Global: ‘Sahayatra’, of the St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur (November 2018), ‘The Unicorn’, (an occasional publication of Independent Anglican Church of Canada, November 2018) and ‘Christian Community’ (a Voice for Ecumenical Congregations and Christians Around the World, November 2018) magazines have published news on the research book ‘Western Rites of Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches‘. ‘Christian Community’ is the magazine of the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC).
We thank Bishop Sergei Theriault – Primate of the Christian Catholic Church Canada, Rev. Fr. Ed Alexander of the Independent Anglican Church of Canada and the editorial board of the Sahayatra Magazine for the kind courtesy extended.
Goa- India: A copy of the book ‘Western Rites of Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches was presented to the Mr. Alexandre Moniz Barbosa, the editor of Herald Publications. The OCP-MARP delegation visited Mr. Alexandre at his office and gave a brief introduction about the Metropolitan Alvares Julius Research Project (MARP) and on the importance of the historical research on the Independent Catholic Church of Ceylon, Goa, and India.
Mr. Alexandre Barbosa is a leading Goan journalist and the winner of the 2013 biennial ‘Goan Short Story’ competition. He is the author of a number of books including Touched By The Toe (2004), Goa Rewound and Raw Earth (2016). Alexandre has also written several scholarly articles. He is presently the editor of Herald.
Ben Kunjacko – Ben Kunjacko – OCP-MARP- 26-11-2018
Goa- India: On behalf of the OCP-MARP Research Board, Dr. Ajesh T. Philip (Head and Chief Research Officer) expressed his sincere gratitude to Mrs. Maria de Lourdes Bravo da Costa for the help and guidance given in locating an original photo of Saintly Metropolitan Alvares Julius.
The photo was located from an old edition of the Oriente newspaper (preserved at the Goan State Central Library) as a result of the constructive conversation between Mrs. Maria and the OCP-MARP Research Board. The located photo was later published on the OCP-MARP portal.
Mrs. Maria Costa is a retired Asst. State Librarian (Central State Library of Goa), historian, and author. She is presently engaged in her research program (Ph.D.) on the history of ‘Goan cuisine’. She has written and published the book ‘Tasty Goan Morsels: Food, Ingredients & Preparation‘.
Dr. Ajehs T. Philip (Head and Chief Research Officer of OCP- MARP) – 24/11/18
With no doubt, we can say that Mar Alvares Julius (Padre Alvares) was a multi-talented personality. He was the chief organizer of Padrado Defence Association which later became the Independent Catholic Church of Ceylon, Goa, and India. His ecclesiastical role kept him busy. However, these things did not keep Mar Alvares away from involving and working towards the problems of the society and that of the common man.
Goa (during the time of Mar Alvares) was affected by endemic diseases like malaria, typhoid and killer epidemics like typhoid, plague, and cholera. Cholera was one of the major and deadliest epidemics during the time (there were six cholera pandemics (worldwide) that lasted from 1817-1975). India was one of the most affected countries. In 1878 there was a deadly cholera outbreak in Goa that killed a large number of people, especially the poor and the needy.
Active Social Work During the Cholera Outbreak
Mar Alvares rose to the occasion and tirelessly worked in the disease affected areas. The great prelate was least bothered about his life. Padre Alvares took care of those afflicted with the deadly disease in all possible manner. He looked after them at their houses, even took the homeless to his own house and to hospitals for better medical care. He carried many on his own shoulders (upon their death) for burial. He worked among the people and he was with the people during the tough times.
Booklet – Direction for the Treatment of Cholera
In 1883-1885, during the outbreak of Cholera (for the second time), he published a booklet titled ‘Direccoes Para O Tratamento Do Cholera’ in Portuguese. The booklet was translated and published in English by the title ‘ Direction for the Treatment of Cholera; in Goa and it was republished in 1896 in Ceylon (for the use of Ceylonese community). Padre Alvares was able to publish this booklet from the filed experience he gained from treating and taking care of the cholera victims.
In his small booklet, Padre Alvares clearly explains everything (like a professional medical practitioner) related to Cholera and its treatment. He has given a fair description of the disease, its symptoms, and various methods of disease prevention and treatment.
Azevedo, Carmo (1988). Patriot and Saint: The Life Story of Father Alvares/Bishop Mar Julius I. Panjim.
