Sunday 13 November 2011


(An updated and revised version of this article has been uploaded in NSC Network-

Christianity in India

Thomas Christians of India are one of the most ancient Christian communities in the World. Apostle Thomas founded the Church in India in the first century itself. Tradition says that Apostle Thomas landed at Kodungalloor in AD 52 and founded 7 and half communities in the Malabar coast. Even though there is no solid historical evidence of this, considering the available historical, archaeological evidences and logical thought, many researchers and historians have concluded that the visit of Apostle Thomas is possible. There are solid grounds for believing that there was a Christian community that existed in Kerala in the very early period.

The arrival of Apostle Thomas in North West India is now accepted as historical, especially after the discovery of coins with the name of the Parthian King Gondophoros in the region, which validate the story in the apocryphal Acts of Judas Thomas.(1) After a critical study about the apocryphal work 'Acts of Judas Thomas' J N Farquhar, who was a Professor of Comparative Religion in Manchester University argues that the legend of Thomas Apostle coming to Musiris where a large number of Jews, Greeks Romans and others lived and preached the Gospel and founded Christian communities among them, or in simple words, the Apostolate of Thomas in South India is on balance of probability, is distinctly on the side of historicity. (2)

The widespread presence of Pahlavi inscribed granite crosses in south India are the most ancient antiquities available about the history of Thomas Christians in the region. They denote the presence of a Christianity related to Persia. Eminent Pahlavi scholar B T Anklesaria has commented that the most ancient of these crosses, the one found at Alengadu could be of AD 340 or earlier but later than AD 302, (depending on the style of the letters and use of adjuncts, comparing to the styles seen in the ancient coins excavated, manuscripts and inscriptions). As the Pahlavi language died out by AD 650, many of the scholars put the age of these crosses as AD 650. (3)

East Syrian Connection

Thomas Christians have always been under the jurisdiction of more advanced Christianity in Mesopotamia and Persia. There are hints from ancient literature that Apostle Thomas had sent letters to the Church in Edessa from India. Cureton in 'Ancient syriac documents' comments about Apostle Thomas' letters received in the Church of Edessa. J N Farquhar, after critically analysing the possibilities, states that as there was a Bishop in Edessa from the time of Mar Addai, and there were no Bishops In India, the Christians would have corresponded with them and recognised the supremacy of Edessa. (4)

There is plenty of documentary evidence to show the connection of the Church in India to the Church of the East. Alphonse Mingana, after studying numerous ancient documents and manuscripts, commented that "any attempt to speak of early Christianity in India as different from the East Syrian church, is, in our judgement, bound to fail". (5)

Evolution of East Syriac Church.

Syriac was the language of our Lord Isho M'shiha and his disciples. It was in the same language that the angels spoke to Marth Mariam( Saint Mary), Mar Yawsep ( Saint Joseph), and Zacharias, the father of Yohannan Mamdana( John the Baptist). It was also the same language that broke out from heaven when our Lord Isho M'shiha was baptised in the river Jordan. Thus, Syriac was the language of heaven in which the mysteries of the salvation of human kind was revealed.

The early Christians were Syriac speaking. But later, Christianity developed in Jerusalem and Antioch in a Hellenised culture and hence Greek became the official language. ( 6) Syriac Christianity evolved around Edessa and adjacent parts of Mesopotamia. The syriac school at Edessa and Saint Ephraim of Edessa nurtured the early Syriac Church. All the ancient Syriac churches were founded by either Thomas the Apostle or his disciples. The Assyrian Church in Mesopotamia was one of the very first Churches founded in Apostolic times. Acts of Apostles mentions about the presence of Assyrians on the day of Pentecost . (Acts 2,9) Very ancient Syriac writings such as 'The Doctrine of Addai', 'The Chronicles of Arbela' and 'The teachings of the Tweleve Apostles' mention that Saint Thomas sent Thaddeus and Mari to preach Abgar Ukkama the Black, the King of Assyrians at Osrhoene (Edessa).(7) Eusebius, the father of Church history also witnesses in AD 325 that he personally searched the state archives of the Assyrians in the capital city of Edessa and found official records of this Apostolic visit .(8) Apostle Thomas is believed to have gone to Parthia and India to evangelise.

