Our Patron

Our patron saint H.G. Pulikkottil Joseph Dionysius I ,was born on 15th January 1742 as Ittoop, the eldest son of very traditional Christian Orthodox parents by name Mekkattukulangara Pulikkottil Paulose and Cherichi Paulose at kunnamkulam. A child prodigy with strange preference, Ittoop showed early signs of great destiny.

Though little is known about his formal education, he was profoundly interested in art, architecture, fine arts and medicine. At the age of nine, his parents placed him under the tutelage of the clergy in Pazhanji Church where he was trained and taught for about nine years and got ordained as a priest.

It was when he moved to Arthat church that he becomes the cynosure of all eyes. Rev.Dr.Buchanan vouches to this when he goes on record about one brave “Ittoop Kathanar” of kunnamkulam who stood his ground against the invasion of Tippu Sultan. When Kunnamkulam and its suburbs were rampaged, looted and torched and Christians especially had to flee fearing persecution, our patron’s only weapon of defence was relentless prayer. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”, wrote Tennyson, the victorian poet. This was more than true in our patrons case. Even as Tippu decided to kill him because he refused to give up his faith, the British Army attacked Mysore and Tippu had to make a frantic retreat.

While serving as a Ramban, an inner call to found a Seminary at Kottayam sent him in great zeal to the eighth Mar Thoma with the proposal. Having earned the approval of His Holiness, Ittoop Ramban went straight to H.G. Kidangan Mar Philexinos who was very intimate with Col. Munro, the then Diwan of Travancore. Our Patron’s efforts bore fruit when an ideal piece of land on the banks of the Meenachil River was given absolutely free for the purpose.

In 1815 the seminary started functioning and is believed to be the first English School in Kerala. On 22nd March 1815, he was consecrated as Joseph Mar Dionysius - I at St. Mary’s Church, Pazhanji. The next year a royal declaration exhorted all Syrian X’ians of Travancore and Cochin to accept him as the Metropolitan of Malankara.

Pulikkottil Thirumeni is, today, known for his unswerving piety towards God and dedication to humanity. His saintly life and works are, indeed trail-blazing chapters in the history of the Malankara Church. On 25th November 1815 at the age of 76, this saintly mortal left for his heavenly abode.

May this institution draw inspiration from Our Saintly Patron, the late lamented H.G. Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius I and stand testimony to the time-tested values he held so dear during his earthly sojourn.

Updated on: 14 Dec 2009

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