Alexios Mar Theodosius (1888–1965)

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Alexious Mar Theodosious OIC (1888-1965)

H.G. Alexious Mar Theodosious was born on August 28th 1888 in the Mattackal family, Niranam as the son of Mathai and Kunjadamma and called as Chandikunju.

He was ordained as Deacon in 1907 at Cheriyappally Kottayam by Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius Malankara Metropolitan.

Dn. Alexious was ordained as a priest in 1918 by H.G. Yuyakim Mar Ivanios Metropolitan at Parumala Seminary.

On 7th April 1938, H.H. Baselius Geevarghese II consecrated Fr.Alexious as H.G. Alexious Mar Theodosious for Qulion and OutSide Kerala Diocese.

On 6th August 1965, Mar Theodosious was called to the heavenly abode and his mortal remains were interred at St: John’s Chapel, Bethany Asram, Ranni- Perunad, he is still praying and interceding for us.

The Great Champion of Orthodoxy & Spokesman of Autocephale

H.G. Alexious Mar Theodosious was known as Aboona Alexious and commonly called as the same. He was the great champion of Orthodoxy. He strongly argued that the church must be autocephalous and synodical. He was the first to use the term “AUTOCEPHALOUS CHURCH” in the history of the Malankara Orthodox Church.

According to him, there was no compromise with truth and the orthodoxy of the church and he insisted on it, and he proved his words through the Chingavanam and Aluva peace conference. He walked out and declared that

“Even though I may be buried as a dog, I will never side with this conference”.

That was his strong conviction. He never went astray from his conviction, that was the conviction of his spiritual Guru Vattasseril Thirumani also.

H.G. Alexious Mar Theodosious O.I.C was a great ascetic, a man of prayer and he was a well known retreat father. He is a model to all generation in matters such as vigilance and dedication in spiritual affairs.

“The depth of man’s religion is measured by the range of his intercession”- This was his favorite saying. Always he quoted St. John “Children love one another” really this is a (life) message to each one of us.

He was the first ecclesiast who represented our church in the ecumenical endeavours, especially in the “World Council of Church” and the “Faith and order” conferences.

Mar Theodosious used to say in his conversations and writings- “I am open to correction, prove me that I am wrong in my conviction, then I will do as you say, I don’t wish to go down in history as a bishop who has betrayed the independence of the Malankara Orthodox Church. That is why the delegates from the Russian Orthodox Church told Mar Theodosious in the first conference of the W.C.C at Amsterdam “O! you are really more Orthodox than we”.

He always used to say
“Only a converted man can convert another man
Only a converted church can convert the world”.

There was not a single person equal to Mar Theodosious to teach the precious faith and unique quality of Orthodoxy. According to him, the Orthodox faith is true, pure and straight if any one asks what is orthodoxy or Orthodox faith, we can with confidence say that it is the faith of Mar Theodosious.

അലക്‌സിയോസ്‌ മാര്‍ തേവോദോസ്യോസ്‌ (1888–1965)

