''BETHANYUDE PANIMALAR''Alexios Mar Thevodhosios Metropolitan was born on August 28, 1888 as M.M.Alexander alias Chandy, in a traditionally priestly family at Niranam.. Mathai and Kunjadamma of Mattackal are the name of his parents.He had his school education at M G M High School, Thiruvalla and M D High School, Kottayam and College education (1912-15) in C.M.S College Kottayam. Alexander was called to the Ministry of God at the age 0f nineteen in 1907, and received ordination as Sub-deacon. Dn.Alexander, following college education, joined Barisol Divinity College in East Bengal 1915 and later in 1918 Serampore college for theological studies. He received his deaconship from Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysios. In that year Dn. Alexander was ordained as a priest by Yuyakim Mar Ivanios at Parumala Seminary and called as Fr.Alexios.
While studying at Serampore college, Fr.Alexios came in to contact with Fr.PT.Geevarghese Panicker Both of them made plan and they together established an Ashram or monastry on the side of Mundamala in Perinad near Ranni in 1918 . The land was donated by E.J.John Elanjikal, niranam and some others . This monastery was named as Bethany. Later Fr.Geevarghese Panickar joined Catholic church Fr.Alexios along with other devout orthodox monks worked patiently , and restlessly to form the present Bethany Ashram Today Bethany has a landed property of more than 250 Acres ,and complex of institutions as monasteries, convents, schools and hospital. at various parts of kerala .
Malankara Association elected Fr.Alexios as Metropolitan candidate and Catholicos Basalios Mar Geevarghese II consecrated him as Metropolitan Alexios Mar Thevodhosios on April 7, 1938 by at Karmel kunnu Dayara, Mulanthuruthy. Diocese of Quilon (Kollam) and the Outside Kerala were assigned to the Metropolitan's charge. In 1957 Mar Alexios formed the Indian Orthodox Mission at Madras.
Mar Theodosios also had taken keen interest in representing the Malankara Church in International Inter-Church forums and projecting its image to western Churches. Till 1953 he was a member of Central Committee of WCC
Mar Theodosius, was an embodiment of goodness and spiritual values, H G followed the life-style of the “Great Sanyasis or sages” of ancient India. During the crisis period of the Church,the able leadership of Mar Theodosius. could save the church from the dissidents. H.G left for his heavenly abode on August 6th 1965 on the ” day of Epiphany “ Mortal remains interred in Bethany Ashram chapel Ranny- Perunad.. We comemorate the anniversary on 6th August.
Alexios Mar Thevodhosios - Foreign visits
Mar Theodosios had taken keen interest in representing the Malankara Church in International Inter-Church forums and projecting its image to western Churches. He was a member of Central Committee of WCC, till 1953
Very Rev. Abo Alexios O.I.C. went to Malaya In 1928 . There were a good number
of Orthodox Syrian Christians in the towns of Kuala Lumpur,Penang, Johore Bahru
and Singapore. Abo Alexios’s stayed there for 18 months, During this period he visited Syrian Christians who lived in Java , Indonesia.
The history of U.K. parishes begins in 1930s. Abo Alexios of the Bethany Ashram (later H. G. Mar Theodosius) was the first Indian orthodox priest ever to visit UK This visit was arranged or made possible by the efforts of Prof. Varkey .A M , Alwaye. He was a member of “ the mission of fellowship to England and Ireland “ through the sponsorship of the National Christian Council of India. With the assistance of people like Dr.William Paton, Cannon John Douglas and others. Pof. Varkey formed an association called “ The Friends of the Syrian Church “ to help his ancient church in Kerala, in theological training , of a higher level. The first candidate chosen was Abo Alexios,and he participated in the Jubilee celebrations of the Community of Resurrection, Mirfield .Abo made connections with several religious communities in UK, during this period..
Abo Alexios(Mar Theodosius) and very Rev.Ramban C M Thomas (Thoma Mar Dynasius) accompanied H.H.The Catholicose,Moran Mar Baselios Mar Geeverghese II, to participate in the second "Faith and Order Conference" of the World Council of Churches in Edinburgh.and also visited London U K in 1937 . In 1948 H G Alexios Mar Theodosius Metropolitan, attended WCC meeting at Amsterdam
Alexios Mar Thevodhosios - Some outside Kerala mission
Metropolitan Alexios Mar Theodosius of Kollam and the " Diocese outside Kerala"visited Delhi to explore the feasibility of building an Orthodox Church in the National capital. in 1944. During the second visit of Mar Theodosius, in 1952 the congregation decided to take steps to construct a church of their own and the Delhi parish is formally launched. Fr. K.C Thomas (Late Metropolitan Dr.Thomas Mar Makarios) was appointed as the first resident Vicar of the parish in Delhi.
