COMING OF THE ROMAN
in the Western Churches.
development of major church branches from their roots. Protestantism in
general, and particularly Restorationism, claims a direct connection with Early
Re-formation of the Christian
Church with respect to doctrines intertwined with local politics are not
new. As soon as the Church was
institutionalized and the need for systematic theology and hierarchial system
of administrations were felt, these eventually led to seperation and formation
of independent churches. Many people
look upon this as a decay process.
However every form of growth in a living organism grow by seperation
just as babies grow in the womb. Each
part of the body and its organ has its own function within the wider
person. This is the function of the
multitudes of churches. These are
indications of growth and specialization of the organs within the body of
Christ. It is only the cancer cells that
insist that it will have only its own type of cell growth and tries to stop and
thereby bring in death for the body as a whole.
Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated
by Martin Luther, John Calvin and several early Protestants. The Reformation began as an attempt to reform
the Roman Catholic Church, from within the Church itself when scholars and
monks and priests opposed what they perceived as false doctrines and
Luther's spiritual predecessors included John Wycliffe and Jan Hus, who likewise had attempted
to reform the Roman Catholic Church.
Wycliff in opposition to the
Roman Catholic policy wanted to translate the Bible into the languages of the
people. He himself personally translated
the Gospels. The Council of Constance
declared Wycliffe (on 4 May 1415) a heretic and under the ban of the Church. It
was decreed that his books be burned and his remains be exhumed. The exhumation
was carried out in 1428 when, at the command of Pope Martin V, his remains were
dug up, burned, and the ashes cast into the River Swift, which flows through
Martin Luther 95 Thesis of Martin Luther
The Protestant Reformation began on 31 October 1517, in Wittenberg,
Saxony, where Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of
Indulgences to the door of the Castle ChurchIn Germany,
reformation can be dated at 1517 CE the
day when Martin Luther an Augustinian monk at the university of Wittenberg,
called in for a debate and discussion on doctrines and practice. This is known as 95 thesis. The consequent Martin Luther's excommunication on January
3rd, 1521, from the Catholic Church, precipitated the Protestant Reformation
John Calvin ( Jean Calvin or Jehan
Cauvin; 10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564) was a French theologian and
pastor . His theology today is known as Calvinism. He broke from the Roman Catholic Church
around 1530.and consequent to a violent uprising against Protestants in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland,
where he published the first edition of his seminal work The Institutes of
the Christian Religion in 1536.
AD 1498 Arrival of Vasco Da Gama and Roman Catholic Mission
The Padroado (Portuguese:
"patronage"), was an arrangement between the Holy See of the Roman
Catholic Church and the Kingdom of
Portugal, affirmed by a series of treaties, by which the Vatican delegated to
the kings of Spain and Portugal the administration of the local Churches as Padroado
Real (Royal patronage), Padroado Ultramarino Português
(Portuguese Overseas Patronage) and, Padroado
Português do Oriente, (Portuguese Patronage of the East).
The kings ordered the construction of churches; and also nominated pastors
and bishops. Thus the Portuguese colonisation was effectively both political
and religious by default. It was under
this condition we should be looking at the Portuguese Colonisation and the
behavior of Bishops in their treatment of the Malankara Suryani Christians.
The squadron of Vasco da Gama
left Portugal in 1497, rounded the Cape and
continued along the coast of East Africa, where a local pilot was brought on
board who guided them across the Indian Ocean , reaching Calicut (the capital of the native kingdom
ruled by Zamorins) in south-western India in May 1498. The second in 1500 under Pedro Álvares Cabral landed
also in the Brazilian coast. Two follow
up voyages were sent in 1501 and 1503.
Gama and the Portuguese colonization
routes and the Portuguese Indian coin minted 1799
Vasco da Gama lands at Calicut, May 20, 1498.
Vasco da Gama was the first European to open a sea-based trade route to India.