റാന്നി–പെരുനാട്‌ ബഥനി ആശ്രമത്തിന്റെ സ്ഥാപകരിലൊരാള്‍. നിരണം മട്ടയ്ക്കല്‍ മത്തായി–കുഞ്ഞാണ്ടമ്മ ദമ്പതിമാരുടെ പുത്രന്‍. ജനനം. 28–8–1888. കോളജ്‌ വിദ്യാഭ്യാസം കോട്ടയം സി. എം. എസ്‌. കോളജില്‍ പൂര്‍ത്തിയാക്കി. കോട്ടയം ചെറിയപള്ളിയില്‍ വച്ച്‌ പുലിക്കോട്ടില്‍ ജോസഫ്‌ മാര്‍ ദീവന്നാസ്യോസ്‌ കക ശെമ്മാശുപട്ടം നല്‍കി. 1915 മുതല്‍ ഈസ്റ്റ്‌ ബംഗാളിലെ ബാരിസോള്‍ ഡിവിനിറ്റി കോളജ്‌, ഇംഗ്ലണ്ടിലെ മെല്‍ഫിസിലിം, സെറാമ്പൂര്‍ എന്നിവിടങ്ങളില്‍ ദൈവശാസ്‌ത്രത്തില്‍ ഉപരിപഠനം. 1918–ല്‍ പരുമല വച്ച്‌ യൂയാക്കീം മാര്‍ ഈവാനിയോസ്‌ കശ്ശീശാപട്ടം നല്‍കി. 1920–ല്‍ ഫാ. പി. റ്റി. ഗീവര്‍ഗീസുമായി (മാര്‍ ഈവാനിയോസ്‌) ചേര്‍ന്ന്‌ സന്യാസവ്രതം സ്വീകരിച്ച്‌ ബഥനി ആശ്രമം സ്ഥാപിച്ചു. ബഥനി മാര്‍ ഈവാനിയോസ്‌ കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയില്‍ ചേര്‍ന്നപ്പോള്‍ ആബോ അലക്‌സിയോസ്‌ 1930–ല്‍ ബഥനി ആശ്രമത്തിന്റെ അധ്യക്ഷനായി. 1938 ഏപ്രില്‍ 7–ന്‌ കര്‍മ്മേല്‍ ദയറായില്‍ വച്ച്‌ ഗീവറുഗ്ഗീസ്‌ ദ്വിതീയന്‍ കാതോലിക്കാ മാര്‍ തേവോദോസ്യോസ്‌ എന്ന നാമത്തില്‍ എപ്പിസ്‌ക്കോപ്പാ ആക്കി കൊല്ലത്തിന്റെയും ബാഹ്യകേരള ഭദ്രാസനത്തിന്റെയും ചുമതല നല്‌കി. ഇന്നത്തെ ബാഹ്യകേരള ഭദ്രാസനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ അടിത്തറ പാകിയ ഇദ്ദേഹത്തെ 1941 ഏപ്രില്‍ 8–ന്‌ ആലുവാ യൂണിയന്‍ ക്രിസ്‌ത്യന്‍ കോളജ്‌ ചാപ്പലില്‍ വച്ച്‌ ഗീവറുഗ്ഗീസ്‌ ദ്വിതീയന്‍ കാതോലിക്കാ മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്താ ആക്കി ഉയര്‍ത്തി. മാര്‍ ഈവാനിയോസിന്റെ സഭാ ഭ്രംശത്തെത്തുടര്‍ന്ന്‌ ബഥനി ആശ്രമത്തെ സുസംഘടിതമാക്കി പരിപോഷിപ്പിക്കുന്നതിനും പാത്രിയര്‍ക്കീസ്‌ കക്ഷിയുടെ തത്വരഹിതമായ കപട സമാധാന ചര്‍ച്ചകളില്‍ ചതിവുകള്‍ പറ്റാതെ തത്വാധിഷ്‌ഠിത സിദ്ധാന്തങ്ങളില്‍ സഭയെ ചിട്ടപ്പെടുത്തുന്നതിലും ഇദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ പങ്കാളിത്തവും നേതൃത്വവും ശ്രദ്ധേയമായിരുന്നു. ചിങ്ങവനം വട്ടമേശ സമ്മേളനത്തില്‍ നിന്ന്‌ സുധീരം ഇറങ്ങിപ്പോയ അദ്ദേഹം ‘ഞാന്‍ പഴയ ചാണ്ടിയായി മാറിയാലും സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യം നഷ്‌ടപ്പെട്ട ഒരു സഭയുടെ മെത്രാപ്പോലീത്താ ആയി കഴിയുവാന്‍ ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നില്ല’ എന്ന്‌ പ്രസ്‌താവിച്ചു. മാര്‍ ഈവാനിയോസ്‌, മാര്‍ തെയോഫിലോസ്‌, വാളക്കുഴിയില്‍ ജോസഫ്‌ മാര്‍ സേവേറിയോസ്‌ എന്നിവര്‍ സഭാത്യാഗം ചെയ്‌തപ്പോള്‍ ബഥനിയെ അതിന്റെ സ്ഥാപനോദ്ദേശ്യത്തില്‍ ഉറപ്പിച്ചു നിര്‍ത്തുവാന്‍ ഇദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ നേതൃത്വം സഹായകമായി. മലങ്കരസഭയെ ലോക സഭകള്‍ക്ക്‌ പരിചയപ്പെടുത്തുന്നതിലും, എക്യുമെനിക്കല്‍ രംഗത്തേക്ക്‌ ആരംഭ ഘട്ടത്തില്‍ തന്നെ മലങ്കരസഭയെ പ്രവേശിപ്പിക്കുന്നതിലും നിര്‍ണ്ണായക പങ്ക്‌ വഹിച്ചു. അഖില ലോക സഭാ കൌണ്‍സിലിന്റെ കേന്ദ്ര കമ്മിറ്റിയംഗമായി ദീര്‍ഘകാലം പ്രവര്‍ത്തിച്ചു. 1965 ആഗസ്റ്റ്‌ 6–ന്‌ കൂടാരപ്പെരുന്നാള്‍ ദിനത്തില്‍ ദിവംഗതനായി. റാന്നി–പെരുനാട്‌ ബഥനി ആശ്രമം ചാപ്പലില്‍ കബറടക്കി.

