History of Eparchy of Marthandom
St.Thomas, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ came to India in 52 AD. Of the Seven and a half Churches / Communities he established in India, the Civil District of Kanyakumari is privileged to having the ARAPPALLY at Thiruvithancode. Though there was a Christian community in Kanyakumari right from the beginning of the 1st century, it could not prevail to be a sizeable Christian community. In the 16 century, the Portuguese Missionaries arrived in the Civil District of Kanyakumari and as the result of which, a new Christian community began to flourish. Later during the British regime in India, the Protestant missionaries also started their work among the people in this area, which was, in fact, a part of the erstwhile State of Travancore.
On 20 September 1930 when Metropolitan Archbishop Mar Ivanios together with a group of four people (a Bishop, a Priest, a deacon and a layman) reunited with the Catholic Church, the Malankara Church regain its Catholic communion. On 11 June 1932, by the Apostolic Constitution Christo Pastorum Principi, His Holiness Pope Pius XI established the Syro Malankara Catholic Hierarchy simultaneously erecting the Archdiocese of Trivandrum and the Diocese of Tiruvalla. The civil district of Kanyakumari formed part of the ecclesiastical territory of the Archdiocese of Trivandrum. Mar Ivanios, the pioneer of the Reunion Movement, extended his mission work to this area in 1934.
With the dedicated service of the Priests and the Religious from various Dioceses and Congregations, many parishes and missions of the Malankara Church were established. After the demise of Mar Ivanios, under the guidance of His Grace Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios of happy memory, the number of parishes and missions increased along with vocation in priesthood and the religious life. His Grace Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios who succeeded Mar Gregorios, assumed office of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum. Considering the linguistic, social and cultural heritage of the people of this region and the vastness of the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum and at the request of His Grace Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios, His Holiness Pope St. John Paul II, by an Apostolic Decree dated 16 December 1996, bifurcated the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum and erected the Eparchy of Marthandam with its head quarters at Marthandam, and appointed Most Rev. Lawrance Mar Ephraem as its first Bishop. Thus the fourth Eparchy of the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church came into existence and His Excellency Most Rev. Lawrence Mar Ephraem took charge as its first Bishop. The enthronment of His Excellency Mar Ephraem as the Bishop of Marthandam took place on 23 January 1997 at the Christuraja Cathedral, Marthandam. His Grace Most Rev. Cyril Mar Basalios, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum officiated the liturgical ceremony, and executed the Papal Bull of the erection of the new Eparchy of Marthandam.
After a prolonged illness, Bishop Lawrence Mar Ephraem slept in Our Lord on 8 April1997.
On 16 April 1998, His Holiness Pope John Paul II appointed Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom as the second Bishop of the Eparchy of Marthandam. His Excellency was consecrated Bishop on 29 June 1998 and was enthroned as the Bishop of Marthandam on 1 July 1998.
His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis transferred His Excellency Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom from the Eparchy of Marthandam and appointed him the first Bishop of the new Eparchy of Pathanamthitta on 25 January 2010.
Having been elected by the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, and with the assent of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, on the same day, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos appointed Rev. Dr. Vincent Kulapuravilai, as the third Bishop of Marthandam. His Beatitude ordained him a bishop with the name Vincent Mar Paulos at Mar Ivanios Nagar (Stadium) Nalanchira, Trivandrum on 13 March 2010.
His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Vincent Mar Paulos was installed as the third Bishop of the Eparchy of Marthandam by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos on 14 March 2010 at Christuraja Cathedral, Marthandam.
Area : 1665 Sq. Kms
Population : 1,913,800
Malankara Catholics : 67,500
Languages : Tamil, English, Malayalam
Heavenly Patrons: St. Paul and St. Therese of Lissieux
Bishop’s House, Marthandam,
Kanyakumari Dist. 629 165
Tel. 04651 270180, E-mail: email@example.com