The Church of India and The Church of Persia claim to be founded by the Apostle Thomas himself. South Indian tradition supported by a large number of ancient writings talk about the Apostles visit to South India. The Church of Fars also claim that their church was founded by Apostle Thomas. (9) Thus, the Churches of Edessa, Seleusia-Ctesiphon of Babylon, Persia and India constitute the Thomasine Churches and these Syriac churches consolidated under the banner of the Church of the East due to their linguistic and cultural relationship. They were interlinked from the early period itself.

But the East Syriac Church, the communion of early Syriac churches which happened to be under the Persian empire did not want to be under a Patriarch of the Roman Empire. This had political influence due to the feud between Persian and Roman empires. Initially, the Church of the East- the Syriac church was supported by the Patriarchate of Antioch even in the midst of political strifes. But, for survival, the leaders of the Church of the East adopted a nationalistic strategy and declared independence from the Patriarch of Antioch and declared their Catholicose as the Patriarch of the Church.

Evolution of Hierarchy in India

Initial period

Apostle Thomas might have consecrated Priests and Bishops for Thomas Christians. Tradition names two Bishops Kepa and Paul whom the Apostle consecrated. But no solid evidence available. (10)
Was there a local congregation and priestly ministry in the early period ?
Photius in his 'Bibliotheca' quotes Arian Philostrogius about Theophilus, the Indian in AD 354, 'Thence he sailed to other parts of India , and reformed many things which were not rightly done among them; for they heard the reading of the Gospel in a sitting posture.....' (11) This quote confirms about presence of a faithful congregation, regular celebration of liturgy where Gospels were read and thus, presence of at least a Priestly ministry. We have to assume that the congregation was indigenous on the account of the peculiar practices found among them such as receiving the Gospel reading in sitting posture. Mingana says 'There is hardly any reasonable doubt , therefore that the Christian community in India in about AD 354 was an indigenous community, not much in touch with the practices prevalent in Graeco Roman Churches , and was somewhat similar to the East Syrian Church before the time of the Catholicose Papa'.(12)

Cosmas Indicopleustes who travelled during the period AD 520-525 vouches that there were Christian congregations in Taprobane(Ceylon) in the Indian sea and also in the land called Male( Malabar) where pepper grows. He also found Bishops in Kalliana( Kalyan) and Dioscoris(Socotora) who were appointed from Persia. (13) The author of Periplus of the Erythrean sea also confirms about the pepper trade from Musiris,(Kodungalloor) Cottonora( Kuttanadu) and Barake (Purakkadu port).(14). So there should not be any question about the identity of Male in the writings of Cosmas Indicapleustes. Cosmas Indicapleustes also clarifies that there were Christian Churches among the Indians besides Bactrians, Huns, Persians, Greeks and so on confirming that the Christian community was native Indians. ( '....and also among the Bactrians and Huns and Persians, and the rest of the Indians, and among the Persarmenians and Greeks and Elamites, and throughout the whole land of Persia, there is an infinite number of churches with Bishops and a vast multitude of Christian people , and they have many martyrs and recluses leading a monastic life. Note the usage 'and the rest of the Indians'. In contrast, Cosmas Indicapleustes clearly states that the native people in Ceylone were different from the Christians. (15)

Dependence on the Church of Fars for Episcopal Ministry

Chronicles of Seert narrates that Mana, the Bishop of Rewardushir ( Fars- South Persia) wrote religious discourses, canticles and hymns in Pahlavi language and translated the works of Diodore and Theodore of Mopseustia into Syriac and sent them to India and the islands of the sea. (16) This shows the ecclesiastical connection of the Indian Church with that of Fars. The recent excavation of Pahlavi Psalter from Turfan in China which is now kept in the museum of Berlin validates this information from Chronicles of Seert. (17)