In an epic voyage, he sailed around Africa's Cape of Good
Hope and succeeded in breaking the monopoly of Arab and Venetian
from the rivalry between the ruler of Kochi and the Zamorin of Calicut, the
Portuguese were well received and seen as allies, getting a permit to build a
fort (Fort Manuel) and a trading post that were the first European settlement
in India. In 1505 King Manuel I of Portugal appointed Francisco de
Almeida first Viceroy of Portuguese India, establishing the Portuguese
government in the east. That year the Portuguese conquered Kannur where they
founded St. Angelo Fort. Lourenço de Almeida arrived in Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), where he discovered the
source of cinnamon. In 1509, the
Portuguese won the sea Battle of Diu against the combined forces of the Ottoman
Sultan Beyazid II, Sultan of Gujarat, Mamlûk Sultan of Cairo,
Zamorin of Kozhikode, Venetian Republic, and Ragusan
Battle of Diu in 1538 finally ended Ottoman ambitions in India and confirmed
Portuguese hegemony in the Indian Ocean.
In 1542 Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier arrived in
Goa at the service of King John III of Portugal, in charge of an Apostolic
Nunciature. The Portuguese
built the Pulicat fort in 1502, with the help of the Vijayanagar ruler. There
were Portuguese settlements in and around Mylapore. The Luz Church in Mylapore,
Madras (Chennai) was the first church that the
Portuguese built in Madras
in 1516. Later in 1522, the São Tomé church was built on the grave of Saint Thomas.
This started the Colonization process of India by the Western Nations. The
Portugese founded their Indian empire from Goa. The Goan Empire was started by Alfonso de Albuquerque who was the first
Viceroy of Portugal from 1509 to 1515. Gama returned to India twice and on the second time entered India
as the Viceroy of Portugal on December, 24 1524. and he died on the Malabar
Coast at Cochin in India.
The Portuguese shifted their base to Cochin and
Quilon, where they ruled (or influenced the rule) and had their major presence
for nearly 160 years, changing the course of history in regard to politics,
religion and trade in Malabar.
Dutch finally defeated the Portuguese in Malabar in 1660 and pushed the
Portuguese towards Goa and the Daman, Diu
colonies where they remained until the Independence of India. After India's independence from the British in 1947, Portugal refused to accede to India's request
to relinquish control of its Indian possessions. Eventually, in December 1961, India militarily invaded Goa, Daman and Diu and
the Governor of Portuguese India
General Vassalo da Silva signed the Instrument of Surrender on 19 December 1961, ending 450 years of
Portuguese rule in India.
On 30 May 1987 Goa became the 25th state of
the Indian Union. Daman and Diu was separated from Goa
and continues to be administered as a Union territory.
Diu fortress in
Map of the main
Portuguese settlements (1600s.) by Marco
Wiki map of Portuguese Empire
The 1494 Tordesilhas Treaty meridian
dividing the world between Portugal and Castille (modern-day Spain) and the
Moluccas antimeridian (green), set at the Treaty of Zaragoza, 1529
order to understand the events connected with various Christian groups in
various regions of India
we need to remember the series of Colonial occupation timings.
Here is the time line for the Colonial India
da Índia 1434–1833
Along with this came the
religious domination of Roman Catholic Church over the independent churches of
Malabar. Portuguese being of Roman Catholic persuasion wanted to bring the
Malabar Christians under the pontificate of Rome.
According to the Roman concept the Pope of Rome is
the heir to the throne of Peter and is the Vicar of the Church Universal all
over the world wherever it may be. The Roman Catholicism claimed that Pope of
Rome was the supreme head of all the churches of the world and Indian Churches
should also submit to this supremacy if they are to remain true as Catholic
Church. The first such claim came with Friar John, whom Pope John XXII ordained
as Bishop of Quilon in AD 1330 when he was sent him with a letter. Friar John
is reported to have come to Quilon and founded a church in Latin rite. However
historically there is no evidence that he ever came to Quilon. He is said to
have been martyred at Kalyan in Bombay. There were similar visits from other
legations from Rome. Though these were received with Christian courtesy it did
not lead to acknowledgement of Papal supremacy as expected.
