Public School. The Jacobite Metropolitan, Pulikottu Mar Divannasios, who was edified by the pious, intelligent and brave child Geevarghese, took him to the Seminary in Kottayam for higher studies and for priestly formation. He completed matriculation from MD Seminary High School in flying colours.  Later, he passed the Fellow of Arts (FA) exam from CMS College, Kottayam.  He secured his BA and MA Degrees in History and Economics respectively from Madras Christian College. On 26 Dhanu 1074 (Malayalam Era) Pulikottu Mar Divannasios ordained him a Deacon, in the church at Puthenkavu. As a Deacon, he spent his days preaching on the Sacraments to revivify the Malankara Church, weakened by strife and litigations. Thus he came to be named K?dasa Semmasan (Deacon of Sacraments). 

Deacon P.T Geevarghese was appointed Principal of the reknowned MD Seminary High School, in 1908. He was ordained priest by Vattaseril Mar Divannasios at Parumala Seminary on 15 August 1908. He became famous as MA Achen, as he was the first MA Degree holder among the Syrian priests of Kerala.

Fr. P.T. Geevarghese served as professor of History, Politics and Economics from 1913 to 1919 in the University of Serampoor, Bengal.  It was during this period that he got inspired by the Indian culture and Sanay?sa and started a new religious movement (Sanay?sa Prasth?nam), in collaboration with the students, whom MA Achan brought from Kerala to Serampoor to pursue higher education. He intended to found an Ashram in an isolated place and wanted to engage himself in activities of love of God, spiritual awakening of the Malankara Church and the upliftment of the downtrodden of the society.  Eventually, he resigned his post at the University and founded the Order of the Imitation of Christ, also known as Bethany Ashram, on 15 August 1919 at Mundanmala in Ranni-Perunadu.    He was made Remban on 28 January 1925 at Tirumoolapuram Church and on 1 May he was ordained Bishop at Niranam after the name Mar Ivanios.  He founded a religious congregation for women known as the Sisters of the Imitation of Christ, also known as Bethany Madhom, on 8 September 1925 after he was ordained Bishop of Bethany. On 13 February 1929 he was raised as the Bethany Metropolitan.
Metropolitan Mar Ivanios had dedicated his life to revive the Malankara Church weakened by disputes and litigations. It was under this circumstance that MA Achen, who was just 30 years old succeeded to get established the throne of the Catholicos in Malankara in the year 1912.

At a time when the Metrankakshi (Bishop’s Party) and the Bavakakshi (Catholicos’ Party) were engaged in court litigations to secure the title-hold of Vattippanam (a fixed bank deposit) for favour of the Malankara Church, he toiled to bring peace and reconciliation in the Church. The Synod of the Orthodox Church, convoked at Parumala in 1926 as a solution to find lasting peace in the Church proposed the reunion of the Malankara Church with the Catholic Church and authorized Mar Ivanios to hold negotiations with Rome for the same. After a persevering endevour for four years, Rome accepted the proposal of Mar Ivanios for reunion. However, as the verdict of the civil court on Vattippanam came in favour of the Metrankakshi, they backed out of re-union endevours.  But Metropolitan Mar Ivanios along with Mar Theophilos, Fr. John OIC, Deacon Seraphion and Mr. Kilileth Chacko came in communion with the Catholic Church, making the profession of faith before Bishop Aloysius Maria Benzigor in the Aramana Chapel at Kollam on 20 September 1930. 

Metropolitan Mar Ivanios visited Pope Pius XI, in 1932.  The Malankara Catholic Hierarchy was erected with Trivandrum as Archieparchy, His Grace Mar Ivanios as its Metropolitan Archbishop and Tiruvalla as its suffragan Eparchy under Bishop Mar Theophilos on 11 June 1932.  His Grace Mar Ivanios was enthroned Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum on 12 March 1933.  In 1947, Archbishop Mar Ivanios visited America and Australia. This visit consolidated the life and progress of the Malankara Catholic Church by sharing the ecclesiological and theological positions of the Malankara Catholic Church and the Reunion Movement in the Universal Church.

Archbishop Mar Ivanios made a global influence through his ascetic life and endevours for the communion of Churches through the Re-union Movement which was essentially ecumenical in nature. He was a great force in the society through his pioneering efforts in the fields of education and dedication to the cause of the poor. Within twenty two years of his life as Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum, he founded 78 primary schools 18 Upper Primary Schools, 15 High Schools, 2 Teacher Training Schools and 1 Arts college. 

As his health deteriorated, he received the anointing of the sick for prelates (Kanth?la Susrusha). He ordained Benedict Mar Gregorios as Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum.  He passed away to his eternal reward on 15 July 1953.  
Ever since his demise, pilgrims flock to his tomb at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivndrum. Thousands join the Annual Padayatra (pilgrimage on foot) to his tomb from 10 – 15 July every year to celebrate his commemoration. He was declared servant of God in the Church on 14 July 2007 by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, the Major Archbishop of the Malankara Catholic Church.

Photos of Venerable Archbishop Mar Ivanios