New diocese in India signals thaw between rites

The establishment of a Syro-Malabar Church (SMC) diocese in Delhi Latin rite archdiocesan area is a turning-point in Indian Church history.

The SMC, the larger of the two Oriental rites, last weekend erected Faridabad diocese with a Vatican diplomat as its first bishop**.The new diocese under Archbishop Mar Kuriakose Bharanikulangara came after decades of negotiations with the Vatican to overcome resistance from India’s Latin rite hierarchy.**So far, the jurisdiction of the SMC and the other Oriental rite, Syro-Malankara, was restricted to their base in Kerala state in southern India.The rest of the country was solely under the Latin rite, the product of European missionary work that now accounts for 130 of India’s 165 dioceses.

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The Latin Church in India has traditionally resisted dioceses of other rites in its territory, saying they would show a divided identity for Catholics.Such opposition basically came from the Roman feudal “thought” that saw diocese as a land area and bishop as the sole authority of all Church powers**.The Orientals, on the other hand, view the Church as congregations of people whose spiritual needs should be met while respecting their traditions.**
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The refusal of both groups to understand and accept each other has led to protracted acrimony in India and Rome.The Orientals say the territorial restriction violated the prescriptions of the Second Vatican Council, which upheld the equality of all rites within the Catholic Church. The council also stressed the responsibility of every Christian to evangelize.The main reason for Latin resistance is the differences in liturgy and Church practices also the huge missionary force of Syro Malabar church .While the Latin rite follows the Roman form of liturgy and uses local languages, the Orientals follow the Syrian form of liturgy mostly in Malayalam, Tamil,Hindi their mother tongue, even in other parts of the country.However, the Oriental diocese sharing Latin rite areas, or Latin dioceses getting established among Oriental Christians, is nothing new in India.

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It began in the 16th century with the Portuguese setting up Latin dioceses among Kerala’s Oriental Christians, who trace their roots to Saint Thomas the Apostle.Successive batches of Portuguese missioners wanted to “correct” the Kerala Christians’ faith practices and spiritual leadership, which triggering a bitter tussle.Violence, litigation and the excommunication of bishops eventually split the monolithic Oriental Church into two in 1653, with one group pledging to have “nothing to do” with Latin missioners.The other group, ancestors of the SMC Catholics, stayed with the Latin Church because of their eagerness to be with the pope of Rome.However, they continued to complain about restrictions from the Latin rite and the Vatican.

“The Vatican is doing great injustice to us,” Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, the previous SMC leader, had complained in a recorded interview eight years before his death in 2011.

Cardinal Vithayathil’s prime concern was his Church’s inability to offer spiritual care to its people in Latin rite areas outside Kerala because the Vatican limited his jurisdiction within Kerala, making the southern state his “proper territory.”

Despite being the major archbishop of a “self-governing” Church to establish dioceses and appoint bishops, he could do nothing of that sort outside Kerala.It is this sense of pain and injustice that is being undone through the establishment of Faridabad diocese. It also indicates a thaw in Oriental-Latin tensions.
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However, some ambiguities remain.

Last month, the SMC Synod announced that the “Vatican has approved” its decision to establish Faridabad diocese for people in and around New Delhi. But some other statements said the “Vatican has established” the diocese.The first would mean the Vatican has recognized the SMC synod’s canonical power to set up dioceses according to the needs of its people across the globe. The second would mean restrictions remain, and the SMC major archbishop would have only Kerala as his territory.

Faridabad would also encourage the SMC people in other Indian cities to demand similar dioceses.

The challenge for all the rites, therefore, is to give a common witness to their faith in a country where Christians form only 2.3 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people.

ucanindia.in/news/new-diocese-signals-thaw-between-rites/18016/daily

Tell that to the Russian Orthodox.

It’s not feudalism (nor is feudalism especially Roman), but a continuation of the Early Church model of geographical dioceses.

In the modern world, with all the mixing of peoples that occurs, we have three basic choices:

  1. Force people of a differing liturgical and spiritual tradition to conform to the norms of the local Church.

  2. Diversify local dioceses to include many distinct ancient traditions in different parishes or other communities.

  3. Create overlapping dioceses/eparchies in the same geographical area for Catholics of different traditions.

The downside of option 1 is that people would be pressured out of the authentic traditions of those who had evangelized them. The downside of option 2 is that Catholics of traditions that are in the minority in the region won’t get their own bishop who speaks their language (figuratively or even literally speaking) and understands their needs. The downside of option 3 is that the Catholics of a local area will no longer be united as a single Church community under a common bishop, as had been the case through most of Church history.

In regions in which the primitive situation of a single Catholic diocese/eparchy of a single tradition has been retained, those “native” Catholics of the region and especially their bishops are likely to feel threatened by the prospect of other traditions and see them as a threat to the unity of the local Church and a potential source of confusion and even scandal among the faithful and among non-Catholics. Therefore they are likely to oppose options 2 and 3. Meanwhile the Catholics of the minority tradition are likely to want to retain their unique traditions and identity and to have their own bishop, leading them to oppose options 1 and 2.

The result is that no one takes option 2 seriously, and there is a tension between those who want option 1 or option 3. In this era of increased Latin appreciation of Eastern traditions, and also Latin experience in Eastern Europe as minorities opposed by locally larger and better established Christian traditions, we’ve seen a shift from preference for option 1 to preference for option 3.

I guess the main thing I want to point out is that each option has its benefits and drawbacks. We should seek to understand the concerns of all sides on this question and recognize that each has valid points, while submitting to the final decisions of the Church on how to handle the problem.

It seems to me that the two things are not necessarily different, or mutually exclusive, at all. For example, IIRC, the Maronite diocese in Australia was erected on the initiative of the Patriarch & Synod, but was subject to “approval” (read: actual establishment) by Rome. Had Rome not “approved,” the diocese would not have been established.

The idea here is that Rome considers India (pretty much beyond present-day Kerala), as its own territory, the same as it considers Australia or North America or South America or China, or Europe as its own territory. IOW, the “Patriarchal Territories” of the Orient & East are confined by history, but those of Rome are not. Hence, Rome will always require its “approval” of anything an Oriental or Eastern Synod decides in respect to those territories.

Just my :twocents: :slight_smile:

:signofcross:Saint Thomas, pray pray that everyone does the right thing.:signofcross:

I’m not sure what your point is about territories being confined by history or not. It’s a matter of who evangelized you or your spiritual ancestors. The Gospel came to the peoples of the Americas, Australia, East Asia, and much of sub-Saharan Africa, overwhelmingly from Latin sources, and so these regions are especially Latin in character for the same reason Scandinavia and the British Isles are, and for the same reason that Ukraine is Byzantine in character. Though of course in each case there’s a minority of people who come from a different tradition, and that’s where we run into this pastoral difficulty.

Yet we live in an era where we are supposedly encouraged by the Catholic Church at the highest level to embrace the fullness of the Church, East and West, and “breath with two lungs” … yada yada …

When will this end? The more I read of this “triumph” in India, the more reminiscent of late 19th / early 20th century America it appears to be. While we are greatful for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that has lead to this important decision and development, it is still painful to see that we as Catholics would suppress the traditions of other Catholics simply over a perceived matter of (or mindset centering on) territoriality.

“The Faridabad diocese will serve some 1.5 lakh Syro-Malabar Catholics. A total of 88 priests and 855 religious women work at the convents, religious homes, schools and hospitals in the area.”

in.christiantoday.com/articles/new-faridabad-diocese-bishop-installed/7329.htm

(A lahk is one hundred thousand, so 150,000 Catholics.)

???:confused:confused:

Historically the Prelates of St. Thomas Christians were called Metropolitan of India. The titles used for them were “Metropolitan and Gate of All India ” or “Gate of India ”. This indicates the highest rank of authority in the Indian Church and** the extend of its jurisdiction.** He enjoyed an All India Jurisdiction, the Ruler of the entire Holy Church of Christians of India.The Vatican Codex 22, written in Cranganore in 1301 gives the titles as Metropolitan and the director of the entire holy church of Christian India”.In the year 1564 Pope Pius IV created Archdiocese of Angamali for the syrian Catholics(With Jurisdiction over all India).In 1600 the Metropolitan status of the see of Angamaly (metropolitan of all India, or Gate of India)was abolished by the portughese and was made suffragon to Goa, with far reaching consequences.The news of the reduction of the see of Angamaly from the Metropolitan to a suffragan caused much unrest among the St. Thomas Christians.They lost the title of “ALL INDIA ” which belonged to the prelates of St. Thomas Christians for centuries.Later the Metropolitan status was restored to the see of Angamaly(As Eranakulam-Angamali) but never the title “All India ”.In 1896 Syro Malabar Catholic got their own hierarchy but instead of re-establishing their old Jurisdiction over all India,three Apostolic Vicariates were established in Trichur, Ernakulam and Changanassery.

In the modern world, with all the mixing of peoples that occurs, we have three basic choices:

The Problem in Indian church is that the concern of disunity arises only when an oriental Diocese is formed in the TRADITIONAL Latin area. But Latins are free to establish diocese in TRADITIONAL Oriental area.Even the Archiepiscopal See of Major archbishop (Eranakulam-Angamali) is overlapping with the Latin Diocese of Verapolly.

As Far as i know the only problem with opposition of latin heirarchy against syro malabar diocese in india is this.

Unlike most of other eastern rites Syro malabar church is mostly a Missionary oriented church like Latins.More thaan 60-70 % Missionaries working in Latin Dioceses in India are from Syro malabar rite(It is estimated that there are some 2000 priests and 8000 religious sisters of the Syro-Malabar Church who are working in Latin dioceses outside Kerala accepting the Latin Rite. )

The Syro malabr, Syro Malankara,Latin Rites Co-exist Peacefully in Kerala(All the three rites have jurisdiction in Kerala).There is no Confusion regarding the rite.In the past 100 years all the three rites converted many people without any confusion.I have seen many oriental orthodox church leaders mentioning about this unity.But the ignorant Latin bishops out side kerala see new Syro malabar diocese as a threat to their Mission monopoly and fear that giving Syro malabar church All india Juridistiction means they will start Evangelising of their own.Latin church in India will loose Its Monopoly in mission work and the huge Vocations in the Syromalabar church will be redirected to Syro malabar Mission Diocese.

Note:Diocese of Thuckalay is a mission diocese of Syro Malabar church erected in 1996.Now there are more than 100,000 syro Malabar Catholics in this diocese.

The Russian Orthodox Church, within its own claimed territory, takes the territorial view you describe as “Roman”, and it’s not alone in that viewpoint among Eastern Christians. My only point is that this difference in thinking is not Eastern/Western but a difference that arises when a region with a primitive ecclesial structure encounters the prospect of new overlapping dioceses.

Historically the Prelates of St. Thomas Christians were called Metropolitan of India. The titles used for them were “Metropolitan and Gate of All India ” or “Gate of India ”. This indicates the highest rank of authority in the Indian Church and** the extend of its jurisdiction.** He enjoyed an All India Jurisdiction, the Ruler of the entire Holy Church of Christians of India.The Vatican Codex 22, written in Cranganore in 1301 gives the titles as Metropolitan and the director of the entire holy church of Christian India”.In the year 1564 Pope Pius IV created Archdiocese of Angamali for the syrian Catholics(With Jurisdiction over all India).In 1600 the Metropolitan status of the see of Angamaly (metropolitan of all India, or Gate of India)was abolished by the portughese and was made suffragon to Goa, with far reaching consequences.The news of the reduction of the see of Angamaly from the Metropolitan to a suffragan caused much unrest among the St. Thomas Christians.They lost the title of “ALL INDIA ” which belonged to the prelates of St. Thomas Christians for centuries.Later the Metropolitan status was restored to the see of Angamaly(As Eranakulam-Angamali) but never the title “All India ”.In 1896 Syro Malabar Catholic got their own hierarchy but instead of re-establishing their old Jurisdiction over all India,three Apostolic Vicariates were established in Trichur, Ernakulam and Changanassery.