AD 1599 Synod of Diampore
The Portuguese became powerful in certain areas of India especially in Goa and Bombay. In Jan. 1599, Alexiyodi Menessis, the
Archbishop of Goa came to Cochin.
Geevarghese Archdeacon was in charge of the churches in Kerala at that time.
Menessis Archbishop with the colonial power behind him used the power to get
Geevarghese Archdeacon arrested and put in prison under the orders of the King
of Cochin. Then he traveled extensively and influenced the leaders and people.
In July 5, 1599, he called the famous Udayam Perror Council (Sunnahadose).
There were 153 leaders and 660 laymen were represented in that council. Under
the yoke of the Portuguese Colonial force they, accepted the supremacy of the
Pope of Rome. However the sailing was not smooth for Roman church. This
domination continued for over five decades. Through political influence the
Synod of Diamper (Portuguese name for Udayamperoor) was held in 1599 and most
of the St: Thomas Christians were brought under the Pope.
Emblem of the Inquisition.
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae
Pravitatis (inquiry on heretical perversity), was the "fight against
heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman
Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of
torture in the persecution of heresy.
Inquisitors were allowed to use torture
by Gregory IX who allowed “free faculty of the sword against enemies of the
faith”. This was an effort
to stop any attempt to question the doctrine and authority of the Roman
Church. As a result reformation was
always associated with political support from countries where it arose to
oppose any attempt of Roman
Churches to stop these
Historians distinguish four different manifestations of
- the Medieval Inquisition (1231–16th
- the Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834)
- the Portuguese Inquisition (1536–1821)
- the Roman Inquisition (1542 – c. 1860)
of an auto-da-fé, (around 1495).
Many artistic representations depict torture
and burning at the stake
as occurring during the auto-da-fé.
An auto-da-fé (also auto da fé
and auto de fe) was the ritual of public penance
of condemned heretics
that took place when the Spanish Inquisition or the Portuguese Inquisition had decided their
punishment, followed by the execution by the civil authorities of the sentences
imposed. Both auto de fe in medieval Spanish and auto da fé in
Portuguese actually mean "act of
The Portuguese Inquisition was
formally established in Portugal in 1536 at the request of the King of Portugal,
João III. When the Portuguese came into India,
the inquisition also followed.. We know of the Inquisition trials there against the
physician Jeronimo Diaz, burned at the stake in 1560, and against the great
scientist Gracia da Orta, condemned by the Inquisition after his death, his
remains exhumed, burned, and his ashes thrown into the river (1580).
Goan Inquisition record shows the following
Number of autos da fe with
Executions in persona
Executions in effigie
Both the Spanish and the Portuguese
inquisitions followed the procedures used by medieval inquisitors. Both
national inquisitions also became involved in the censorship of books during
their struggle to suppress Protestantism.
It essentially confused Culture with Religion as is evident from the
following prohibitions instituted by Goa Inquisition.
Prohibitions Regarding Marriages
-The instruments for Hindu songs shall not be played.
-While giving dowry the relatives of the bride and groom must not be invited.
-At the time of marriage, betel leaf packages (pan) must not be distributed
either publicly or in private to the persons present.
-Flowers, or fried puris, betel nuts and leaves must not be sent to the heads
of the houses of the bride or groom.
-Gotraj ceremony of family God must not be performed.
-On the day prior to a wedding, rice must not be husked, spices must not be
pounded, grains must not be ground and other recipes for marriage feast must
not be cooked.
-Pandals and festoons must not be used.
-Pithi should not be applied.
-The bride must not be accorded ceremonial welcome. The bride and groom must
not -be made to sit under pandal to convey blessings and best wishes to them.
Prohibitions Regarding Fasts, Post-death Rituals
-The poor must not be fed or ceremonial meals must not be served for the peace
of the souls of the dead.
-There should be no fasting on ekadashi day.
-Fasting can be done according to the Christian principles.