Metropolitan of India

Patriarch Isho Yahb III (650-660) in a letter, accused the Metropolitan of Fars( South Persia) that he denied Episcopal consecration to Indian church for simony. ' Remember with these, O our God loving brother, that as you closed the door of the Episcopal ordination in the face of the many peoples of India and you impeded the gift of God for sake of perishable gains....'(18)

This letter confirms that there existed in India a regular hierarchy attached to the Church of Fars. This dispute might have been caused by the Metropolitan of Fars asking money for Bishopric consecration. It may imply that, until that time, the prelates were Indian natives and the Indian church community had to pay a lump sum of money to the Metropolitan of Fars to get consecration. Somehow, the Catholicose Patriarch at Selucia-Ctesiphone was informed of this situation that necessitated him to intervene.

Ibn Al Tayib mentions that Patriarch Isho Yahb II (628-643) raised the Indian Church to a Metropolitan Church with some six to twelve suffragans under him, as the number of Christians increased significantly in the region. This would separate the Indian Church from the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan of Fars, but directly under the Patriarch, as a Metropolitan cannot be under another Metropolitan. The Metropolitan of Fars did not like this idea to detach the Indian Church from his jurisdiction and this could be the reason for the dispute challenging the authority of the Patriarch Isho Yahb III . ( 19) It seems that the decision could not have been implemented due to the resistance from the Metropolitan of Fars.
To rectify this situation, Patriarch Isho Yahb III or the next Patriarch Sliba Zacha raised Indian Church into a Metropolitanate, independent of the Church of Fars and directly put under the Patriarch.(20)
Patriarch Thimothy I(780-823) in his letter give us a hint that the Metropolitan was selected locally by the people in the presence of suffragan Bishops and was enthroned by placing the letter of the Patriarch on his head.(21) This confirms that Metropolitans were elected and enthroned locally. There is a possibility that they were native Indians.

Independent Metropolitanate- A Particular Church

Synodical canons of Abdisho narrates that the Metropolitans of India, China and Samarkand and other remote lands were exempted from attending the general synods of the East Syrian Church. (22) Patriarch Theodosius (852-859) stipulated that the Metropolitans of India and China need report to the Patriarch only once in six years rather than every year for the other Metropolitans.(23) These show that the Patriarchate of Seleusia-Ctesiphon seems to have considered the Indian Church as a Particular Church with a certain autonomy.

Metropolitan and Gate of all India ( Metropolitan u-Thara d- kollah Hendo)-The Throne of Saint Thomas

The Metropolitan of the Church of Saint Thomas was called Metropolitan and The Gate of All India- Metropolita u thara d kolla Hendo. The term 'Gate' means Great authority.(24) The Syriac manuscript written in A D 1301 in Cranganore- the Vatican Syriac Codex 22- use the title 'The Metropolitan of India'.
'This holy book was written in the Royal, renowned, and famous city of Shingala in Malabar, in the country of India, in the church of the illustrious martyr Mar Cyriacus- May all the faithful be helped by his prayers ! Amen. .....And in the time of the Bishop Mar Jacob, Metropolitan and director of the Holy see of the Apostle Saint Thomas , that is to say, our director and the director of all the holy church of Christian India.....' (25)

Here, the usages- 'the director of all the holy church of Christian India'- and 'Metropolitan and director of the Holy see of the Apostle Saint Thomas' are important, as they denote the concept of the Throne of Saint Thomas and a Quasi Patriarchal status.

Fr Campori S J wrote in AD 1607- 'according to the information gathered from several Chaldean books and from well known facts, the Bishop of the Serra ( Malabar) was always an Archbishop and is the oldest in the whole of India. Its Archbishops and Prelates were always called Archbishop Metropolitan of All India and of its confines.' (26)

The last Chaldean Bishop, Mar Abraham who was resident in Angamali used the title 'All India' in his letters to the Patriarch. (27) Bishop Francis Ros, the very first Latin Rite Bishop of Saint Thomas Christians and Bishop Palliveettil Chandy, the first native Bishop of Catholic Syrians are also reported to have used the title 'Metropolitan of All India'.