Xavier Alvares, R. (1883). Direction for the Treatment of Cholera. Nova-Goa.
Documents from the Central State Library, Panjim, Goa.
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Panjim-Goa: A copy of the book titled ‘Western Rites of Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches’ (authored by Dr. Ajesh T. Philip and George Alexander. Published and released worldwide by OCP Publications) was presented to Goa State Central Library (Krishnadas Shama Central Library). Mr. Orlando Lopez (OCP Associate) presented a copy of the book to Mrs. Maria Ana Paiva (in-charge of the Rare & Goan History Book section of the Library) in the presence of the library staff. On behalf of Dr. Carlos M. Fernandes (the Curator of the Library), Mrs. Paiva thanked the Research Board of OCP-MARP.
On the Book
This book is a result of the ongoing research efforts on Mar Alvares Julius and his companions since 2009. It is one of the first ever research thesis on Saintly Metropolitan Alvares Mar Julius, Archbishop Rene Vilatte, their associates and the Independent Catholic Church of Ceylon, Goa, and India. The book was released in partnership with the Ecumenical Relations of the Malankara Church in the month of August 2018 at Sofia Center, Old Seminary, Kottayam. The book was released by Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos of the Malankara Orthodox Church and Chorbishop Kurikose Moolyil of the Syriac Orthodox Church in India.
An original photo of Mar Alvares was also located from the library by the OCP-MARP research board, which was earlier published in the MARP portal.
On the Goan State Central Library
It is the oldest library in India which was established on 15th September 1832. Goa State Central Library was renamed as Krishnadas Shama Central Library in 2012. The library boasts several modern facilities and has a large number of books (in several languages) in their collection. It will be interesting to note that the oldest book in the State library is more than five hundred years old. It is home to several old Goan newspapers as well. This establishment is a real treat to book lovers.
The Last Wish of Mar Alvares Julius
According to father late P G Koshy (Vicar-General of Brahmavar), during his last days, Metropolitan Mar Alvares Julius was surrounded by his friends and well-wishers. The Bishop urged them to bury him in a simple place, preferably under an ‘unproductive’ coconut tree. As a result, the tree would bore coconuts and from the money obtained (by selling them) should be used to install a big cross on his tomb. This was the last wish of the great prelate of Goa.
The Grand Funeral of Metropolitan Mar Alvares Julius
Metropolitan Alvares passed away on September 23rd, 1923 at the Ribandar hospital in Panjim. According to usual practice those days, anyone who died at the hospital was buried at the hospital cemetery itself. However, the friends and well-wishers of Metropolitan Alvares did not allow an ‘infamous’ burial for the great prelate. According to Father P. G. Koshy of Brahmavar, friends and well-wishers of Mar Alvares contributed generously to buy the coffin and for the arrangement of the funeral ceremony. The corpse of Mar Alvares was covered with his episcopal attire, and the coffin was fully covered and decorated in a red cloth (pall also known as mort-cloth). The interior of the coffin was remodeled to enable ‘sitting position’. The body of Metropolitan Alvares was taken from the hospital and was moved to the Municipality building, where it was kept inside the large hall for the public to pay their last homage to the great son of Goa. Later the body of the great Prelate was moved from the Municipality hall to the St. Inez cemetery (Municipal Cemetery).
The Military band played funeral music and a large crowd followed the funeral procession. The funeral procession of late prelate passed through several places like Vasco Da Gama road, Conde De Torres Nova road, Alfonso De Albuquerque road, republic avenue (it was for the first time that a funeral procession was allowed to pass through these parts of the city) in Panjim.
Fr. P G. Koshy further states that many were weeping during the ceremony and around 5000 people attended the funeral ceremony. Europeans, Indians, Eurasians, and people from various socio-political and religious sectors of the society took part in the ceremony, which itself proves that Mar Alvares Julius was a well-known person who had profound influence among different sections of the society, especially among the poor and the needy. Funeral orations were delivered by several eminent people.
A Funeral Without Priests
According to Fr. P. G Koshy, the funeral of Metropolitan Alvares was the first of its kind that was held outside the Roman Catholic Church, without the presence of a Priest. It is quite sad to note that not a single priest attended the funeral (of Mar Alvares), which was one of the biggest events in Panjim during the time. Mar Alvares was laid to rest in one of the corners of the cemetery where non-believers and atheists were buried.