-No rituals should be performed on the twelfth day after death, on moonless and
full moon dates.
-No fasting should be done during lunar eclipse.
-Hindu men should not wear dhoti either in public or in their houses. Women
should not wear cholis .
-They should not plant Tulsi in their houses, compounds, gardens or any other
It is in this political social and
political context we should be understanding the Synod of Diampoore
Alexiyodi Menessis, the Archbishop of Goa and Udayam Perror
Synod of Diamper, held at Udayaperur
((Diamper)), is a diocesan synod (council) that formally united the ancient Christian Church of the Malabar Coast
(modern Kerala state),
with the Roman Catholic church. It was convened on
June 20, 1599, under the leadership of Aleixo de
Menezes, Archbishop of Goa. Archdeacon George (of the Cross) was forced to comply
with the wishes of Archbishop of Goa. This separated the Thomas
Christians from the Chaldean Patriarch and subjected them directly
to the Latin Archbishopric of Goa. The Archbishopric of Angamale was downgraded
to a Bishopric under Goa
in 1600 AD. Portuguese Padroado rule was thus imposed and
the Bishops for Saint Thomas Christians were appointed by Portuguese Padroado.
From each church four representatives of the laity and
the parish priest were directed to attend the synod. From 168 churches 671
persons attended. Eighty parish priests, 47 newly ordained priests, 20 deacons
and the missionaries from seminaries together were 153 in number. Sub-deacons
worked as volunteers
The aim of the Synod was declared as follows:
1. To the Glory and Praise of the Father and the
Son and the Holy Ghost and All extant in one – Trinity;
perpetuate christian belief and living in the diocese;
3. To ensure
the growth and spread of catholic belief and reckoning;
4. To declare
allegiance and obedience to the Roman Pontiff;
5. To eradicate
heresies and pagan practices;
6. To abrogate
heretic verses from religious books and liturgy.
7. To destroy
books containing perverse and pernicious errors.
8. To abjure
the faith and allegiance to the patriarch of Babylon.
perpetuate correct observance of the Holy Sacraments and
10. To set up
an orderly functioning of pastoral guidance and control (Zacharia p.110)
In 1597, Mar Abraham, the last metropolitan
archbishop appointed by the Chaldean Patriarch, died. His Archdeacon, George (of the Cross) according
to the custom and by virtue of appointment of Mar Abraham, took up the
administration of the Archdiocese of Angamale. In opposition Bishop Menezes
nominate Fr. Francis Ros SJ as Administrator to the Thomas Churches
of Malabar. However because of the heavy
opposition to this appointment, the bishop had to repeal this appointment. Archdeacon called an assembly of the Saint
Thomas Christians at Angamali, and all those who came in unanimously supported
Bishop Menzes came down to Malabar in February 1599, and by coercion and threat obtained the
support of the church leaders. Menezes
threatened to depose Archdeacon, George (of the Cross) and appoint in his place
Thomas Kurian, another nephew of former Archdeacon whose claims had been ignored
in 1593. In order to prevent a division, Archdeacon, George (of the Cross)
yielded to the demands of Menezes.
after Dom Alexis Menezes, Archbishop of
Goa, summoned all the priests, other
clerics and four lay men elected from each church, even from the churches he
had not visited under the pain of excommunication. About 130 ecclesiastics and
660 laymen ( elected and specially invited) met at Diamper in the Kingdom
In http://www.smmdelhi.com/history_14.htm Rev. Dr. Sebastian Vadakumpadan of the Syro-Malabar Church
which still part of the communion of the Roman Catholic Church says:
"The Synod of Udayamperoor (June 20 - 26
Thomas Christians were very keen to keep communion with the Chaldeans. They
were against any move to break this communion. But this does not mean they were
not in communion with Rome.
Communion with Rome and with the East Syrian
Church could go together.
Mar Abraham had solicited the Jesuits to appoint the Archdeacon as
his successor. They did not oblige..21 22 They wanted to appoint a Latin bishop
over the St. Thomas Christians and bring them under the Padroado jurisdiction.