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Memorial Speech by Parettu Mathews Mar Ivanios

Alexios Mar Theodosius & Chingavanam Round Table Meeting of Church Unity by Joice thottackad

Bethany Karyangal By Fr. Alexios (Mar Theodosius)

History Of Bethany Asram By K. V. Mammen

Roma Rahasyangal By Cheeran C. David

L. L HG. ABOONA ALEXIOS MAR THEODOSIUS OF MALANKARA ORTHODOX CHURCH

HG. Alexios Mar Theodosius was born on August 28th 1888 as chandy kunju into the famous Mattckal family. He was brought up in a typical orthodox family. He on one side was an able administrator and on the other side he was a real monk, who lived within the rules and regulation of the Ashram.I am not getting deep into his life history as my intention is not to write about it but to point out 3 things which Thirumeni did, which changed the outlook of the Malankara Orthodox Church and was instrumental in reviving the spirituality in Malankara Orthodox Church. I will explain it in points:
Formed in 1918 the Bethany Ashram is the first monastic community of the Indian Orthodox Church. When Thirumeni was studying at Serampore college as a deacon he met Fr. PT Geevargese(later arch bishop Mar Ivanios). It was from their discussions that the idea of forming a monastery was formed. They worked tirelessly for the dream they had and finally got a land for the monastery in Ranny – Perunad. Meanwhile Dn. Alexious was ordained as a priest and was sent to Ranny by Fr.P. T Gee Varghese to establish the monastery. The land being situated on a hilly region as a part of the forest, it was not an easy task to establish the monastery. He worked hard to clear the forest and establish a monastery there along with Mr. ommen.But everything went downhill when on 1930 Mar Ivanios Thirumeni left the Malankara Orthodox Church and the Bethany Ashram with all the portable properties. Fr. Alexious was very sad about this as Mar Ivanios Thirumeni was one of his role models. Many of the members of the ashram also left with Mar Ivanios Thirumeni.
This incident transformed Fr. Alexious to be a bold character.This shaped his character It made him a strong personality. After this, he led the Bethany ashram to new heights. He ensured the spiritual growth of the ashram and also at the same time he led the church in all legal suits which was created by Mar Ivanios and his group concerning the Bethany Ashram and its property to finally get a favorable judgment for the church. So he was not only the founder of the Bethany Ashram but he also gave a fresh lease of life to it. He in fact gave a second life to the Bethany Ashram. This helped a lot in reviving the spirituality of the Malankara Orthodox Church especially because it is the first monastic community of the church
HG. Alexious Mar Theodosius was an able Administrator and a leader with a great and committed vision and dedication. Fr. K Gee Varghese once said about his works in kollam diocese:
This statement by Fr. K Gee Varghese very well explains the commitment he had towards the diocese and the church. Talking of his contribution to the outside Kerala diocese, he laid the foundations for both the administration and spiritual growth among the outside Kerala Syrian Christians. He was instrumental in forming the Indian Orthodox Mission in Madras in 1947, where he trained a group of educated priest and appointed them in the important cities of India. He made various journeys across India to meet Syrian Christians. In 1952, he visited New Delhi and felt the need of having a church in the national capital there by paving way to the formation of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Hauz khas, New Delhi and appointed a priest. He also visited the then Prime Minister of the Republic India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Thirumeni helped the church to break its boundaries of Kerala and extend it to other parts of India. He taken a lot of effort and pain to reach the people of outside Kerala and to communicate with them. This helped our church a lot in coming years. This action by Thirumeni holds historical significance because till then the members of the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church living outside Kerala used to attend Holy Mass of Catholic Churches.It was the dedicated and selfless efforts of HG. Alexious Mar Theodosius that was instrumental in taking the church to the global level.
The church actively started to participate in ecumenical meetings viz. the Oxford Faith and Order Meeting and also the Life and Work conference at Edinburg both of which were held in the same year 1937. The church was invited to both the conferences solely due to the efforts of HG. Alexious Mar Theodosius Thirumeni. It was in this meeting, that it was decided to form the World Council of Churches (WCC). Till then nobody knew about our church but by attending this two conferences, we were able to draw the attention of the world churches.
In 1948, the Bava Thirumeni HH Baselious Geevarghese II, the supreme head of the Indian Orthodox Church selected HG. Alexious Mar Theodosius and HG. Philipose Mar Theophilos to attend the Amsterdam WCC Conference in 1948. Theodosius thirumeni had the privilege and honour to deliver a speech in the conference. He was elected into the WCC central committee. Thirumeni played an important role in ensuring the participation of the church in ecumenical meetings and thus he was able to take our church to the global level.

To sum it up, HG. Alexious Mar Theodosius has done so many thing during his lifetime which helped revive the lost spirituality in the Orthodox Church. He truly lived up to his name Theodosius which means “Giving to God”. He lived as person who gave his best for god and the society around hi thereby showing the love of Christ to others around him. I was motivated to write this article as many of my friends, even the elder people are unaware about the contributions of Theodosius Thirumeni for the church. Though some do know about Thirumeni’s contribution like the formation of Bethany ashram but not many knows the struggle or the pain thirumeni overcame to reshape Bethany ashram after 1930. The Indian Orthodox Church is blessed to have many such great and able leaders both in the past and in the present with a great vision. We being the members of the Indian Orthodox Church have the responsibility to carry forward the legacy of such able leaders through whom God has blessed us.

May the Almighty God Help us

Courtesy :Issac V Samson

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