Joshua Mar Ignathios

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Rev.Dr.Joshua Mar Ignathios
Bishop of Mavelikara
Church Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
See Diocese of Mavelikara
In office 2007–present
Predecessor Seat created
Successor Incumbent
Ordination 2 April 1978 (Kashesho), 29 June 1998 (Bishop)
Personal details
Born (1950-05-24) 24 May 1950 (age 66)
Kottarakara, Kollam District, Kerala
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum (1998–2007)

Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios (born 24 May 1950) is the Metropolitan Bishop of the Eparchy of Mavelikkara of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the state of Kerala, India.

Family history and childhood[edit]

He was born at Kottarakara, Kollam district as the son of Kizhakkevettil Oommen Varghese and Polachirackal Annamma Varghese. Panicker's family lineage also include him being grandson of the aristocratic Saint Thomas Christian family Polachirackal with their tharavad in Mavelikkara. The Polachirackal House held the highest-ranking hereditary title for a Christian family in Travancore being of nobility titled as Tharakan and were of the highest ranking Christian peer to the Maharaja of Travancore. The Polachirackal House through the Saint Thomas Christian Syro-Malankara Catholic Church is acknowledged by Pope Pius XI and continues to do so by the Holy See of the Vatican City as one of the oldest Saint Thomas Christian families with their tradition of origin being that their ancestors who were of a royal lineage from the Chera Dynasty were converted by Saint Thomas in 53 AD and preceding Western Christianity and Christian monarchies in Europe. Starting with the first Portuguese discoveries including that of navigator Vasco da Gama, the House had evolved from accumulating one of the largest wealth through merchant trading from their oligopoly in black pepper commodity trading as part of the spice trade controlled by the Dutch East India during the age of discovery between the 16th and 18th centuries. The House's excessive wealth allowed them to become the court financiers to Marthanda Varma and financed the Kingdom of Venad during the Travancore–Dutch War in the 18th century against the Dutch East India Company. This culminated in funding the Battle of Colachel in 1741 leading to Marthanda Varma defeating of the Dutch East India Company which was the first loss of its kind by a European naval super-power in the Indian sub-continent. The House were signatories to the Treaty of Mavelikkara in 1753 contributing to the establishment of the Kingdom of Travancore, diminishing the role of the Dutch East India Company in the Indian subcontinent and leading to the rise of the Maharaja of Travancore Marthanda Varma and the Travancore Royal Family. He had his primary education at the St. Mary’s School, Kizhaketheruvu, and he completed his secondary education at the Government High School, Kottarakkara, in 1967.

Training and ordination[edit]

He joined St. Aloysius Seminary, Trivandrum, in 1967, and completed his pre-degree at Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum. He had his philosophy and theology training at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, from 1970–78. He was ordained as a priest on 2 April 1978 by the Metropolitan Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios. He served in the parishes at Kirathoor, Manjathoppu, Vimalapuram, add Susaipuram from 1978 to 1983. He graduated from Christian College, Marthandom, Tamil Nadu, and secured his master’s degree from Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu, in 1984. He took Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Education from Kamaraj University, Madurai in 1985 and 1987 respectively.

He did research on "Leadership, Organizational Health with School Effectiveness" in Stella Matituna College of Education, Chennai and obtained a Doctorate from the University of Madras in 2000. Br Publishing Corporation published his doctoral thesis, School Effectiveness Through Leadership Style & Organizational Health in 2003.[1]

Mission work[edit]

He was appointed vicar of the mission stations at Padi, Perampur, and Thiruvottiyoor in Chennai in 1983. He started the Mar Ivanios Dispensary and founded the Sacred Heart School, serving as its principal from its inception. In 1994, he established the Mar Gregorios College and served as its local manager until 1996.

Appointed and elected offices[edit]

In May 1996 he was appointed Vicar General of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum. He was made Corepiscopo in 1997. On 15 April 1998 he was appointed the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum by Pope John Paul II. Metropolitan Archbishop Cyril Mar Baselios ordained him bishop with the name Joshua Mar Ignathios on 29 June 1998.

Metropolitan Mar Ignathios was the Vice Chairman of the Labour Movement of the Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Conference (KCBC) from 1998-2000. He served as its Chairman for 2002–2007. He was elected the Secretary of the KCBC and served the Church of Kerala in this capacity from 2000–2002. In December 2007 he was elected the Vice President of the KCBC. He has held the chairmanship of the Labour Commission of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India (CBCI) since 2002.

Dr. Mar Joshua Mar Ignathios became the President of the KCBC due to the demise of its previous president Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil on 26 October 2009.[2]

The Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church elected him the first Metropolitan of the newly erected eparchy of Mavelikkara. The inauguration of the new eparchy and the installation of Mar Ignathios as its Metropolitan took place on 16 February 2007.

Other activities[edit]

Metropolitan Mar Ignathios was an active member of the Nilackal Ecumenical Trust. Along with the Bishops of the Episcopal Churches, He made several ecumenical journeys and visited many international pilgrim centres. He also visited the World Council of Churches centre at Geneva and attended an international conference organized by that group, and has attended other international conferences organized by the CBCI and the Holy See.


  1. ^ Bansal, Rashmi. "School Effectiveness Through Leadership Style And Organizati Onal Health: Book: Joshua Mar Ignathios (9788176463515)". Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  2. ^ "KCBC News Page". Retrieved 2011-12-31.