Monday, April 11, 2016

HG Geevarghese Mar Ivanios - Former Metropolitan of Kottayam Diocese

HG Geevarghese Mar Ivanios

April 12 - Dukrono of HG Geevarghese Mar Ivanios. Thirumeni is entombed at Mar Baselios Dayara (monastery) near Kottayam, Kerala.

Thirumeni established Mar Baselios Dayara at a time when monastic tradition was becoming a relic of the past. A very unique aspect of this monastery is that after the prayers during canonical hours, the residents of the monastery spend time in #Jesus_Prayer.

God chose Thirumeni to lead Kottayam diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Church, which was previously led by holy fathers Pampady Thirumeni and Paret Mathews Mar Ivanios. Just as his saintly predecessors, Thirumeni had great compassion for anyone who approached him.

Thirumeni was a man of unceasing prayer and believed in the power of mediatory prayers. He had personal encounter with the saints of the Church including Parumala St. Gregorios and Pampady Kuriakose Mar Gregorios. Below is the story of that encounter and how Thirumeni was miraculously brought back from the brink of death, in Thirumeni’s own words:

“In 1978, I fell victim to a very serious illness. At first, I was admitted to Caritas Hospital. Then I was shifted to Kolencherry Medical Mission Hospital. A few days later, again I was brought back to Caritas. After several tests, my illness was finally diagnosed. I had cancer! You can imagine my peculiar mental state. Cancer is incurable and everyone thought there would be no recovery for me. Still they decided to shift me to Adayar Cancer Institute. Just before my departure, Fr. K.M. Alexander, my colleague at Seminary came and asked me, “Father, how do you feel now? What is in your mind?” I said I remember the passage in St. John 11:40. “If you believed, you would see the glory of God”. “Think like that”, Achen said and then he prayed. My relatives and friends all prayed and bade me farewell. By that time, a huge amount had been spent on various treatments. The hospital bill was paid with borrowed money.

As soon as I reached Adayar, I was examined by a team of specialist doctors. The chief doctor told me: “Father, you must be admitted immediately. You need not pay anything. We will do our best. The rest is in the hands of God.” Chemotherapy was started the following day. I lost my hair and beard, except three hairs left on my chin. My condition was very serious. In the second stage of the treatment, my condition became critical. I was unconscious and was in the sinking stage. The doctors informed my bystanders that everything would be over in ten minutes. My friends had started making arrangements for taking my body to Kerala and other proceedings connected with my funeral.

Suddenly, I had a vision or an Epiphany. Four saints were standing beside me. One of them asked me. “Why are you lying down? Get up”. He lifted me up and suddenly all four of them disappeared. I found myself sitting up on the bed. I was fully conscious. There was a shocked surprise on every face around me. They looked at me as though I had resurrected from death. I was cured of that fatal illness.

My treatment was stared in 1978. Miracle of miracles! I could conduct the Holy Qurbana from that November…..

I became a cancer patient when I was the vicar of the chapel named after the saintly Pampady Thirumeni. I always believed that Thirumeni was praying for me all the time. And I took refuge in His Grace’s mediatory prayers. It was the power of prayer, especially Thirumeni’s prayer that saved me from the clutches of death. I got the blessings from those invisible hands and became His Grace’s successor as the Metropolitan of Kottayam diocese. Prayer makes everything possible and “God hears the ardent prayers of a righteous man”.
Source: The Saint of Pampady

May Ivanio’s Thirumeni’s prayers be a fortress and refuge for us.

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