Metropolitan of Angamali, the 'Rambba d Kolhon Apeskope u Metropolite'- Superior of all the Bishops and Metropolitans.

When the second Chaldean Patriarch Mar Abdisho appointed Mar Abraham as the Metropolitan of Angamali, he conferred the title 'Rambba d Kolhon Apeskope u Metropolite'- Superior of all the Bishops and Metropolitans. (28). Mar Abdisho in his decree nominating Archdeacon George of Christ as the Bishop of Palayur and Suffragan to Mar Abraham, seems to have authorised Mar Abraham to assemble all the Metropolitans and Bishops and also to elect and consecrate Bishops. (29) By this, the Metropolitan of Angamali was given autonomy and authority over other Prelates. Until then, the Metropolitans did not have an assigned seat. This may be a Roman Catholic influence, as this is the first Bishop appointed by the Catholic Chaldean Patriarch, immediately after its formation. So, now, the seat of Metropolitan and Gate of All India has been fixed at Angamali.

Patriarch of India- the testimony of Joseph, the Indian

Joseph the Indian, the famous Indian Cathanaar who visited Europe and the Pope in AD 1501 with Cabral, talks about the Patriarch of India. Joseph was interviewed by the House of Lords of Venice where he explained the hierarchical structure of the Church of Malabar. 'They have a Supreme Pontiff called Catholica, twelve Cardinals, two Patriarchs, Bishops and Arch bishop's. Joseph also mentioned that he was ordained as a Priest by this Catholica. Joseph clearly confirms that this Catholica appoints Patriarchs, one for India and one for China.
We can see from History that Joseph was ordained by Catholicos Simon, the Patriarch of the East, in AD 1490.The famous Syriac letter of the three Bishops Mar Yohannan, Mar Yakkob and Mar Denha in AD 1504 to the Patriarch of Babylon testifies this fact. (31)

Here, Joseph is clearly stating the hierarchical relations and structure of the Saint Thomas Christians. Their Supreme Pontiff is the Catholicose at Babylon. Under him twelve cardinals. It is unclear, if this position is called Cardinal exactly, as Cardinal is a title in the Roman Church. We can assume that there was a twelve member council immediately under the Catholicos. This reminds us about the 12 canonists under Paremmakkal Thomman Cathanaar, the Governor of the Catholic Syrians. (32)
In the history, we can see Mar Ahathalla comes with a claim that he was a Patriarch for Thomas Christians appointed by the Pope in AD 1653.(33) Kallada Mooppan- Mar Andrews also arrived in AD 1676 with a claim that he was a Patriarch.(34) These two persons were accepted by the community which confirms that such a title was in use in India. G Schurhammer also comments that the head of the Indian Church was sometimes referred to as Patriarch in a wider sense. ( 35)

Lost dignity.

When the Portuguese arrived in Malabar, they found a flourishing Christian community there, lead by Bishops from Babylon. The initial period was friendly but later, they began to find mistakes in the faith of the Thomas Christians and accused heresy . They forced the Thomas Christians to conform with Roman rite. The Thomas Christians resisted against this religio cultural invasion. Even when they yielded with the spiritual authority, they vehemently resisted for any change in their rite. The Portuguese missionaries, as a last resort, convened a diocesan synod at Udayampeeroor( Diamper) in which, they forced the Archdeacon and the Cathanaars to obey to the decisions of the synod which was meant to Latinise the Church of Saint Thomas. Synod of Diamper was definitely a forceful and illegal invasion of Portuguese Missionaries into the affairs of Saint Thomas Christians. The Archbishop of Goa had no jurisdiction over Saint Thomas Christians. Without any special mandate from the Roman Pontiff, he forcefully entered the Archdiocese of Angamali and convened the Diocesan Synod of Diamper. The conduct of the synod was invalid and illegitimate. The Christians were intimidated and threatened with serious punishments to make them obey. (36)

