- Geevarghese Mar Dionysius of Vattasseril
St. Geevarghese Mar Dionysius of Vattasseril (Dionysius VI) Metropolitan of the Malankara Church Enthroned 1909 Reign ended 1934 Predecessor Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious II Successor Baselios Paulose I
Saint Geevarghese Mar Dionysius of Vattasseril, born Gheevarghese, was the Malankara Metropolitan of the Indian Orthodox Church.
Thirumeni was born to Joseph Vattasseril of Mallappally and Aleyamma, Kolathu Kalathil of Kurichy on 31 October, 1858. Following his elementary education at C. M. S. Middle School in Mallappally he completed his high school education from C. M. S. High School, Kottayam. In 1876, while still a high school student, he was ordained as a sub-deacon by Patriarch Peter IV.
Life in the Church
Thirumeni studied at the Orthodox Theological Seminary (Old Seminary or Pazhaya Seminary), Kottayam for four years. Geevarghese soon became a great Syriac scholar under the careful tutelage of Gregorios of Parumala, who taught him at Seminary. In 1879 Thirumeni was ordained as a full deacon and in 1880 he was ordained as a priest by Gregorios. By 1880, Thirumeni had become an authority in the Syriac, Church History, Faith and Doctrine, the Church Fathers, and Theology. In recognition of his expertise in Syriac and theology he was designated as Malankara Malpan.
He spent his spare time reading, studying, and thinking which translated to his many writings, such as Doctrines of the Church. He also used his scholarship to edit and publish the order of Church worship to be used by the laity as an aid for participation in worship. He was appointed as Principal of M. D. Seminary, Kottayam. In 1903, he was blessed as a Ramban (monk). He also served as the Manager of Parumala Seminary. In 1908 he was consecrated as Geevarghese Mar Dionysius Metropolitan and served as the Assistant Malankara Metropolitan. The next year he became the Malankara Metropolitan and served and led the Church in that capacity until his death in 1934 when he and the Church triumphed in establishing the official constitution of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
Vattasseril Thirumeni was a good orator who was well aware of the importance of the vitality and moral persuasiveness of words when delivering the speeches to the faithful. In addition to not publicizing his own spiritual advancement he also avoided spiritual hypocrisy and arrogance throughout his life. Prayers and fasting were the pillars that were Vattasseril Thirumeni’s spiritual foundation. In addition to the liturgical hours of prayer, Thirumeni spent much time in private prayers and silent meditations behind closed doors and away from the attention of people. In spite of his busy schedule, he was also able to focus on three to four lessons from the Holy Bible everyday. Despite Vattasseril Thirumeni’s literal application of Christ’s instruction to pray in private and not for others to see, many recognized that he was a living saint amongst them.
- Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
- Mar Thoma I
- Mar Thoma II
- Mar Thoma III
- Mar Thoma IV
- Mar Thoma V
- Mar Thoma VI
- Mar Thoma VII
- Mar Thoma VIII
- Mar Thoma IX
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