Cleveland Prayer Group Website

Parumala Thirumeni
By Joseph Kappil


It was on June 15, 1848, that Kochu Ipeora(Geevarghese) was born in Chathuruthy family, Mulanthuruthy, Kerala. His parents were Kochu Mathai and Mariam, who had three sons and two daughters. After the birth of fifth child Ipeora, Mariam died. After the early days of education under Malpan (teacher) Geevarghese of Chathuruthy, Kochu Ipeora was ordained as deacon on September 14, 1859; he was only ten years old at that time.

One day Malpan became seriously ill with smallpox. Deacon Geevarghese was the only one who stayed and took care of him, while all others were sent home. On the eighth day, Malpan died and Deacon became ill. During this time he had a vision of St. Mary in his dream, descending to console him, and exhorting him to dedicate the rest of his life to the Lord. He pledged: "He Would". This was a heavenly vision that enabled him to become a humble servant of God. Very soon the deacon recovered.

At the age of 18, in 1865, he was ordained as a priest. Joseph Mar Dionysios raised him to the order of monks(Ramban) in 1872. The Patriarch of Antioch consecrated four (4) metropolitans at Paravoor Church, Kerala on December 10, 1876. The youngest among them was Geevarghese Ramban. He was named Mar Gregorios. But because of his age, everybody called him "Kochu Thirumeni" (Young Bishop). Mar Gregorios was appointed the bishop of Niranam, Kerala. He started a monastery at Parumala, Kerala.

Mar Gregorios was a man of God. He lived not according to the way of the flesh but according to the law of god. He led a virtuous and austere life, like a monk, living on frugal diet enriched by prayer and fasting.

At Parumala Seminary he led an austere life. He woke up at 4am in the morning and prayed till 5am. He taught deacons till 7am followed by prayer and a light breakfast. From 9am till 11am he taught deacons again. From 11am to noon he took care of administrative matters and again went to prayer at noon and then to lunch. He rested till 1:30pm and taught till 4pm with a brief prayer in between. From 4pm to 5:30pm he was busy with his administrative duties. After evening prayers and supper he taught bible to the deacons. At 9pm he would let the deacons go to bed, but he would still be praying until midnight. On Wednesdays and Fridays and lenten days, he would fast till evening. Besides, he observed his own special fasts. People came from far and near to seek his blessings and paternal advice.

In his own words "Prayer brings truth, religious faith, honesty and respect among the people."

St. Gregorios became sick when he returned from Veeyapuram Church after blessing a marriage. Even from the beginning of his illness he knew that he was in his last days. The news of illness spread all over Malankara. Although he grew weaker day by day, his face shone brighter and brighter. It was on November 2, 1902, midnight he was ready to meet his heavenly father. He left his earthly abode and flew to eternity. In 1947, The Holy Episcopal synod canonized and proclaimed him a Saint of the Orthodox Church. There are hundreds of instances that proved his Saintliness. Thousands of people receive favors and blessings through his intercession.

The growing flow of pilgrims to his tomb, several years after his demise, tells a story of a man of faith, prayer, healing, and great intercession.

Source: NRI News Group

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