Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Arch Cor Episcopa Dr. Kurian Kaniamparambil Special
Volume 5 No. 310 October 23, 2015

Note: Pictures of Kaniamparambil achen's funeral are added. Please click the Table of Contents below to see the new enhanced Contents.
Last Monday, we woke up hearing the sad news that our beloved Kaniamparabil achen has finished his mission on earth and has gone to his eternal home. He was 103. Achen led a very productive life serving the Holy Church. He started writing at a very early age - 15. He has writtien articles and books in Malayalam, Syriac and English. The crowning achievement, in my opinion, was translating to Malayalam the "Peshita" or Syriac version of the Holy bible, that many considered to be the purest form of the bible that avoids many of the translation and scribing errors found in other versions of the bible while translating from Greek. The result was "Vishdha Grandham" or Holy Book. Many churches give a copy of this bible to the newly married couple to have a good start in their married life. Achen also wrote a New Testament Commentary in Malayalam. He wrote quite a few others (we have listed the important ones int eh articles that follow), but these two have the most impact on our christian lives in my opinion.

He was honored with titles such as Malankara Malpan, Korooso Dashroro Sofar, Arch Cor Episcopa and many others. But he was famous for his humility and hospitality. Everyone who came across were transformed by him. So, in that sense he reflected the light of Jesus into others as a true Christian that transforms the lives of others. He molded the lives of hundreds of priests and bishops and given pastoral care and support to thousands of people in the church.

Rev. Fr. Jerry Kurian, a member of Malankara World Board, wrote about achen on the occasion of his 100th birthday:

"Those who have had the pleasure of his pastoral ministry know that achen's simplicity and approachability brought great dividends to his flock. He prayed and interceded every single day and his faith is the faith of a true Christian. His faith taught us that we should believe without seeing and that faith is not just some inexplicable experience but is simple and everyday as well. Achen's faith in and intercession to St. Mary is second to none. He can be credited with the Wednesday Qurbana and intercession to St. Mary in many parts of Central Kerala. The Holy mother has indeed interceded for long life for this beloved son of hers."

Jerry achen says that one of the favorite verse of achen was, "The Lord is in need of this donkey." Kaniyamparambil achen believed that simplicity takes one closer to God. He wishes to be of help to God whenever and wherever.

Achen has recognized that our purpose is to be available so that God can use us for whatever He wants to do. God can do great things through us if we surrender ourselves to God like Kaniamparambil achen did. First seek the Kingdom of God, the rest of things will follow. Faith, Prayer and Surrender are the secret ingredients for a True Christian.

I have a very special article in today's Journal. This is penned by His Eminence Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, Metropolitan of Aleppo. Thirumeni sent this article to me when I sought one for a planned special for Kaniamparambil achen's 100th birthday. As you all know, thirumeni was abducted some time ago in Syria and we do not know what happened to him. Like Kaniamparambil achen, Gregorious thirumeni was a very special, dedicated person who surrendered his whole life serving his master by taking care of the sheep entrusted to him. Let us pray that Thirumeni is safe and will return soon from his captivity.

We will close by quoting a poem about Kaniamparambil achen written by Dr. A. M George, Mumbai published in Vision dated February 2002:

Behold! God's own gift to Malankara Syrians,
A true Nathaniel, a living sympol of 'Bhakthy',
Treading in the footprints of Ivanios with golden tongue
Singing the sweet melodies of the Lord in tounges different.

Floating, no, alas! walking on the Jordan of time infinite,
For years reaching nine decades less one,
Touching the outstretched hand of the Lord,
The halo of the 'ongues of Fire' encircling him.

Pride of the Holy Church, ebdeared to her children,
Prelates and laity in great measure;
Versatile in the language our Savious spoke,
And chosen to pass the Lord's words round the globe.

Meek but strong un spirit, weary but alert,
Honoured and praised by all, but righteously modest,
Weight of wisdom toiling to pull the shoulders down,
Yet the flowing beard, 'white as snow' held high.

O! beloved, ever respected Malpan of malpans,
Bless thy children to walk in the True Faith without blemishes

In North America, the autumn season is in full swing. In Australia, the Spring Season is in full swing. Enjoy the autumn color or the spring flowers depending on where you are.

Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World


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