Pothenpuram dayara, Pampady dayara or Mar Kuriakose dayara as it is variously called, with the spirit of a saint inhabiting and inspiring it, is now well known, far outside the bound of Kerala or India. Pampady Dayara It was on May 24, 1914 that Pampady Kuriakose Ramban moved into a mud hovel for the first time on Pothenpuram hills, infested with wild animals. He would spend his day time there, but would get back to the comparative safety of Pampady Valiya Pally at night, the church and surroundings being equally forlorn after night fall. Later on he put up a small building barely sufficient for human habitation. A thatched roof on uncompleted four walls served for a church to help him continue his ‘thapsya’ (life of prayer and meditation). The foundation for the new dayara church was laid by Yuyakim Mar Iranios, Metropolitan of Kandanad Diocese on May 26, 1920. It was completed within three years. Kuriakose Rambachan continued his fasting prayer everyday during this long period. Dayara Church and the Verandha as seen from Thirumeni’s Kabar In 1929 he was ordained as the Metropolitan. The veranda on both sides of the church were put up in 1947. His tomb was to be on the eastern end of the northern verandha. It was his practice to prepare himself for his life with the lord in the vault of his. A living saint absolutely unafraid of death was Pampady Thirumeni. The place continued to be blessed even after his death, due to his intercession. Hundreds of devotees visit his tomb and gets blessed. Sick gets healed and barren mothers gets her children to fondle, and then in many cases, to be dedicated to the service in the church. On 5th April, the day of the feast thousands of devotees come, many from far away Kunnamkulam where Thirumeni served the sick and the dying, who were languishing due to the plague, to pray at his tomb and get blessed abundantly. Because the church that he built in 1920 remained too small to contain the many who used to throng there, construction of the new church was begun on July 15, 1988. It was provisionally dedicated in 1991. Mar Thomas Mathews 1, Bava Thriumeni, had provided the inspiration for the new church finding the old one too small. The church which was constructed under the guidance of Diocesan Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Ivanios was dedicated on July 15th 1993 by Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II. The church 129 ft long and 40 ft wide, incorporates all the features of the old church satisfying the young and the old alike.
Some of the furniture and holy things used by or associated with Pampady Thirumeni are preserved in the reliquary room on the right side of the Holy Altar of Mar Kuriakose Dayara chapel. The things present there are: Thirumeni’s Bed, Vestments, Books, Photographs, Old chain watch, ‘Amshavadi’ of Parumala Thirumeni, Foot-wears, Vessels used by Thirumeni and several such relics, which are beautifully preserved here.
The Pocket watch that was used by Pampady Thirumeni during his last years is preserved here. The needles are at a standstill and depicts the time 2:35 AM. The watch was wound by Thirumeni’s own hands for the last time. Thus the watch has stopped at the same time of Thirumeni’s demise (2:35 AM on April 5 1965) and is kept as such.
The Shepherds rod that Parumala Thirumeni used was handed over to Pampady Thirumeni along with the name ‘Gregorios’. His love and respect for his namesake saint of Parumala has been remarkable. This sceptre of Parumala Thirumeni was given to him during his ordination as the Metropolitan like the mantle of Elijah that fell on Elisha. This Amsha Vadi was given to Thirumeni by the Holy Grace to perform everything well. He used to go to Parumala Thirumeni’s final resting place for fasting and prayer every year without fail.
Pampady Thirumeni was blessed with an attractive and legible handwriting in Syriac. It was elegant in its regular slant. Most of the prayer books in Syriac that Thirumeni had been used using were copied by him in his own hand. A special kind of feather and ink was used by Thirumeni for that. By this talent Thirumeni even qualified himself to hold correspondence with the patriarch of Antioch on behalf of the Malankara church at a critical period of the church history.
The veil of Parumala Thirumeni was also handed down to Pampady Thirumeni. It is now safely in the hands of very Rev. Yohannan Ramban, the disciple of Pampady Thirumeni and the manager of the monastery for the last fifty years.
The present Dayara Chapel has the Biggest Icon In India, drawn by Fr.George Thomas Pothanickal, Artist & Iconographist
Mar Kuriakose Dayara, Pothenpuram PO, Pampady, Kottayam Dist., Kerala, India - 686502
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