Archbishop Menezes of Goa had
obtained from Pope Clement VIII authorization to appoint a vicar apostolic for
Angamali after the death of Mar Abraham. Archbishop Menezes who rushed to
Angamaly had to confirm the Archdeacon George of thew cross as the
administrator. Menezes ordained priests to muster support and convoked a Synod
at Diamper. Studies have revealed that the Synod was totally manipulated by the
Archbishop. Menezes composed in anticipation the Acts of the Synod in
Portuguese and got it translated into Malayalam. However this Portuguese text
was very much different from the Malayalam text used for collecting the
signature. The Portuguese manuscript is almost twice as long as the Malayalam
In Europe much publicity was
given to the story of the Synod of Diamper. The literature published in this
connection together with what was said to be the Acts of the Synod spread the
false idea that for more than thousand years St. Thomas Christians had been
living out of the Roman communion, and that they have been “reduced ” ((brought
back)to the obedience of Rome by the efforts of the zealous Archbishop Menezes.
Even today many do not know that St. Thomas Christians have always remained
faithful and loyal to Rome for twenty centuries In place of “Reducing the St. Thomas
Christians to the obedience of Rome ” Menezes should have written the truth,,
namely, he removed the St. Thomas Christians from under the jurisdiction of the
East Syrian prelates and brought them under the Latin jurisdiction and the
Portuguese Padroado. The false propaganda has done permanent damage to the St.
Thomas Christians. These manipulations have gone to creating animosity between
the two communities.
Two Jesuit Fathers, Ros S.J who became bishop, and Campori S.J.,
who were present in the Synod, wrote to the Jesuit General that the Synod was
not “in forma ”.According to their letters the St. Thomas Christians were not
consulted in the Synod; they understood nothing of what was decided upon there.
Precomposed regulations were read out which according to Archbishop Menezes,
was done to avoid any hindrance to show the way of salvation to the assembled.
Menezes made additions to the acts of the Synod after the Synod was over.
Menezes obtained from Ros S.J. the signatures of the assembled detached from
the original and attached them to the copy he prepared to be sent to Rome for approval.
Though Archbishop Menezes succeeded in establishing Latin hegemony
and the Portuguese Padroado over the St. Thomas Christians, the Latin prelates
and Latinization were never accepted by the Thomas Christians."
The Syond began on
the third Sunday after Pentecost, 20 June, 1599. It was held in the church of Diamper ( Udayamperoor) from June 20 to
26, 1599. Archbishop Menezes presided the Syond. The censorship of books was essentially meant to suppress Protestantism and any further
It is decreed that the Latin Vulgate is the Bible to be followed
in contrast to the Syrian Bible.
In addition to eliminating the Syrian Bible, it demanded
that all Syrian books were to be delivered up, altered, or destroyed. All documents of the Church were burned and
any attempt to avoid were subjected to the Inquisition at Goa. All the writings of the St. Thomas Christians inclding Manuals of church activities were torn to
pieces . Apparently Thomas Christians
were exposed to almost all early church fathers including the apocryphal and
extensive theological works. Only 4 manuscripts of the period prior to 1599 AD are known
to exist today in India.
One of that is a Kashkul copied
in 1585 AD at Kothamangalam copied by an Indian priest. It is preserved in the
Metropolitan’s Palace, Trichur.
Some of the other books which are said to be burnt
at the synod of Diamper are, 1.The book of the infancy of the savior (history
of our Lord)
2. Book of John Braldon
3. The Pearl of
4. The Book of the Fathers
5. The Life of the Abbot Isaias
6. The Book of Sunday
8. Uguarda or the Rose
10. The Epistle of Mernaceal
12. Of orders
13. Homilies (in which the Eucharist is said to be the image of Christ)
14. Exposition of Gospels.
15. The Book of Rubban Hormisda
16. The Flowers of the Saints
17. The Book of Lots
18. The Parsimon or Persian Medicines
It decreed the
acknowledgment of the seven Roman sacraments, whereas the Syrians had
recognized only three;
The liturgy used by the Thomas
Christians were that of Addai and Mari.
