“The passing away of Rt. Rev. Easow Mar Timotheos is a great loss to the people of Kerala and particularly to the Mar Thomite Christian Community. The late Bishop’s piety and dedication to spiritual causes and his work for the upliftment of the poor will be long remembered. In his death the country has lost a true evangelist of a rare caliber.”
- Prime Minister of India - Rajiv Gandhi

“Easow Mar Timotheos- a glowing morning star shined for the people of the land for a short while. At his sudden demise in 1988, the then Prime Minister of India Mr. Rajiv Gandhi testified Thirumeni as the ‘great apostle of India’. That was the influence he extended in the hearts of the people with a small span of time.”
- Rev. P. M. Mathew- Sihora Ashram

“His zeal for mission made him dedicate his life for missionary work. He worked as a member of the Christa Panthi Ashram, Sihora for 21 years, commencing at the age of 20.He had his Theological education at the Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur, and later at St. Augustine College, Canterbury, U.K. His life of prayer and deep spiritual experience are his special characteristics. He was deeply interested in rural development activities. He has been in Japan on two occasions to obtain training in this subject……. Being also in charge of the parishes in the Arabian Gulf area, he raised funds from there for the development of Malabar area…”
–The Mar Thoma Church Heritage and Mission - Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan


When God selected David to be the King of Israel, he was a shepherd boy. But later he became the greatest King of Israel. When God called Rev. V. T. Koshy to become a Bishop of the Mar Thoma Church, he was engaged in poultry farming and agricultural development. Later he became one of the greatest evangelists of the Mar Thoma Church, who helped people to find salvation through Jesus Christ.

Birth of V. T. Koshy:
Thonniyamala is a tiny village about 4 km away from Pathanamthitta town. Thankappan (Thankappan / Koshykunju- were his pet names- and in School records his name was V. T. Koshy – Valiyaparampil Thomas Koshy) was born on 25 Nov, 1932, as the eighth child of Valiyaparampil Scaria Thomas and Achamma. (Achamma was a member of the Thasiyil Pulimoottil family of Karthikappally). Valiyaparampil is a branch of the famous Thazhayil family of Elanthur. They were members of the St. Thomas Mar Thoma Parish (Est. in 1899) in Thonniyamala. During the 1930s, there were only 40 -50 families in that parish. All its members were farmers. There was a Primary School (MTLP School –Est. in 1922) in which regular Sunday School classes were held every Sunday morning before the Church service. Members of the parish were very god fearing and they used to spend a lot of time in family prayer and learning hymns. Many families used a harmonium (a musical instrument common in those days) for their evening family prayers. Thankappan who was brought up in such an atmosphere was good at music. He liked the Hymns of Vidhuwan Kutty Achen (Rev. Justus Joseph- 26 Hymns written by Vidhuwan Kutty Achen are given in our Hymn book Kristheeya Keerththanangal).

Influence of Sunday school Teachers / Prayer Group Leaders:
The Thonniyamala Sunday School was famous for its dedicated teachers. Children above four in the area, irrespective of cast and creed used to attend Sunday school. A very god fearing, dedicated man, Thazhemannil Mathaichen (T. K. Mathai) was the headmaster for many years. Thankappan was regular at Sunday School and took part in all activities of Sunday school, including competitions. Even after becoming a priest, he visited the Thonniyamala Sunday school and taught the children songs.

There was a prayer fellowship in the Thonniyamala Parish. Kuzhiparampil Avarachen Upadeshi was the leader. Every Monday and Thursday, meetings were held at the school. In addition to that, 4 days in a month were set apart for fasting and devotional meetings. From a very young age, Thankappan practiced fasting, through these meetings.

School Education:
After his primary education in the Mar Thoma L.P. School in Thonniyamala, he joined the Catholicate High School in Pathanamthitta, for higher education. He was a bright student and always topped in his class. During his school days he used to conduct prayer meetings for his friends. He used to carry Bible portions along with his text books. He was very active in social service. He and his friends used to help poor people to thatch their huts by collecting coconut leaves (Ola).

In AMM Bible Institute- Tiruvalla:
After passing SSLC, Thankappan joined in the AMM Bible Institute in Tiruvalla for a short course. During that time Thankappan got the divine call to go for Mission work in North India. As per the advice of Rev. P. I. Mathai, (Plavunkal Achen) who was then a teacher in the institute, Thankappan decided to go to the Sihora Ashram for missionary work.