May the soul of the legendary Western Rite Orthodox Prelate of Ceylon, Goa, and India rest in eternal peace!!!
Koshy, Fr. (1923). The Late Metropolitan Mar Alvares Julius. Malayala Manorama, p.MOOO1.
Diario da Noite (1923). p.2.
Central Library documents, Panjim, Goa.
Personal archives of Geevarghese Thomas.
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After a long and extended process of ‘document research’, Dr. Ajesh T. Philip (Head and Chief Research Officer @MARP) was able to locate an originally published photo of the Saintly Metropolitan Mar Alvares Julius of Ceylon Goa, and India. Dr. Ajesh was able to acquire the photo of Metropolitan Alvares from the Goa State Central Library located at the Capital city of Panjim. The photo was originally published in the Portuguese Newspaper ‘Oriente’ of September 1929 edition (6 years after the demise of the late lamented Metropolitan).
Metropolitan Alvares was known as ‘Padre Alvares’ in Goa. He was the Primate and Metropolitan-Archbishop of the Independent Catholic Church of the Ceylon, Goa, and India of the Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches. Metropolitan Alvares Julius was the chief consecrator of Archbishop Rene Vilatte Mar Timotheus I (at Our Lady of Good Death of Church, Colombo in 1892).
We take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Maria de Lourdes Bravo da Costa for her support, help, and guidance.
Archives of the Goa State Central Library
Oriente (1929). Padre Alvares. p.4.
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Dr. Ajesh T. Philip – Head & Chief Research Officer @ OCP-MARP – 11/11/2018
During the second half of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, Mar Alvares and several other nationalist leaders raised their voice against the constantly exploited (by the hands of European and Portuguese rulers) and stagnant nature of the Goan economy. Mar Alvares was a mighty writer and orator and he tried everything to enhance unity among the Goan people. He also offered a number of solutions to overcome the Goan economic crisis. Mar Alvares spoke a lot about the importance of optimum and wise utilization of the natural resources.
Agriculture and Metropolitan Mar Alvares Metropolitan Alvares gave high importance to farming and agriculture. Mar Alvares believed that only a strong agriculture can save the economy. He spoke on the importance of introducing high yielding crops in Goa. He urged Goan youth to work hard and motivated them to cultivate cassava (tapioca). Mar Alvares urged them to take up the cultivation of cassava because it yielded six times that of rice, wheat or other crops. This would result in better income for them and it will also encounter any sort of food shortage in Goa. He asked Goans to understand the potential (economic merits) of local coconut and mango cultivation (during the period, Goans were asked to export coconut, coconut oil, mango, tamarind, and many other items).
Lecture on ‘Mango Grafting’ at the M.D. Seminary School
It is interesting to note that in the year 1910, Metropolitan Mar Alvares delivered a detailed evening lecture on ‘Mango Grafting’ (at the M. D. Seminary hall), Kottayam for the students of the M. D. Seminary school. For a better understanding of the process, Mar Alvares made a live demonstration of the ‘mango grafting’ process for the students. The Prelate also advised various methods to fix ‘unproductive’ mango trees.
Apart from a journalist, an educationalist, orator, and a spiritual leader, Mar Julius championed the promotion of the various forms of agriculture (through which he had high hopes of creating a self-reliant and sustainable swadeshi economy).
M. D. Seminary School
Founded by the late lamented Metropolitan Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius II of Malankara, the school was inaugurated on January 30th, 1893 by the then Kottayam Divan Peshkaar Ramah Rayar. The M.D. Seminary school is one of the oldest and most reputed schools in Kerala, managed by the Corporate Management of the Malankara Orthodox Church.
The Goa-Ceylon Religious Connection: A Review of the ‘The Indian Cry’ of Alvares Mar Julius, Archbishop of Ceylon, Goa, and India by Pratima P. Kamat (University of Goa). Western Rites of Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches – Dr. Ajesh T.Philip and George Alexander. Data collected by examining various secondary documents as well from interviews and conversations with historian and researchers.
To Know more we urge you to get a copy of our upcoming book (second part of the Western Rites of Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches).