|St. Koorilos Paulose|
St. Koorilos Paulos, the beloved disciple of the pious and saintly Yuyakkim Mor Koorilos, was born as the third son of Mulanthuruthy Kochuparambil Kurien on 4th December (20th Vrichikam) 1850. His father belonged to Thozhuppadan family of Kandanad and mother was the daughter of Mulanthuruthy Thoppil Scaria Kassisso.
Paulos was ordained deacon at the age of nine by the Reesh-Episcopo to Malankara Mor Koorilos Yuyakkim. It is said that the saintly Bava during the ordination of Paulose had a vision that this deacon will once lead the people of Malankara. The young deacon, after completing his primary education, went for his religious studies under the Malpan Pallithitta Geevarghese Kassisso and Malpan Koonappillil Geevarghese Kassisso.
Deacon Paulos was ordained Kassisso (Priest) at the age of sixteen. On 25 Dhanu 1042 (M.E.) he offered his first Holy Qurbono at the Kandanad Marth Mariam church which was his father's parish. Even though Fr. Paulos was very young in age; he was well advanced in spiritual knowledge and faith. This prompted the Mulanthuruthy church to invite the young priest to their church and thus Fr. Paulose became the vicar of that church.
Fr. Paulos who got spiritual inspiration from Fr. Geevarghese of Chathuruthil (Saint Gregorios of Parumala), became an ascetic and idealist. On 5th September 1876, the visiting Patriarch of Antioch Mor Ignatius Pathros IV ordained Fr. Paulos as Ramban, along with Shemvun Corepiscopo (Mor Shemvun Dionysius) and Chalapurath Yakub Corepsicopo. The young Ramban started the monastic life at Vettikkal Dayro (Monastery), where the saintly Kattumangattu Bavas once lived and which was one of the 'Kurishu pally' (chapel) of the Mulanthuruthy MarThoman church. It was only a month before, on 22nd August 1876, the Mulunthuruthy MarThoman church surrendered this Kurisupally and its premises to the Malankara Church as per the request of Chathuruthy St. Gregorios Bava (Parumala) and the visiting supreme head of the Church the Patriarch of Antioch through a circular, allowed it to function as a Monastery. In 1877 the foundation stone of the Vettickal Dayro - the first monastery of the Malankara Church - was laid.
Ramban Paulos who was very keen in the development of the monastery, visited many churches and collected money from the public for the purpose. With this amount he constructed the two storied building in the Dayro complex and also started a school there. He later took the initiative to start several other schools in the villages such as Pothrukka, Vadavukode, Oorakkad etc. which helped for the educational uplift of its members there. The then Malankara Metropolitan Mor Dionysius V (Pulikottil II) was very pleased with Ramban Paulos and made him manager of the Syrian (Old) Seminary at Kottayam. When Chathuruthil Mor Gregorios (Parumala Thirumeni) went to visit the Holy land, Rabban Paulos also accompanied the saintly father.
In 1901, Ramban Paulos was send to Thiruvanathapuram to construct a church for the Syrian Christians settled there. His untiring efforts and able leadership helped to complete the church construction within a year. The church which was the first religious centre of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Christians of Thiruvanathapuram was dedicated in the name of St. George. (This church later came under the possession of Malankara Orthodox Church and now it functions as their Cathedral). After its successful completion, the Ramban returned to Old Seminary and took charge as its Manager once again.
Acknowledging the dedicated services of Ramban Paulos, the Malankara Synod held on the 30th day of demise of St. Gregorios (in December 1902), decided to elevate him as Metropolitan. Vattasseril Geevarghese Malpan was the other Metropolitan candidate chosen by the Synod.
On 31st May 1908, the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East H.H. Ignatius Abded 'Aloho (Abdulla II) consecrated Ramban Paulos as Metropolitan by name "MOR KOORILOS" at the Dayro of Markose (St. Mark's Syrian Orthodox Monastery) in Jerusalem. Vattasseril Geevarghese Malpan was also ordained Metropolitan together with Mor Koorilos by the Patriarch then. On their return the newly ordained Metropolitans, Mor Koorilos and Mor Dionysius, along with Mor Osthatheos Sleeba (who was ordained Metropolitan a few months before) were given a grand welcome in Malankara.
After becoming a Metropolitan, Mor Koorilos started gospel work, assisted by Fr. Michael of Kayamkulam and brought many to Christianity. (Fr. Michael later became a Metropolitan by name Michael Mor Dionysius and lead the Malankara Church in its troubled period). Mor Koorilos, commonly known as `Kochuparambil Thirumeni', started many monasteries and orphanages all over Malankara and bought 300 acres of land near Pothanikkad for the Church.
It was during this time a major rift started in Malankara following the autocratic style of functioning of Vattasseril Mor Dionysius the Malankara Metropolitan and his inobservance of church laws, which finally resulted in his excommunication. Following the expulsion, the Episcopal Synod and the Syrian Christian Association was convened at Aluva in August 1911 under the leadership of the visiting supreme head of the Church H.H. Ignatius Abded'Aloho to elect a new leader. This historic Association choose the saintly Kochuparambil Mor Koorilos Thirumeni as the Malankara Metropolitan on 30th August 1911. This was in a way an acknowledgment for the glorious works of Mor Koorilos.
Mor Koorilos, who always aimed and worked for the development of Malankara Church and for its spiritual children, had never retained anything for his own. The relentless work and politically charged atmosphere that prevailed in the Church at that time, made Mor Koorilos weak and sick. The on-going disputes destroyed the peaceful atmosphere in the Old Seminary where he was staying. This prompted Mor Koorilos to move to the nearby Panampady Church. However, the health of Mor Koorilos deteriorated further and on 1st dhanu 1093 (December 14th, 1917) the saintly father was called to the eternal rest and was entombed at Panampady St. Mary's Church near Kottayam.