Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum - HMML Repository

Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum

This was originally the family collection of Geevarghese Mar Ivannios (1882-1953), the founder and first Metropolitan of the Syro-Malankara Church, containing manuscripts copied by his ancestors. From him, the Syro-Malankara Church inherited the collection. These manuscripts reflect the diverse history of a prominent Syrian Christian priestly family, beginning with the mid-16th century (MS 47, copied in 1563 – the oldest biblical manuscript in Kerala), when the family was apparently following Mar Joseph Sulaqa, a Chaldean bishop sent by the second Chaldean Patriarch, Mar Abdisho IV. The next manuscript (MS 2) is from the early 17th century and is witnessing to the fact that the family was Latinized and brought within the Roman Catholic Church, together with the entire Syrian Christian community of India. With the arrival of East Syriac missionary bishops in the early 18th century, namely Mar Shim’on, Bishop of Ada, and Mar Gabriel, Metropolitan of Adurbaghan (Azerbaijan: in Malabar between 1705 and 1732, the year of his death), an East Syrian bishop claiming to be Chaldean but representing the Nestorian line of the Church of the East, the family returned to its East Syrian/Chaldean traditions. MSS 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are witnessing the intense intellectual activity of an intellectual circle around Mar Gabriel, moving entirely within the classical East Syriac tradition. However, with the arrival, in 1751, of Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite) missionary bishops, namely Baselios Shukr Allah, Mor Gregorios Hanna of Beth Hudaydo and Mor Yuhannon Christophoros, who constituted a party in separation from, and often in opposition to, the local Mar Thoma bishops, the collection began to incorporate Syriac Orthodox literature. This period is witnessed by MSS 14 and 22. The most recent Syriac MSS of the collection are contemporary with or are postdating Mar Ivannios's union with the Catholic Church and are among the founding documents of the Syro-Malankara Church. They show that the model upon wich the Syro-Malankara Church was organized was the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch (with its headquarters in Beirut) and show the close relationship that Mar Ivannios built up with this Church. Mar Ivannios’s family collection was split into two parts. The other part is preserved in the library of Saint Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute (SEERI) in Kottayam.

Digitization completed by SRITE: Project for Preserving the Manuscripts of the Syrian Christians in India, directed by István Perczel. The catalog descriptions are part of the results of a project which has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement n° 647467 — JEWSEAST).

Repository description authored by István Perczel.

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