After this infamous Synod of Diamper in 1599, the Church of Saint Thomas Christians became subjected to Latin rite Bishops and the historic connection with the Patriarchate of Chaldeans was broken. The Portuguese Missionaries downgraded the ancient Church of Christians of Saint Thomas into a mere suffragan of the Archdiocese of Goa of Latin rite. Later, due to the resistance of Saint Thomas Christians, the Metropolitanate was reinstated and Archdiocese of Kodungalloor was created with Western Prelates.(37) Even though the Thomas Christians were subjected to Latin rite prelates in Latin Rite hierarchy, the community consolidated under the leadership of the Archdeacons as a separate rite with its own liturgy and traditions. The Missionaries began to Latinise their rite of worship and tried to eliminate the authority and status of the Archdeacon and thereby dishonour the status of their ancient Church of Malabar. The community secretly tried to get Prelates from the Patriarchate of Chaldeans and other Eastern Churches. The missionaries used their political power to prevent Thomas Christians from contacting any Oriental Churches and they even arrested and deported Mar Ahatalla, a Bishop of Syriac Rite who arrived in Mailappore in AD 1653.(38)

The Thomas Christians rose up and revolted against the Portuguese in AD 1653 in the historic Coonan Cross Oath and consecrated the Archdeacon Palliveettil Thomas as the Bishop of Thomas Christians. This revolt was nearly complete and that shocked the Missionaries.(39) Rome intervened and Carmelite Missionaries were sent to win the Thomas Christians back. Carmelites could convince the majority of Thomas Christians that the consecration of the Archdeacon Thomas was invalid as the consecration was conducted not by any Bishops, but by twelve priests only. Rome appointed Carmelite Missionary, Joseph Maria Sebastiani as the Bishop for Saint Thomas Christians. Many leaders of the community rejoined the missionaries. Due to political reasons, Portuguese Missionaries had to leave the country and they consecrated Palliveettil Chandy Cathanaar as the Bishop for the Catholic Thomas Christians in 1663.(40) Thus, the majority of Thomas Christians consolidated under the native Bishop Palliveettil Chandy, keeping their Syro Chaldean rite of worship.

Evolution of Syro Malabar Church

This community of the Catholics of Syro Chaldean rite became the Syro Malabar Church. After Bishop Palliveettil Chandy, the Catholic Syrians had to continue under Latin Bishops until 1896. But, they continued their struggle for independence, autonomy and to protect their Syro Chaldean Rite. As a result, the Syro Malabar Hierarchy was established in AD 1887 with the erection of Kottayam and Trichur vicariates for the Catholic Thomas Christians, separating them from the Latin rite Catholics. (41) In 1896, native Prelates were appointed in Kottayam and Trichur vicariates and also in the newly created Ernakulam vicariate.(42) In 1923, Ernakulam vicariate was elevated as an Archdiocese and the Church became a Metropolitan Church. (43) In 1992, Syro Malabar Church was elevated to a Major Archiepiscopal Church with Padiyara Mar Anthonius I as the first Major Arch Bishop. (44) Initially, the Major Arch Bishop of Syro Malabar Church was not given the full powers as specified in the Oriental canon Law due to the differences existing in the church.

The first and second Major Archbishops were nominated by the Supreme Pontiff, the Pope of Rome. During the time of the second Major Arch Bishop Vithayathil Mar Giwargis I, the Holy Synod of Syro Malabar Church was given full powers including election of the Father and Head of the Church.
In 2011, after the sad demise of Vithayathil Mar Giwargis I Bava, the Holy Synod of Syro Malabar Church canonically elected a new Father and Head of the Church and Alencheril Mar Giwargis II Bava was enthroned as the new Major Archbishop. This is the first time, the Syro Malabar Church was executing the powers to elect its Father and head of the Church, thereby recapturing the lost status of 'Metropolitan and the Gate of All India'.
In this evolution of Syro Malabar Church, one cannot forget the efforts and sufferings of our forefathers. To name some of them, Paremmakkal Thomman Cathanaar, Cariattil Mar Yawsep Metropolita, Nidheerickal Mani Cathanaar and Rev Dr Placid Podipara. The Thomas Christians fiercely fought against the foreign missionaries to preserve our rite and liturgy. During the evolution of Syro Malabar church in a strongly latinised environment, it was Rev Dr Placid Podipara who guided us and our leaders in the right path to preserve our Apostolic Christianity. As a Consulter of the Holy See, he argued for the legitimate rights of Syro Malabar Church as a Particular Church and the right for expansion of its territory of jurisdiction and for correction of its mutilated liturgy. The Syro Malabar church would have evolved into a mere offshoot of the Latin rite in Kerala without the efforts of Rev Dr Placid. . Without having the awareness of our identity, the Church would have gone to a path of merging with the Latin rite terminating the existence of the Catholic Thomas Christian rite of Malabar. ( 45)

Recapturing the lost status

Today, the Syro Malabar Church has evolved fully into a Particular Church in the Universal Catholic communion with autonomy. She has grown globally. Syro Malabar faithful have migrated to several Indian cities and overseas. Countries in the Middle East, Far East like Singapore, Australia, several European countries and the Americas have significant presence of Syro Malabar faithful. The Syro Malabar Church has several eparchies outside Kerala including a few mission eparchies. Syro Malabar faithful have organised themselves in several Indian cities and have their own liturgy and rite and are demanding for eparchies in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and so on. There is very strong presence of Syro Malabar Church in the Persian Gulf countries and we have a very beautiful Church of our own in Doha, Qatar.

A Syro Malabar eparchy was erected in Chicago to serve the Syro Malabarians in North America and Canada. The Syro Malabar Community in the UK has transformed the Catholic Church in the UK with their rich cultural heritage. There are demands for Syro Malabar eparchies in Europe.
The Head of the Church should be able to execute his jurisdiction globally. Still, the territory of the Syro Malabar Church is restricted. The Major Archbishop does not have even the historic 'All India' jurisdiction.

As we have already discussed, the Metropolitans of Thomas Christians had a special privilege and a Quasi Patriarchal status under the Patriarchs of Babylon. As Rome bifurcated the Catholic Thomas Christians from the Patriarchate of Chaldeans, Syro Malabar Church has all the rights to have its own Patriarch. The present title of 'Major Archbishop' is unknown in Syriac Tradition. Let us pray God for preserving and protecting our Apostolic Christianity by reinstating the ancient status of our Metropolitan as the 'Director and Ruler of the See of Apostle Thomas, by having a Patriarch of Thomas Christians under the Universal Catholic Communion.


