Sub-Deaconship on 5 Feb, 1899 (Age of 14)
Thirumeni was made the Sub-Deacon and given title of the “Korooyo” (sub-deacon) at the Pamapady Church on 5 Feb, 1899 at the age of fourteen by Poulose Mar Athanasios, who was in charge of the Kottayam diocese. Along with Thirumeni at that time itself, Rev Father O.C. Kuriakose of Kandathil and Alexanthrayose Kor Episcope of Kadavumbhagam was given the Sub -deaconship. Later he was elevated to the order of ‘SHAMSHONO’ (Full-Deacon)
Pampady Thirumeni as a Deacon
Life as a Deacon:
Immediately after he was made the Deacon, Thirumeni proceeded to the Old Seminary for his theological studies. The main Malpan (Teacher) at that time was Vattasheril Geevarghese Malpan. Scaria Malpan of Ilavanamannil, Alexanthrayose Malpan of Mattaykal and P. P Joseph Kathanar (Fr Joseph) of Chakkarakadavil were the other main teachers of Thirumeni. Every Monday morning Thirumeni would walk to Kottayam along with other Pastoral students and would return back on Friday. It was routine for Thirumeni to invite his friends home on Fridays. He enjoyed treating them with tasty food. This hospitality of Thirumeni is well known far and wide and continued till his last days. Slowly the young Deacon became well versed in Syriac Language, Biblical Knowledge and mastered theological treaties and sacraments. He was a very good student who always respected his teachers and other scholars. His simple life style, discipline, humility and hard work made him a favourite among his teachers.
Vattasseril Geevarghese Mar Dionysius (Main teacher of Pamapady Thirumeni)
The First Miracle:
The young deacon used to stay in Pampady when the seminary closed for vacation. He usually stayed in the Church and always took care to follow the Church Rituals. He used to regularly pray and fast. One year the villagers faced severe famine. All ponds and rivers dried up. All ran here and there in search of water. All crops were destroyed. During this time, on a Sunday after the Holy Mass, the young deacon declared that everyone should pray intensely for three days. Many of the devotees fasted and prayed for rain. But, some unbelievers took this as an opportunity to mock the young deacon. On the third day of the prayer, while congee (kanji / rice porridge) was being served to the poor people on the Northern side of the Church at the Chethimattom Field, the sky darkened and heavy down pour started!!! People had to move to the nearby homes to have their food. The deluge was so heavy that the vessels, like the ‘Chempu’ (cauldron), in which the congee was made had to be tied to the nearby coconut trees so that they were not swept away in the torrent.
Intense prayer of Thirumeni brought forth Heavy Rain
Stay in Parumala Church:
The young deacon stayed in Parumala seminary as per the instructions of his Holy Malpan, Vattasseril Geevarghese Mar Dionysius. He used to accompany the Malpan to various places. Some time after which Thirumeni got the deaconship, his father Chacko passed away. His father used to constantly worry about the young deacon due to lack of money. Thirumeni himself has told in many occasions that it was very difficult for him to buy even a pair of dress to be used in the Holy Mass. Thirumeni made it a routine to give clothes to the poor on the day of his father’s demise every year (29th of ‘Kanni Masam’).
Ordination as Priest and Ramban:
Vattasseril Malpan was impressed by the young deacon’s prayerful and disciplined life. He felt that the young deacon was apt to be ordained as the ‘Metropolitan’. But before that he needed to be ordained as the ‘Ramban’. Thus on 8th July, 1906 the young deacon was ordained as the Kassisso (Full-Priest) by H.G Murimattathu Poulose Mar Ivanios (the first Catholicose of Malankara). The next day the Catholicose ordained him as the Ramban. Thus Pampady Thirumeni was consecrated as the ‘Ramban’ (Rabban in Syriac) on 9th July, 1906 by the Catholicose H.G.Poulose Mar Ivanios at the Pampady Church. The next day ‘Ramban’ solemnised his first Holy Mass.
H.G Murimattathu Poulose Mar Ivanios
(The first Catholicose of Malankara, who ordained Pampady Thirumeni as ‘Kassisso’ and ‘Ramban’)