In Sihora, Madhya Pradesh:
On 9 July, 1952, Thankappan reached the Sihora Ashram. The Ashram inmates were amazed at his faith in prayer, his simple life, his complete dependence in God, and his eagerness for the evangelical work. Despite being a young lad of 20, they found a mature person in him. After three years of temporary membership he returned to Thonniyamala to continue his education.

In Catholicate College - Pathanamthitta:
In 1955, Thankappan joined the Catholicate College in Pathanamthitta for intermediate class. He passed intermediate examination with first class. His relatives offered him support to continue his studies. But as the Ashram had sought admission for him for theological training at the Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur, he opted to pursue his theological studies. It was a difficult decision to make, as on one side his relatives had been compelling him to get a secular job and to look after the family and on the other side the call from the Ashram was strong. Later history proved that he made the right decision at the right moment.

Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh:
In 1957, V. T. Koshy joined the Leonard Theological College for his B. D. degree. As he was not a graduate he did a one year Pre-Theology course and then his B. D. Course. George D. Mooken (later consecrated as Mar Aprem of the Chaldean Syrian Church- Trichur) was his class mate. They both were intelligent students and used to bag the best prizes at college. Even during his studies, he was involved in the work of the Ashram. He passed his B. D. degree with high marks and received special honors for his outstanding performance.

Becomes Priest:
After doing his B. D. degree, he returned to the Ashram in 1960. He was ordained as Deacon on 15 October, 1961, at the Ashram Chapel in Sihora and as Priest on 4 March, 1962, at the Jabalpur Mar Thoma Church. Both ordinations were conducted by Rt. Rev. Thomas Mar Athanasius. He became the vicar of many North Indian parishes including Katni Parish. Koshy Achen was a man of deep devotion and led a prayerful life. He was a humble man and never desired positions. He was known as “Koshy Babu” among the villagers in and around Sihora. In order to uplift the poor villagers, he taught them poultry farming, cattle rearing and modern agriculture.


Ashram Life and Training in Japan:
Rev. V. T. Koshy was considerate to his juniors and sisters of the Ashram. He was sent to Japan for special training in Rural Development. After training he fully engaged himself in poultry and agricultural development. He was equally eager and interested in village evangelism and was engaged in pastoral work in the nearby Mar Thoma Congregations. He had a deep desire to start a training institute in Sihora to impart knowledge and to train young men in evangelism and rural development programme. But it was made possible only as his memorial.

Becomes Bishop:
In 1974, Rev. Koshy’s name was proposed for the selection of Bishop. On hearing this he requested the Metropolitan not to put his name for the Bishop post. He considered himself unworthy for such a big calling. The then Metropolitan, Juhanon Mar Thoma asked Rev. V. T. Koshy to stay with him for a few days before making his decision. With the advice and compulsion of his senior ashram friends and others he finally agreed to stand for the Bishop election. It was very difficult for him to say good bye to the Ashram Fellowship. He never asked anybody to vote for him. While the election was going on in Tiruvalla, he spent time in fasting and prayer at the St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church in Kozhencherry.

On 11 January, 1975, he was consecrated as Ramban along with Rev. P. T. Joseph (Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Irenaeus). On 8 February, 1975, he was consecrated as Bishop. In the meeting held immediately after the consecration ceremony, he humbly said that he was only poultry expert and that he compared himself with King David. King David was selected by God to be the king of Israel while he was looking after his father’s sheep. God called Rev. V. T. Koshy while he was looking after poultry farms, to be the Bishop of the Mar Thoma Church.

Rt. Rev. Easow Mar Timotheos -As Bishop:
After the consecration he was posted as the Asst. Bishop of the Niranam Marmon Diocese, to work with Metropolitan Dr. Juhanon Mar Thoma. He was then sent to St. Augustine College, Canterbury, United Kingdom and the Wycliffe College in Canada for higher education. After that he became the Diocese Bishop of the Kunnamkulam- Madras Diocese. His main concern was the upliftment of the downtrodden both financially and spiritually. He was responsible for the establishment of the Chungathara Mar Thoma College and the Deaf and Dump School at Kasargod. After the sad demise of Thomas Mar Athanasuis Suffragaon Metropolitan, he became Bishop of the Adoor - Mavelikkara Diocese and later he was in charge of the Delhi - Bombay diocese.

Thirumeni and Sunday School - Samajam:
Easow Mar Timotheos Thirumeni was the president of the Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam for seven years. To impart Biblical knowledge to the common people of the Parish, he started Adult Sunday School in parishes. To train the Sunday School teachers he introduced ‘Centre Level Teachers Training’ programmes. He was a regular participant of the Mar Thoma Students’ Conference and student camps.

Thirumeni and Yuvajana Sakhyam:
Thirumeni was the president of the Yuvajana Sakhyam from August 1986 to January 1988. Though it was a short period his leadership was eventful. He encouraged many youths to work in North Indian villages as missionaries. His life itself was an example to the youths.

Thirumeni and Sevika Sanghom:
While Thirumeni was the Bishop of the Madras - Kunnamkulam Diocese, he introduced many projects for the welfare of the poor women. He was behind the development of the associations SSWAC (Society for the Service of Women and Children- in Chandhakunnu, Nilambur) and ADWAC (Association for the Development of Women and Children- in Kunnamkulam). It was through his initiation that a women’s hostel was constructed in Chandhakunnu, Nilambur for students and working women.

A Man of Reading:Thirumeni was a man who loved books. He had a thorough knowledge of the Bible and it was his habit to memorize verses whenever possible. After his demise, the Church donated all the books from his personal library to the Sihora Ashram Library in Madhya Pradesh.

Prayer and Fasting:
His life of prayer and deep spiritual experiences were his special characteristics. For him prayer was part of his life. He talked to the Lord as he would speak to his earthly father. He used to spend hours and hours in prayer. On certain days when there was a special need he would pray the whole night without eating any food. Fasting is a Biblical requirement taught by Jesus Christ by both word and example for the purpose of enriching Christian life in this world. To lead a victorious Christian life we need to fast and pray. Timotheos Thirumeni used to fast regularly four times a week - Monday, Wednesday, Friday evenings and Sunday mornings. In addition to these he used to fast for special needs and requirements. During the construction of the Chungathara College, a huge amount was required to pay off the debts. Thirumeni, who was the Chairman of the college, abstained from dinner for forty days and spent time in prayer for help. Help did come from a charitable organization in Germany and all debts were cleared.

Identified himself with villagers and poor people:
Easow Mar Timotheos was the only Mar Thoma Bishop who could fluently speak in Hindi – which is mostly spoken in North India. His 21 years of Ashram life in Sihora, in Madhya Pradesh, gave him a broad view of life in Indian Villages. He felt sorry for them and tried his level best to uplift them by training them in poultry faming and cattle rearing.

A Man of Humility:
He was willing to do any menial job. Here is one incident from the Sihora ashram. “ One of the beauty treatments which the Ashram used to get before the Ashram day was the spraying or rather leaping of the cow dung mix on the ground so that on drying the ground used to have a polished look.!. In those days the ashram did not possess many cows; where as the village neighbours to the ashram brought plenty of cows for grazing; which enabled the ashram staff to collect cow dung necessary for leaping. They used to be well equipped with baskets to collect the cow dung. Our late Easow Mar Timotheos Thirumeni who was a permanent member of the Ashram used to enthusiastically participate in this job” V. T. Mathew (A friend of the Ashram) - Sihora Ashram-Some recollections.

Bishop Timotheos was a simple and humble man. Even after becoming a Bishop, he found joy in sitting with the common people on the floor, while attending prayer meetings. During his visits to the parishes in the Arabian Gulf area, he showed special interest in the welfare of the Mar Thomites living in labour camps. He was never too busy or occupied to neglect a friendly visit to them.

Bishop of Madras Kunnamkulam Diocese (1977-1984):
While he was the Bishop of the Madras-Kunnamkulam diocese he was concerned about the development of the downtrodden, both financially and spiritually. He collected funds from the Arabian Gulf Parishes for the development of Malabar. He was behind the establishment of the Chungathara College and the Deaf School in Kasargod.

Bishop of Adoor Mavelikkara Diocese (1985-1987):
While he was in Adoor his priorities changed. He gave importance to the spiritual upliftment of people. Where ever he preached, the main message was on the fullness of the Holy Spirit. He became a strong supporter of the Charismatic movement in our Church. (“Charismatic" is derived from the New Testament Greek term charisma, translated "gift." Charismatic theology holds to a belief in a spiritual experience subsequent to salvation commonly known as the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This experience is usually accompanied by speaking in other tongues, or glossolalia, a term derived from the New Testament Greek word that is translated "tongue.") There was a tremendous change in his life. The conservative group of the Church found it difficult to digest the teachings of the Holy Spirit. The difference in opinions caused opposition.

Chungathara College and Wandoor Project:
Easow Mar Timotheos has been Chairman of the Governing Board of the Mar Thoma College Chungathara, which was started out of his personal interest for the development of that region. He has been Chairman of the Committee directing the Wandoor Project for the integrated development of five Panchayats in that area.

School for the Deaf and Dumb at Kasargod:
In 1979, the Mar Thoma Church started a School for the deaf and dumb children at Kasargod, under the initiative of Easow Mar Timotheos Episcopa. One of our priests with special training in this line is in charge of this school.

Last days of Life:
In 1988, just before his visit to the parishes in Andaman Nicobar Islands Thirumeni had an interview with Mr. Rajive Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi greatly appreciated the Thirumeni because of their common interest in the development of rural India.

In order to visit the parishes and the mission fields in the Andaman Nicobar Islands, Thirumeni arrived at the Port Blair Airport on Saturday 26 March, 1988. The Port Blair parish priest Rev. C. Joseph and a large group of parish members where there at the Airport to receive Thirumeni. It was the Holy week and so Thirumeni had a very busy schedule.

Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is 1255km is away (South) from Calcutta and 1191 km away (East) from Madras. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group islands. Out of the 300 islands only 45 are inhabited (Population as on 31/12/2004 is 356,265). The Mar Thoma Church started its mission work in the Islands in 1965. Now the Mar Thoma Church in the Islands has 350 families (1500 members). 2 priests and 3 evangelists are stationed there to look after the spiritual needs of the church members.

From Port Blair, Thirumeni visited and conducted Services for all the Mar Thoma congregations in the islands. He even conducted Holy Communion at the CNI Cathedral. On Saturday, 2 April, 1988, All India Radio in Port Blair broadcasted his Easter Message. On Sunday, 10 April, 1988, Thirumeni was the chief guest of the Parish day celebrations of the Port Blair Mar Thoma Parish. On Monday, 11 April, 1988, after conducting a marriage in the Port Blair Church, Thirumeni reached the Airport at 10:05 am for his return journey to the main land. While taking rest in the VIP room Thirumeni had a mild heart attack. Immediately he was taken to the J. B. Panth Hospital in Port Blair. Even though he showed temporary recovery from the sickness, he peacefully passed away at 3.20 pm.

The Government authorities in islands were extremely helpful in making arrangements to send Thirumeni’s body to Kerala. Through the intervention of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi a special Indian Navy plane was arranged and the body was taken to the Cochin Airport on Tuesday, 12 April, 1988. From there the body was taken to the head quarters of the Mar Thoma Church at Tiruvalla. The funeral service was held on Wednesday, 13 April, 1988 at the St. Thomas Church in Tiruvalla. A huge crowd was present to bid farewell to their beloved Bishop. On 13 April, at 1:45 pm he was buried in the Bishops’ cemetery in the SCS Compound, Tiruvalla.

Sihora Ashram: Christa Panthi Ashram, Sihora was established in 1942 under the leadership of Rev. K. T. Thomas, Mr. John Varghese and Mr. M. P. Mathew, who later became ordained ministers of the Church. Sihora is about 40 km away from Jabalpur, in Madhya Pradesh.

AMM Bible Institute: Bishop Abraham Mar Thoma Memorial Bible Institute in Tiruvalla is functioning under the Voluntary Evangelists Association of the Church. A short course (four months duration) is conducted for those who were interested for the Missionary work.

Leonard Theological College: L. T. College in Jabalpur is under the management of Church of North India. Many of the Mar Thoma priests were trained in this college before the upgrading of Mar Thoma Theological Seminary in Kottayam to B. D. Level. Chungathara College: Chungathara College in the Malapuram district was established in 1981.

Deaf School in Kasargod: Mar Thoma School for the deaf, in Kasargod was established on 30 June in 1981. Easow Mar Timotheos Thirumeni had special interest for this school. It was during his time the Main School Building (1983) Manager’s quarters (1981) and the Mess hall (1984) were constructed.

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