All the Churches in outside Kerala had been grouped into a new Diocese in 1938, and, Alexios Mar Theodosios was consecrated in the same year as the Bishop of Kollam and the "Diocese outside Kerala". His Grace visited Delhi in 1944 to consider the means of establishing a Church in Delhi. But building a church in Delhi was not an easy task. The Orthodox community in the city at the time were only about 15 families comprising of nearly 150 persons living away from their home land, Kerala.
Liturgical worship continued regularly. Also in 1944 Metropolitan Thomas Mar Dynasius stayed in Delhi on his way back to kerala, from the Eastern war front . H.G.celebrated the Holy Qurbana at the Redemption Church , Delhi. After the service, His Grace gave an eloquent speech and vividly pictured his experience with the troops on the frontline. He also told about the keen interest taken by Lord Irwin ,former British Viceroy , in bringing up peace between the Orthodox Church of India and the Patriarch of Antioch and also about the viceroy attending the Holy Qurbana In St George's Orthodox Church , Thiruvananthapuram on his visit to kerala.
The Diocesan Metropolitan Alexios Mar Theodosios revisited Delhi in 1952,celebrated the Holy Qurbana in the Chapel attached to the Lady Hardinge Hospital and baptized two infants. A group met with His Grace at the residence of Mr M.M. Thomas (later, advisor to the Union Public Service Commission) and discussed the support needed for a priest in Delhi. This meeting was a turning point in that it decided to go ahead and take steps to construct a Church in the capital.
This important resolve was prompted by several influences. A visit by the missionary Bishop, Pathros Mar Osthathios had prepared the mind of the congregation on the basic need of a Church of their own in Delhi. The 19th centenary of the arrival of St Thomas in India provided the inspiration to formally launch the parish in Delhi in 1952 with that help of Fr T. G Koshy from Bombay. Indeed, this rare celebration, jointly organized by all the Christians, was enriched by the participation of the President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, as well as the Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, both of whom spoke warmly to the St Thomas tradition as a national legacy. In the words of the President, at the St Thomas Day celebration on 18th December 1952: "Those Indians who trace their Christianity to St Thomas have a longer history and a higher ancestry than that of Christians of the European countries. And it is really a matter of pride to us that it so happened'. The spiritual and political encouragement was reinforced by the offer by Mr. C. P Matthen, Member of Parliament, to meet any deficit in the funds required for constructing the Church.
The next step was to choose a priest who would be satisfied with a modest living allowance. The Diocesan metropolitan Mar Theodosios selected Father K. C. Thomas (at present metropolitan Thomas Mar Makarios of the Diocese of America). Fr Thomas lived at the YMCA, sharing a room and cheerfully putting up with considerable inconvenience. He served the Parish for about 11 years.
The Holy Qurbana was being regularly conducted for a time in the St Thomas Church on Reading Road (now Mandir Marg) and thereafter for many years in the Saint James Church at Kashmiri gate by the courtesy of the Cambridge Mission Brotherhood.
In 1957 Mar Alexios formed the Indian Orthodox Mission at Madras.
Outside Kerala Diocese owes a great debt to the late, lamented Alexios Mar
Theodosius of Bethany Ashram Ranni Perunadu. Even though the parishes were not
yet organized, Mar Theodosius was instrumental in starting the outside Kerala
mission through, which he trained a group of educated Priest and appointed them
to important cities in India and outside.
Alexios Mar Theodosius and student movement MGOCSM
the movement was started in 1907 by a group of Students and Senior leaders in Madras under the name 'Syrian Student Conference' and its first Annual meeting was held at Thiruvalla on January 1, 1908.The "Syrian Student Conference" assumed its present name "MGOCSM" with the moto "worship, Study, Service"in the year 1960. MGOCSM is the oldest Christian Organisation in India H G was the president of student movement after H G Puthencavu Geevarghese Mar Philexinos,
Participated in the WCC meetings in Edinburgh in 1937 and in Amsterdam in 1948.