That’s all very interesting, an important part of your history, but it doesn’t change the fact today the Catholics in parts of India are of the Latin tradition. Again, what’s important is not who had the claim to a particular territory centuries ago so much as what the tradition and heritage of the Christians, especially Catholics, who live in the region today is, and what the current ecclesial structure in the region looks like.

The Problem in Indian church is that the concern of disunity arises only when an oriental Diocese is formed in the TRADITIONAL Latin area. But Latins are free to establish diocese in TRADITIONAL Oriental area.Even the Archiepiscopal See of Major archbishop (Eranakulam-Angamali) is overlapping with the Latin Diocese of Verapolly.

This again sounds reminiscent of the situation with the Russian Orthodox. They object to anyone else, Catholic or Orthodox, operating in their territory and yet set up eparchies, seminaries, etc. in other Churches’ territories. Hypocrisy? Perhaps, though I’m sure for their part they could give an explanation, valid or invalid, for why the situation is different.

Again, I’m not defending or condemning anyone here, just pointing out that each side has its own understandable concerns and we should seek to understand and respect those, especially when we are talking about Catholic bishops, and pray for the Church as a whole to navigate the problem wisely.

I’m not an expert on Syro-Malabar history, and I’m sure that BVT will be able to provide much more on this, but in the wake of the Synod of Diamper in 1599, what transpired was that the Syro-Malabars were essentially forbidden to evangelize anywhere in India outside of their own proper territory (basically present-day Kerala). This was pretty much concurrent with the demotion of the See of Angamaly from a Metropolitan See in its own right (and the stripping of the title “All India”) to suffragan of Goa. The rest of India was considered “Latin territory” and so it remains today.

Syro Malabar Church is the fastest growing eastern catholic rite… It is now third biggest rite in the catholic church…

The Untold History of St Thomas Christians of India-550AD-850AD
Cosmas Indicopleustes (literally “Cosmas who sailed to India”; also known as Cosmas the Monk) was an Alexandrian Nestorian merchant ,probably a monk and later hermit, He was a 6th-century traveller, who made several voyages to India during the reign of emperor Justinian. His work Topography contained some of the earliest and most famous world maps.

He is the first traveler (Even though Theophilus surnamed the Indian claimed to be visited Malabar in AD 354 it’s not clear whether he was mentioning about the Arabian peninsula or Malabar) to mention presence of Christians in Malabar unlike Theophilus cosmos give a clear idea about the local flora and fauna of Malabar region which indicate that he actually visited Malabar. He wrote,

“Even in the Island of Taprorane(Sri Lanka) in Further India. where the Indian sea is, there is a church of Christians with clergy and congregation of believers,…And such also is the case in the land called Male(Malabar)…where the pepper grows and in the place called Calliana(Goa-Canara)’ there is a bishop appointed from Persia…as well as in the island which they call the Isle of Dioscoris(Socotra) in the same Indian Sea. The inhabitants of that island speak Greek, having been originally settled there by the Ptolemies who ruled after Alexander of Macedon. There are clergy there also, ordained and sent from Persia to minister among the people of the of the island and a multitude of Christians.


