In 1122, Mar John, Metropolitan designate of India,with his suffragens went to Constantinople, and thence to Rome,and received the pallium from Pope Callixtus II. He also narrated to the Pope and the Cardinals the miracles that were wrought at the tomb of St. Thomas at Mylapore. These visits apparently from the Saint Thomas Christians of India cannot be confirmed,because evidence of both being secondhand reports. Later, a letter surfaced during the 1160s claiming to be from Prester (Presbyter or Priest) John. There were over one-hundred different versions of the letter published over the next few centuries. Most often, the letter was addressed to Emanuel I, the Byzantine Emperor of Rome, though some were addressed to the Pope or the King of France.
A Latin text with its Hebrew translation as follows:
Praete janni invenitur ascendendo in Kalicut in arida… and this is true proof and well-known knowledge about the Jews who are found there near Prester John. Reading the Hebrew letters of Prester John shows that Prester John lived in India, or to be more precise, in Malabar (southern India).
Connecting Prester John with India is inevitable from the Hebrew text on the one hand, while data from the legend will support the Indian origin on the other. First of all, India is mentioned several times in these letters (pp. 41, 89, 107, 119, and more). Second, Kalicut which was one of the most important port-cities in Malabar in southern India (the place where Vasco da Gama was sent), is mentioned in one of the letters.Third, these facts would definitely suffice but further evidence appears in the form of statement:
“In the large India is buried the body of St Thomas the Apostle.”
That is, the author knew that St. Thomas was buried in India, a belief held by the Christians of southern India. Not only that, but the author of the letters knew (p. 133) about ‘St. Thomas holiday’, that is, apparently, St. Thomas memorial day held by the same Christians on July 3rd.
Fourth, the author of the letters mentioned that pepper grew in his land (pp. 55, 91, 131), vegetation typical to Malabar in southern India Fifth, there are some stories in the letters concerning warriors riding elephants . It is well known that unlike the African elephant only the Asian elephant could be trained. That is to say that the letters include information about India.