Relics of Saint Gregorios of Parumala
Geevarghese Mâr Gregorios Chathuruthy (15 June 1848 - 4 November 1902) was the first native of the Indian subcontinent to be declared as a saint of any church. He was ordained as a deacon at ten years old, and priest at the age of eighteen. Finally he was consecrated as bishop at the age of twenty-eight. In addition to the many miracles he performed during his lifetime, he is maybe best known for his refusal to join the Mar Thoma Reformation movement created by the British to convert the remaining Nazarani to Protestantism. He is also known for his personal work in preserving the Indian form of Neo-Syriac, which he conversed in fluently and taught to many others. Although it is not the language of Yeshue, Syriac holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Malayali people of Kerala, because it connects them to the Church of Antioch founded by Saint Yaqoub Bar Adai in the 7th Century.
He died at the age of 54 and was buried at St.Peters and St. Pauls Church, Parumala. His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II declared him a saint of the Indian Orthodox Church in 1947; and then the Patriarch of Antioch, His Holiness Ignatius Zakka IIwas declared him a saint of the the Syriac Orthodox Church in 1987. The Nazarani Church also considers him as a saint and is proud to also possess some of his relics.
The majority of Mâr Gregorios' relics are housed at the Malecuriz St. George monastery in the Ernakulam district of Kerala State in southern India. Other relics are held in other places, including the Saint Gregorios Ashram in Kandanad, which has one of his cassocks; and the Comunidad de San Adai in Guanajuato, México which has his myron (basmanu) bag. The bag was donated by the family of His Eminence Thomas Mâr Makarios to the Mission Society of Mar Gregorios in 2000 A.D., and is now part of the collection of the Nazarani Foundation Library.