Recently excavated Persian cross(8th century) from Agassim Goa
Recently excavated Persian cross() from Agassim Goa suggests that it was once a centre of thriving Persian Christian community Possibly between 600-800 AD. This cross was discovered by Fr Cosme Costa SFX, an archaeologist cum historian of the Pilar Society of Goa accidentally on 27th of April 2001
. This was found in a mound of Rock in a thicket in the premises of Saint Peter’s chapel at Dandiin Agaism at the fag end of the old port of Gopakapattana. This was actually the base of granite cross of Latin design- plain cross- which had crumbled down around 1995 on a cyclonic storm and was neglected since then. This Persian cross was hidden inside the mound and had come out and was about to fall into the sea. This was a granite slab with a Persian cross similar to the Mount cross- the two pillars and the arch encircling the Persian cross in a niche carved in granite. The round edge of the upper part shows the same Pahlavi inscriptions. The cross is similar to mount cross with dove above, three steps and the petal arrangement as in mount cross, equal armed cross with ends like a bud.There was a Portuguese inscription on the bottom of the niche. This cross was broken and only 4/5th of the cross were found. Hence half of the Pahlavi inscriptions are lost. The Portuguese inscription runs like this- ‘…A DE s.TOME……DO R….ILEZ VS……642……’which has been interpreted as ‘A deS (Sao) Tome…do R(Regiao?) Ilez (Ilhas?) vs (Vizinhas?)…642(1642)’ It could be roughly translated as That which belongs to Saint Thomas’ (Christians?) from the region of (the neighbouring) islands (Tiswadi) 1642’ .This cross is unique in that we can see the evidence that this Persian cross was destroyed and put in the mound and erected another cross instead on the same site.

Now What happened to this Thomas Christians of Goa(Calliana) and Srilanka?

The new book, “Apostolic Christianity in Goa and the West Coast” was recently released. This work is not only historical but has spiritual dimensions, stated Professor and Head, Department of Philosophy and Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences at the Goa University, Dr A V Afonso on the occasion. Affirming that this booking is a path breaking study he further said that this book is a must-read by historians as well as lay people.

The book is the fruit of a strenuous research of Father Cosme Jose Costa who discovered the St Thomas Cross (Marthoma Sliba) in the village of Agasaim, providing evidence that St Thomas Christians (Marthoma Nazranis) existed in Goa and the West Coast of India long before the arrival of the Portuguese in 1510. The finding of Marthoma Sliba in Agasaim, Goa inspired to write the book “Apostolic Christianity in Goa”, reports Fr Cosme Jose Costa.

Let us now reproduce the interview of Rev Dr Hubert O Mascarenhas Ph.D; DD with the Editor of New Leader (of the Latin Archdiocese of Bombay) which appeared in the Silver Jubilee Souvenir of the Archdiocese of Tellicherry, 1970 :-

Editor: *Then what about the generally accepted fact or theory please correct me if I am wrong that Christianity in Goa traces its origin to St Francis Xavier ? Do you mean to say that even in Goa Christianity goes back to St Thomas ? If so, how can you substantiate such a statement with historic proofs ?
*
Fr Mascarenhas: Very good ! I am glad you have asked me that question. You put the burden of proof on me and so you will have to give me a very patient hearing. I am going to give you proofs from the horse’s own mouth from St Francis Xavier himself. In fact we must be grateful to the Society of Jesus for making these proofs popularly available (since 1953). What I am referring to is the critical edition of the letters of St Francis Xav ier by Fr Felix Zubillaga, S.J., published for the fourth centenary fo the death of St Francis (1952). In it there are three letters of the saing (numbered, document 15, 16, 17) which are very relevant to your question. These three letters were written by St Francis from Goa and addressed according to the editor, first to his confreres in Rome and the other two to St Ignatius, the Founder. All the three are dated Sept 20, 1542. They were probably written during the rainy season (June, July, august, September) in Goa and dispatched on Sept. 20, when there happened to be the first sailing ship leaving for Lisbon. It is also good to remember that St Francis arrived in Goa on May 6th, 1542. He wrote as an eyewitness and his evidence is unimpeachable.

