Mar Thoma III

Mar Thoma III
Mar Thoma III
Malankara Church
Enthroned 1686
Reign ended April 22, 1688
Predecessor Mar Thoma II
Successor Mar Thoma IV
Personal details
Died April 21, 1688
Buried Kadampanad Valia Palli (St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral )

Mar Thoma III was the third metropolitan bishop who sat on Malankara throne and led the Malankara Church from 1686 to 1688. His leadership was only for a short time. With great respect, people called him Valiappooppen (Great Grandfather).



On the southwestern coast of India lies a small state known as Kerala. It was here in the first century, Thomas the Apostle arrived to preach the gospel.Some of the Jews and locals became followers of Jesus of Nazareth. They were known as Malabar Nasrani people and their church as Malankara Church. They followed a unique Hebrew-Syriac Christian tradition which included several Jewish elements and Indian customs.

Early life.

Kuravilangad is a town located in the Kottayam district of Kerala, South India. The town is situated in the Meenachil Taluk, about 22 km north of Kottayam. Pakalomattom family was one of the oldest families at Kuravilangad. The third Mar Thoma was from this family. He grew up as a man of prayer.


Mar Thoma II died suddenly on April 14, 1686, and he was buried inside Niranam church. The leaders of the Malankara Church selected Mar Thoma III as his successor. At that time Mar Ivanios Hidayuttulla who arrived in Kerala in 1685 was the only bishop in Malankara. So Mar Ivanios consecrated Mar Thoma in 1686.

Malankara Throne

This throne used for the consecration of Mar Thoma I, 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 III also.


Malankara church had comparatively a peaceful time during his tenure. It was during this time some members of Karingachira parish joined the Catholics. But majority of them supported Mar Thoma III and rejected the authority of Roman bishop Joseph Sebastani.[1]

In those days traveling from one place to another was very tedious and it was mainly by river. Yet Mar Thoma III tried to visit as many parishes as possible.

Last days

Kadampanad is a very fertile land near Adoor in the Pathanamthitta district. Christians there believe that they came from Nilakkal (a first century Christian settlement) and built a church at a place called ‘’Nilakkal Mukal’’ there in AD 325 known as St.Thomas church. Later it was moved to the present position and was named St.George's Valia palli.[2][3] Later on renamed as Kadampanad St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral and recently was made a Marthoman Pilgrim centre by the Orthodox Church.

It was to this church, Mar Thoma paid a visit in 1688. While he was there, he died suddenly on April 21, 1688 and was interred their.

Preceded by
Mar Thoma II
Metropolitan of the Malankara Church
Succeeded by
Mar Thoma IV

See also


  1. ^ Letters sent to Batavia. Dutch Records
  2. ^ Kadampanad St Thomas Orthodox Syrian Church Souvenir
  3. ^ N.M.Mathew. ‘’Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram’’, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume 1. Page 188-189.

Further reading

    1. Mathew, N.M. ‘’Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram’’, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume 1.(2006), Volume II (2007). Volume III (2008) Pub. E.J.Institute, Thiruvalla

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