“Far away there is a holy river. On the banks of it stands a Chapel. Adjacent to the Chapel
there is a Bishop’s palace without any vanity. The heart of the minor bishop living there is
more beautiful than a rose flower. Whiter than a Jasmine flower. Meeker than Lavender
and holier than the Lotus”. How real are these lines written decades back about the holy
Parumala Kochu Thirumeni. Leading among the saints of Malankara, many have praised
the holy life and meditation, meekness and prayer life of Kochu Thirumeni.
Incidents that reveal the good deeds in the life of a religious leader are the inspiration
to their successors. Their striving to maintain Christian good deeds in their lives paves
way for mankind. The horripilating memoires in the life of Thirumeni are blessings to the
Reminding of the strong hold decision capability of Thirumeni who was always Witness
of truth, the chapel standing at the Thiruvankulam Junction has to depict a remarkable
story. The Karingachira parishioners chose a land owned by the church to build a chapel
and took Thirumeni there to make an incense burning offering. Some people from the
public filed a case in the Magistrate Court against the parishioners alleging that the
chapel has been built near to a Hindu temple. Thirumeni was included as a witness in
the case and if he agreed that made the incense offering there, the parishioners would
be punished. Therefore the parishioners and the advocate beseeched the Thirumeni
to deny the fact in the court. When he was asked whether he has made the offering
at the chapel, he replied ‘Yes’ and the church committee were punished by the court.
Thirumeni told them not to be worried and everything will be alright as per the Will of God.
Afterwards, through bilateral talks the chapel was shifted to a different place. Those who
visit Parumala, these incidents give courage to hold on to the truth. Thirumeni’s life model
where he stood calm in front of his opponents has led many criminals to repentance.
In Ankamali during the consecration the famous Kunnakkurudi church, while the
procession took through the market place someone stood there threw cow dung
towards the palanquin. The cow dung fell on Thirumeni’s vestment became dirty. But, he
maintained calmness and instructed the priests and leaders to continue the procession.
Seeing this response the miscreants approached Thirumeni and apologized and they
have built a chapel at the market place. Thirumeni had a charismatic power to bring in
repentance in others.
Another such incident shows his purity at heart. Thirumeni once happened to slap a
priest for mistakes the priest committed. After the priest left him Thirumeni felt grieved by
the act. Next day the priest was called in and was requested to stay with Thirumeni and
requested the priest to celebrate the holy Mass. Thirumeni confessed his sins to the priest
and accepted the holy Eucharist. Moved by Thirumeni’s compassion the priest requested
Thirumeni to lay hands over his head and pray. The priest repented seeing the humility of
When those who come to Parumala with a burdened heart go back with a light heart
and bloomed face, the miraculous touch of the saint is reflected on each face. While he
was a Ramban (Ascetic) he spoke these words to Cheriachettan who approached him to
pray over medicated oil for a swelling on his back, “Why are you so upset? Will any thing
happen without the knowledge of God? The swelling happened without any reason and
shall subside on its own”. It is his life and experience shown as messages to thousands
of devotees visiting Parumala. That si why the name ‘Parumala Punyavalan’ (Saint of
Parumala) is a very dear and holy name for people from all walks of life.
An Ascetic of highest order, Pure hearted God-fearing man, an intelligent administrator, a
visionary who has experienced the depth of Theology, A gifted orator, an exalter of weak
community, an educationist, Parumala Thirumeni stands in the history of Kerala as a pillar
The Holy Father was a lighted pillar who has lighted the firmament over Kerala with his
works and advices. He became an ascetic at the age of 24 years and was consecrated
to be the metropolitan at the age of 29 years and passed away at the age of 53 years.
Although his tenure lasted only three decades he could win the hearts of one and all.
Holy fathers who have passed away do not forget us. They keep praying for us. They
shower their blessings upon us. As the sick waited for the shadow of St. Peter, let us also
be prepared to experience the touch of the Holy Father. May this year’s pilgrimage help
every one achieve it. May the intercession of the Holy Father be a fortress and reliance to