Let me also refer to document 14, which is his earliest writing in Goa. In it there is a statement of Christian doctrine in the “I confess” and he puts Sts. Peter, Paul and Thomas of the same footing, which should at once remind you of the “I confess” still recited by st Thomas Christians of Kerala as well as generally by the East Indian, Goan and Mangalore Christians of the Konkan. ** Now I translate St Francis’ outstanding impressions of Goan Christianity for you from the Spanish I the critical edition P. 91 #5: “It is four months and more since we arrived in India, at Goa, which is a city totally of Christians a sight to be seen!**

Before I comment, let me also quote from the other letter of the same date which he wrote to St Ignatius: “The first thing that I beg for in the service of Our Lord Jesus Christ is, on the ground, that the people of this land are greatly devoted to the glorious Apostle St Thomas, who is the patron of the whole of this India; for the increase of the devotion of all these devotees that His Holiness the Pope should grant a plenary indulgence, on the feast day of St Thomas and its octaves, to all those who confess and communicate on that feast day and its octaves, and that for those who do not confess and communicate they should not gain the plenary indulgence”.

St Francis could not leave Goa by sea or land till the monsoon storms had stopped. For him, “Goa” was indeed India ! How could he urgently and unequivocally describe all these devotees of St Thomas, if it was he who had baptizsed them all and remember he speaks of the city being “totally of Christians” and remember how could they all be devoted to St Thomas, if they were not already St Thomas Christians in the most literal sense ? This kind of devotion to St Thomas existed and exists nowhere in Spain or Portugal or in any part of the world, except in India.

A second point is regarding the date of the martyrdom of St Thomas, which according to the Chaldean Syrians is July 3rd and according to the Latins, until recently, was Dec 21. While pleading for a plenary indulgence from the Pope, for the feast of St Thomas, St Francis speaks like a man who has already seen the extraordinary devotion of the people manifested during the preceeding novenas and later octaves of the feast of St Thomas in Goa. If the feast were always celebrated in Goa and elsewhere in India on dec. 21, as it was claimed till recently, St Francis could not have seen or participated in such an impressive feast, before writing to St Ignatius, because his letter was dated Sept. 20. But if the feast was celebrated on July 3rd, which the Goan Chaldeans and later Syrians (Eastern Christians) always claimed as the actual date of the martyrdom, St Francis must have personally witnessed that feast because he had arrived in Goa on May 6, and wrote his letters on Sept. 20, that is after personally witnessing the events of July 3rd in Goa, he later attested the people’s extraordinary devotion to St Thomas.

**Again St Francis is known to have baptized Goans on an average of 10,000 a month. Let us say he baptized about 25 days a month to give him some rest. It works upto about 400 baptism a day. Consider also the long rite of baptism he had to go through at that time. Moreover, was he only baptizing and not instructing ? How could he instruct so many in so short a time ? Or was it only a question of rebaptising the Christians of St Thomas (See Cardinal Tisserant’s Eastern Christianity in India p. 175) ** In that case we can understand there was no absolute need of instructing and preparing them. Both internal evidence from his letters and other reasons given above force one to conclude that the 10,000 baptisms a month attributed to St Francis were not an instance of mass conversion or miraculous Christianisation but only of mass Lusitanisation, under the aegis of the Portuguese Empire.

Well, there is St.Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland and converted the whole island in his lifetime , helped by miracles too !

Pope John Paul 11 graciously acknowldged about the SMC Church - ’ the glory of this Church is that it never broke communion with Rome '.

Yet , history indicates that the SMC had come under the Patriarch of the Church of The East , without possibly knowing of their break with Rome ; yet , the SMC Church enthusiastically accepted the missionaries when they were sent from Rome , to reestablish communion and to help The Church, to be rid of heretical elements .

The period of almost standstill growth in the SMC Church duirng the time of being under the Church of The East might have been provdential , sparing her much ; falling under the caste system mentality possibly contributed great deal ; this was corrected with the arrival of the missionaries and it is a blessing to see how the system accomodates roles of both Churches now .