The Synod declared certain
passages of the Holy Qurbana of Addai and Mari as impious, sacrilegious and
outcome of Nestorian heresy.
It decreed that there indeed is a transubstantiation in the Eucharistic
elements whereas the syrians believed it as an image of Jesus and his
Then followed the
decrees to bring the Syrian
Church into line with the
papal doctrines of penance, auricular confession, extreme unction, adoration of
images, reverence for relics, purgatory, eternal punishment, the worship of
saints, the doctrine of indulgence, papal supremacy, and above all, the worship
of the Virgin Mary. All these were unknown to Kerala Christians.
There was the decree demanding the celibacy of the
clergy. Until then all thomas clergy
were married. All the Syrian priests were immediately to put away their wives
and all support to the clergy family (wife and children) from the church were
Forty-one decrees were passed with reference to fasts and
festivals, organization, and order in church affairs. In the social context all inter-religious
communal festivals were forbidden including the celebration of Onam. These decrees essentially confused culture
and religion based on European culture.
In all there were nine sessions lasting a week
and promulgating two hundred sixty-seven decrees.
Syrian Church believed "that the Holy Ghost proceedeth only from the
Father; that they celebrate Divine Service as solemnly on the Sabbath, as on
the Lord's Day; that they keep that day festival, eating therein flesh, and
fast no Saturday in the year but Easter Eve,...that they acknowledge not
whole synodic decrees make more sense when we consider that this occured not
much later than the Protestant Reformation Movements and the subsequenct
Council of Trent.
Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) says:
"The only case in which an ancient Eastern
rite has been wilfully romanized is that of the Uniat Malabar Christians, where
it was not Roman authority but the misguided zeal of Alexius de Menezes,
Archbishop of Goa, and his Portuguese advisers at the Synod of Diamper (1599)
which spoiled the old Malabar Rite.
In the picture above: Colophon of Piramadam
MS Syr 27, containing the text of the Syrian Orthodox Liturgy (Qurbono)
copied in 1689 by the hand of Mor Yovannis Hidaytullah, Antiochian Patriarchal Delegate
The text reads: "The writing of
the order of the liturgy (Qurbo) and of the Anaphora of Mor Jacob the
Messenger, brother of our Lord, was finished by the hand of the wretched and
feeble bishop Yovannis in the year 2000 of the Greeks (=AD 1689), in the church
of Karamattam (today: Kadamattam). Therefore I am asking every priest who will
recite from this [book] to remember his fathers and the brethren and the
departed, so that they may find mercy through their [that is, the priests’]
prayers; I was copying it for priest Jacob of Muldurthy (today: Mulanthuruthy).
Lord, remember him and his fathers in thy mercy. Amen."
lists will summarize the Roman Catholic history as given in the Catholic
(1) The old foundations of the Portuguese
Padroado: — Goa, 1534; Chochin, 1557;
Cranganore, 1600; San Thomé (Mylapur), 1606.
founded before 1800: — Great Mogul, 1637; Malabar, 1659; Bombay
and Tibet, 1720: Ava and
(3) Vicariates founded from 1800 to 1886: —
Tibet, 1826; Bengal, Madras, and Ceylon, 1834; Madura and Coromandel, 1836;
Agra and Patna, 1845; Jaffna, 1847; East and West Bengal, Vizagapatam,
Pondicherry, Coimbatore and Mysore, 1850; Hyderabad (Deccan), 1851; Mangalore,
Quilon, and Verapoly, 1853; Poona, 1854; Central Bengal, North and South Burma,
1870; Punjab and Kashmir, 1880; Kandy, 1883; East Burma, 1886.
(4) The hierarchy
as established in 1886 consisted of eight archbishops bearing the titles of
Agra, Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, Goa, Pondicherry, Verapoly, and Ceylon, each
having his subject dioceses, vicariates and prefectures Apostolic.