1 Pius Malekkandathil, Saint Thomas Christians: A Historical analysis of their origin and development upto 9th century AD, in Saint Thomas Christians, and Nambudiris Jews and Sangam Literature, Ed Bosco Puthur, LRC Kochi 2006, p 2
2. J N Farquhar, Apostle Thomas in South India, Bulletin of John Rylands University Library, Vol xi 1927 p 49
3.B T Anklesaria, The Pahlavi inscription on the crosses in Southern India, in The Journal of K R Cama Oriental Institute, Bombay, vol 39, 1958, p80
4.J N Farquahar, Thomas in South India, Bulletin of John Rylands University Library vol XI 1927 p 37
5.Alphonse Mingana, Early spread of Christianity in India, The Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol 10 p440
6.J Oswald Dykes, From Jerusalem to Antioch, London, 1874, pp 412-415
7. Stephen Andrew Missick, Mar Thoma, the Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church and the Christians of Saint Thomas in India, Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, vol XIV, No 2, 2000, pp35-36 citing Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Eds. The Writings of the Fathers down to AD 325: Ante Nicene Fathers vol 8 Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publications 1994, p657-672.
8. Stephen Andrew Missick, Mar Thoma, the Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church and the Christians of saint Thomas in India, Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, vol XIV No 2, 2000, pp35-36
9. Bar Hebraeus, Chronicles Ecclesiasticum.iii 169-171 cited by A Mingana, Early Spread of Christianirty in India, The Bulletin of John Rylands University Library, p 467
10.Rev. Dr. Placid Podipara, The Hierarchy of Syro Malabar Church, Collected works of Rev Dr Placid J Podipara, vol 1 p 662
11. A Mingana, Early Spread of Christianity in India, The Bulletin of John Rylands University Library vol 10 p 458
12. A Mingana, opus cit.p 459
13. A Mingana, opus cit. pp 461-2
14 Periplus of the Erythrean Sea Part II containing an account of navigation of the ancients from the Gulf of Elana, the red sea to the land of Ceylon, William Vincent DD, 1805
“ In conformity with this system, we find, that throughout the whole which the periplus mentions of India, we have a catalogue of the imports and exports only at the two ports of Barugaza and nelkunda, and there seems to be a fixed distinction between the aerticles appropriate to each. Fine muflins and ordinary cottons are the principal commodities of the first, tortoise shell, pearls, precious stones, silk, and above all pepper seems to have been procurable only at the latter. This pepper is said to be brought to this port from Cottonora, generally supposed to be a province of canara, in the neighbourhood of nelkunda, and famous to this hour for producing the best pepper in the world except that of Sumatra.”
Indian geographical Journal Vol V, VI p236-238 suggests that Barake was on the mouth of river Baris which is the River Pamba and Nelcynda was an inland city on the river. Barake exports pepper from Nelcynda. According to Periplus, Nelcynda was 500 stadia away from Musiris and 120 stadia from Barake. These distances are fairly correct if we take Nelcynda to be Niranom and Barake to be Purakkadu.
15. A Mingana, Early spread of Christianity in India p 462-463 quoting J W Mc Crindle, Chritian Topography of Cosmas, an Egiptian Monk,, Hakluyt Society 1907 pp 118-121
16. A Mingana, Early spread of Christianity in India, p 460
17.Pius Malekkandathil, Saint Thomas Christians; A Historical analysis of their origin and development upto 9th century AD , in Saint Thomas Christians, Nambudiris Jews and Sangam literature, Ed Bosco Puthur, LRC Publications, Cochin, 2006 p42 citing Gerd Gropp, Christian maritime trade of Sassanian age in the Persian gulf, p 85 and E Schau, Vom Christentum in der Persis, pp 960 ff
18. A Mingana, Early spread of Christinity in India p464
19. A Mingana, op cited p496-497
20. Rev Dr Placid Podipara, The Hierarchy of Syro Malabar Church, in Collected works of Rev Dr Placid J Podipara CMI vol I p666 citing J S Assemani, Bibiliotheca Orientals III p346
