Dionysious V

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മലങ്കര സഭാ തേജസ്‌ His Beatitude

Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius II

Malankara Syrian Church
Installed30 April 1865
Term ended11 July 1909
PredecessorMathews Mar Athanasius Metropolitan
SuccessorMar Dionysius VI (Geevarghese Dionysius of Vattasseril)
Ordination18 August 1853
Consecration29 April 1865
Personal details
Born12 November 1833
Died11 July 1909 (1909-07-12) (aged 75)
BuriedOrthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Malankara Emblem.png
Catholicate Emblem
PrimateBaselios Mar Thoma Paulose II
LanguageMalayalam, English, Hindi, Konkani, Kannada, Syriac
HeadquartersKottayam,  India
Possessions United Arab Emirates
 United States
 United Kingdom
 South Africa
 New Zealand
FounderSt. Thomas the Apostle
IndependenceApostolic Era
RecognitionOriental Orthodox
Official website[1]

Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious II (Mar Dionysious V) (12 November 1833 – 11 July 1909) the Malankara Metropolitan, was born into the family of Pulikkottil (Kunnamkulam), a famous and important family in the annals of the history of Malankara Syrian Church. He was a courageous, popular, spiritual leader, who guided his followers through one of the most difficult times in the history of Malankara Church. He dedicated his life to the church. Gifted by his integrity, and loyalty to the church he was even prepared to lay down his life for the church and its beliefs. At a time when modern mode of transportation could not even be dreamed of, he crossed the seas, passed through dangerous and unfamiliar terrain, with toil and travail, he went up to Turkey to be ordained as a bishop by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch.

Early life[edit]


Kunnamkulam is a city and a municipality in Thrissur district in the Indian state of Kerala. It is around 23 km from Thrissur town and 10 km from Guruvayur. The Arabians, Greeks, and Persians left their footprints on this land years ago. Archaeologists unearthed a collection of old Roman coins which was buried around BC 123 and AD 117. These coins are exhibited at the archaeological museum of Thrissur.[1][2]

It is believed that Saint Thomas the disciple of Jesus Christ arrived here and a Christian congregation was formed in the first century. Now the majority of the population are Syrian Christians.

His family[edit]

Pulikkottil is a family which moved from Arthat and settled in Kunnamkulam. Tharu Kurien, a member of this family was the nephew of Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious I. Joseph (Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious II) was born as the son of Tharu Kurien and Thandamma, daughter of Paingamukku Kuthooru Geevarghese Kathanaar, on 12 November 1833.

In addition to theology and Syriac he learned Sanskrit and Hindustani at Kunnamkulam.


He received the deaconship from Cheppad Mar Dionysius on 6 October 1846 and on 18 August 1853 he was ordained as a priest by Metropolitan Yuyakim Mar Kurilos at Challiserry church.

On 29 April 1865 at Ameed (modern day Diyarbakır), Patriarch Yakoob II elevated him to the rank of Ramban.On 30 April he was consecrated as Metropolitan Joseph Mar Dionysios.

Malankara Metropolitan[edit]

During the eventful forty-four years between 1865 A.D to 1909 he adorned the Malankara Metropolitan's position with extraordinary skill. It was during his period that the Mulanthuruthy Synod, division of dioceses and the 'Holy Mooran Koodasha' took place. Through his unstinting effort, spiritual organisations like Sunday School and Students movement, and Church institutions like Parumala Seminary, Kunnamkulam Sehiyon Bungalow, Kottapuram Seminary and Kottayam M.D. Seminary developed.

Golden Jubilee[edit]

In 1901, the grand occasion of the golden jubilee of Ordination of Mar Dionysius V was celebrated like a festival in the city of Kottayam.

Student movement[edit]

During his reign as Malankara Metropolitan, the prominent clergy, laymen and zealous students including members of the diaspora came together with the idea of initiating a Students' Movement of the Church by late 1907. The first annual conference of this Movement was held at Balikamadom School, Thiruvalla on 1, 2 and 3 January 1908 with the blessings of Mar Dionysius V. During this conference, Rev Fr. V. J. Geevarghese Ramban (of Vattasseril) made a captivating speech on 'The Rituals in our Church'. This Movement grew in strength and stretch, expanding its reach to the students abroad with the motto Worship, Study, Service, assuming the name Mar Gregorios Christian Students Movement (MGCSM)commemorating St. Gregorios of Parumala as its patron saint. That is the student movement of Orthodox Syrian Student Movement.

Last days[edit]

After entrusting the responsibilities of his office to his successor Mar Dionysius VI, Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious II died on 11 July 1909. His mortal remains were interred in the northern side of the chapel in the Old Seminary (Pazhaya Seminary, known as the Orthodox Theological Seminary).[3] The Church observes the day of his memorial on 12 July. The Episcopal Synod honoured his memory by conferring the designation "Malankara Sabha-Thejas" (Malayalam: മലങ്കര സഭാ തേജസ്‌, meaning 'radiance of the Church').


Preceded by
Mathews Mar Athanasius Metropolitan of Palakkunnathu
Malankara Metropolitan of the Syrian Church
Succeeded by
Geevarghese Mar Dionysius of Vattasseril


Of the many biographies of Mar Dionysius V published till date, one of the most authoritative works is 'The Biography of Mar Dionysius V' written and published by Kandathil Varghese Mappillai.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mathew, Adv. P. C., Arthat pallipattum charitra rekhakalum. Page 40.
  2. ^ Induchudan, V. T. "Keralathile Sthalanama Charithram" in Mathrubhumi Annual 1970.
  3. ^ http://www.ots.edu.in/

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]