As to the much maligned history of Synod of Diamper , that too is controversial ; there is another perspective from the Latin Church point -

latinarchdiocesetrivandrum.org/history.php ; how the division in the Synod was due to condemnation of the caste system etc too …

SMC 's relation with the Latin Church is thus to be one more of gratitude and unity as has been through the past and would continue to be so , to serve as a catalyst for others too , for the abundnat fruit promosed from same !

Apologies - the previous post gives the addr. of the site for the history of the diocese only ;

latinarchdiocesetrivandrum.org/Latin-Catholic-Church-Shines-in-Kerala-Bp-Selvister.php - this one is more about the general history of the Latin Church ., including mention of the Synod of Diamper .

Blessings !

Isn’t Indian society organized according to a caste system?

In fact, the website you cited expressly mentions that people are accepted into the Church regardless of caste, color, creed or culture (used much the same as the word “race” would be used in similar instances in the U.S.A.).

So, wouldn’t every citizen of India possess a “caste system mentality”?

TIMELINE OF CHRISTIANS IN INDIA

1st CENTURY
• 40 Apostle Thomas in the service of King Gondophares in
Takshasila in Pakistan.
• 52 Apostle Thomas landed at Muziris near Paravur, an ancient port city of Malabar (Present-day Kerala).
• 52–72 The Apostle founded the 7 churches.

• 72 Apostle Thomas martyred at St. Thomas Mount in
Chennai and is buried on the site of San Thome Cathedral.

2nd CENTURY
• 190 Pantaenus, the founder of the famous Catechetical School of
Alexandria, visited India and the Nasrani. He found that the
local people were using the Gospel according to Matthew in
Hebrew language. He took this Hebrew text back to his library at
the School in Alexandria.

4th CENTURY
• 325 Archbishop John of Persia and Great India at the first
Ecumenical Council of Nicaea.
• 345 First migration from Persia – Thomas of Cana landed at
Cranganore with 72 families.
• 340–360 Thazhekad Sasanam written in Pali the language
the canonical language of Buddhists, the Nasrani granted special rights and privileges.
• 345 Kuravilangad Church (Now Martha Mariam Catholic church) built by the first settlers who came from Kodungalloor.
• Arrival of Mar Joseph of Edessa.

5th CENTURY
• 510 Udayamperoor (Diamper) church built by St.Thomas
Christians.
• 522 Cosmas Indicopleustes visited South India.

8th CENTURY
• 774 Emperor Veera Raghava gives copperplate to Iravikorthan.

9th CENTURY
• 824 Beginning of Kollavarsham (Malayalam Era). First Tharissapalli sasanam (Copper plate) by Stanu Ravi Gupta Perumaal to Nazranies.
• 824 Mar Sabor and Mar Afroth from Persia at Quilon.
• 849 Deed given by King Ayann Adikal Thiruvadikal of Venad, to
Easow-data-veeran (Tharisapalli plates) that grants 72 royal
privileges of the Nazranies in which the Nasranis signed in three
languages: Hebrew Pahlavi and Kufic.

11th CENTURY
• 1123 Arakuzha church founded, now known as St
Mary’s Forane Church.

13th CENTURY
• 1225 North Pudukkad church founded.
• 1293 Marco Polo visited the tomb of St.
Thomas (at Mylapore).

14th CENTURY
• 1305 St. Hormis church, Angamaly founded.
• 1325 Enammavu church founded.
• 1328 St. George church, Edappally founded.

15th CENTURY
• 1490 Two Nestorian bishops Mars John and Thomas in Kerala.
• 1494 June 7 - Treaty of Tordesillas. Division of the world and
mission lands between Spain and Portugal.
• 1498 May 20 - Vasco de Gama lands at Kappad near Kozhikode.
• 1499 Cabral’s fleet carried a vicar, eight secular priests, and eight Franciscans to Kozhikode.
• 1499. In Calicut, the friars reputedly converted a Brahman and some leading Nayars.

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