St. Gregorios of Parumala (1848-1902), is our Patron Saint. In the early ages, the church found Geevarghese a great saint and so he was ordained as a deacon at the age of 10 and a priest at the age of 18. He was consecrated as a Metropolitan at the age of 29, given the name Geevarghese Mar Gregorios. The faithful referred to him as Kochu Thirumeni (Young Bishop).
His life contributions are what defended and preserved the Indian Orthodox Church. He lived in a period when India was under the oppressive regime of British colonials; the period in which St. Thomas Christians in India were greatly misled by the reformed movements sprung from Western missionaries.
During this period, bishops were denied contact with their flock and priests who raised up against these threats were confined to prison. It is St. Gregorios, who by the grace of God, was able to unite our forefathers, in defense of the apostolic tradition that has been passed down. Despite his enormous responsibilities of managing a diocese, St. Gregorios found time to spend at the seminary and inspired young students, not so much by words, by with actions.
His rigorous prayer life, complete with the strict appearance to all fasts and forms of prayers, steered young clergymen to go above and beyond for their beloved faith. Among his disciples are St. Geevarghese Mar Dionysius of Vattasserril and His Holiness Moran Mor Baselios Geevarghese II.
St. Gregorios took the Orthodox traditions and simultaneously challenged the destructive customs brought about the caste system in India. During a small pox epidemic, he did not hesitate to care for those who were ill: Christian, non-Christian, high caste, or low caste. His love for humanity taught our church how to go beyond borders. It is because of this Saintly energy that he was able to accomplish so much before his departure from this world at the age of 54.
November 2, we commemorate the feast day of this first Indian Saint of our church. The youth group of the Indian Orthodox Church is named Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement (MGOCSM) in his honor, and he will forever be remembered as Parumala Thirumeni.