21.Rev Dr Placid J Podipara, opus cit. p666 citing Corpus christorum christianorum, textus, 167,pp119, 118;versio 168,pp120,121
22. A Mingana, op cit. p488-9
23. T P Elias, East Syrian Missions to Asia with special reference to Malabar coast from Sixth century to Sixteenth century AD and its influence on Indian Religions Society and Culture, Doctoral Thesis of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India, p 292
24. Rev Dr Placid Podipara, The Hierarchy of Syro Malabar Church, in Collected works of Rev Dr. Placid J Podipara CMI vol I p666 citing Paulinus S Bartholomeo, India Orientalis Christiana, Roma, 1794, p 88
25. A Mingana, Early Sperad of Christianity in India,The Bulletin of John Rylands University Library, Vol 10 p 501)
26 Placid Podipara, The Hierarchy of Syro Malabar Church, CH IV, in Collected Works of Rev Dr Placid Podipara, vol I p667 -668 citing Archives Roman of the Society of Jesus., GOA, 65 f 4
27. Rev Dr Placid Podipara, The Rise and decline of the Indian Church of saint Thomas Christians, in Collected works of Rev Dr Placid J Podipara, vol I p795 citing Jesuite Archives, Rome, Goa, 65, f 5
28. Mar Abdisho's letter to the Arch Bishop of Goa on 24/08/1567. The original in syriac is preserved in ARSI Gallia 95-1, f 197.See fascimile in Documenta Indica vol II p 41. Italian translation in A Rabbath, Documents inedits pour servir a l'histoire du Christianisme en Orient II Paris, Leipzig 1910, pp432-434 cited by Jacob Kollamparampil, Sources on the Hierarchical structure of the Saint Thomas Christian church in the pre diamper period, p 171, in 'The life and nature of Saint Thomas Christian church in the pre diamper period', ed B Puthur, LRC Kochi, 2000
29. Mar Abdisho's decree dated 25/08/1567. Portuguese translation in ARSI Goa, 1011, f 463, J Wicki, Documenta Indica VII,pp703-705 cited by Jacob Kollamparampil, , Sources on the Hierarchical structure of the Saint Thomas Christian church in the pre diamper period, p 171, in 'The life and nature of Saint Thomas Christian church in the pre diamper peroiod', ed B Puthur, LRC Kochi, 2000
30. Narrations of Joseph, the Indian, Ch 5 Italian, Latin and Dutch texts, Antony Vallavanthara, India in 1500 AD pp168-9,231.
31. Alphonse Mingana, Early Spread of Christianity in India, The Bulletin of John Rylands University Library, vol 10 p468, H Hosten, The Saint Thomas Christians of Malabar AD 1490-1504, Kerala Society Papers series 5 Ed T K Joseph,pp225-226
32. Antony Vallavanthara, India in 1500 AD, foot note 72, p274
33. Joseph Thekkedathu, The troubled days of Francis Garcia, pp 51-52
34. Thomas Whitehouse, Lingerings of Light in the dark land, being researches into the past history and the present condition of the Syrian Church of Malabar, Thomas Whitehouse, p 199
35. G Schurhammer S J, The Malabar Church and Rome during the early Portuguese period and before,Trichinopoly, 1934, F29 cited by Rev Dr Placid Podipara, A short History of Malabar Church, in Collected works of Rev Dr Placid J Podipara, vol I p265
36. Jonas Thaliath, The Synod of Diamper, pp172-173
37. Joseph Thekkedathu, History of Christianity in India, Vol II p75
38. Joseph Thekkedathu, opus cit pp94-95
39. Joseph Thekkedathu, opus cit pp 91-94
40. Joseph Thekkedathu, opus cit pp96-100
41. Leo XIII Quod jam Pridem, 20 May 1887, cited in Marthomma Christianikalude Sabha Noottandukaliloode, (Mal), Rev. Dr Kurian Mathothu, Rev Fr Sebastain Nadackal, Palai, p111
42. Pope Leo XIII, Quale Rei Sacrae, 11 August 1896, cited in Marthomma Christianikalude Sabha Noottandukaliloode, (Mal), Rev. Dr Kurian Mathothu, Rev Fr Sebastain Nadackal, Palai, p114
43. Pope Pius IX, Romanae Pontifices, cited in Marthomma Christianikalude Sabha Noottandukaliloode, (Mal), Rev. Dr Kurian Mathothu, Rev Fr Sebastain Nadackal, Palai, p115
44. Pope JohnPaul II, Quae majoris christi Fidelium, 16 December 1992, cited in Marthomma Christianikalude Sabha Noottandukaliloode, (Mal), Rev. Dr Kurian Mathothu, Rev Fr Sebastain Nadackal, Palai, p126
45. Willaim Macomber, History of the Chaldean Mass, Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies,vol XI No 2, p 81 reprint of Worship, Vol.51, No.2 (1977) 107-120.