(5) The following
new subdivisions were made after 1886: — Kashmir, Nagpur,
Trichur, and Kottayam, 1887; Assam,
1889; Ernakulam, and Changanacherry, 1890; Rajputana, 1891; Bettiah, 1892; Galle and Trincomalee,
1893; Kumbakonam, 1899. To these must be added the three vicariates Apostolic
(37) Duncan Greenlees, The Gospel of the Prophet
Mani, Adyar, Madras, India the Theosophical Publishing House, 1956
(38) For Manichean Scrolls see:
http://santhomechurch.com/apostleofindia/apostleofindia.html (40) Travancore State Manual Vol. II, 139-142.
(41) From the Palm-leaf manuscript entitled Keralathil Margam Vazhiyute Avastha
(42) Moraes, G. M. A History of Christianity in
India. Vol. 1. Bombay: Manaktalas, 1964
(43) White House, The lingering Light
(44) Ittup, History of the Malabar Syrian
(45) Indian Express, Friday April 24, 1998
(46) Christianity Older than Hinduism in Kerala
World Syriac Conference 2002 -SEERI – KOTTAYAM
Paper presented by Prof. George MENACHERY
printed by Gundert in AD 1890
(48) How was the Caste System introduced in
Malankara Nasranikal : http://www.indianchristianity.org/malankara.htm
(50) Dr. Berchmans Kodackal, The Early Christians
of India, January 1998 http://members.tripod.com/~Berchmans/early.html
(52) Otto of Freising: Medieval Sourcebook: The
Legend of Prester John http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/otto-prester.html
M. Bar-Ilan, 'Prester John: Fiction and History', History of European
Ideas, 20/1-3 (1995), pp. 291-298.
(56) B.S. Rao New Facts on the Arrival
of Islam PTI, India,
(57) Moraes, G. M. A History of Christianity in
India. Vol. 1. Bombay: Manaktalas, 1964
(58) M.M.Ninan, Hinduism –What Really Happened in
India, Global Publishers, 2003 (59)
Deivanayagam, Dr. D. Devakala, The Revival Movement of Dravidian Religion, http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/1412/
Christian Traditions, P.E.Esow
(60) Mr. P.V. Mathew: Sugantha Bandu Nasrani History
Arrival of the Roman Catholics
Italian Franciscan missionary John of Montecorvino,
arrives in the Madras
region or "Country of St. Thomas", where he preached for thirteen
months and baptized about one hundred persons.
John of Montecorvino or Giovanni
da Montecorvino in Italian (1246–1328) was an Italian Franciscan
missionary, traveler and statesman, founder of the earliest Roman Catholic
missions in India and China, and archbishop of Peking,
and Latin Patriarch of the Orient.
Venetian traveller Marco Polo arrives in India on the Coromandel Coast, visiting the tomb
of St. Thomas
A page of The Travels of Marco Polo. and the
Handwritten notes by Christopher Columbus on the Latin
edition of Marco Polo's Le livre des merveilles
French Dominican friar Jordanus Catalani de Severac
arrives in Kollam (Quilon).
from Jordanus are found in a MS. in the national library at Paris (in 1839,—Bibliothèque du Roi—MS. No.
5,006, p. 182), entitled Liber de ætatibus, etc. The first of these is
dated from Caga, 12th October, 1321. In his second letter, dated in January,
1324, Jordanus relates how he had started from Tabriz
to go to Cathay, but embarked first for Columbum with four Franciscan
missionaries, and how they were driven by a storm to Tana, in India, where
they were received by the Nestorians. From these letters we learn
that he travelled , to the extreme south of the Indian peninsula, especially to
Columbum, Quilon (Kollam) in
Travancore. Jordanus' words may imply that
he had already started a mission there before October 1321.
The erection of the first Roman
Catholic Diocese in India,
in the state of Kerala, being the Diocese of Quilon (or Kollam); re-erected on
September 1, 1886. Pope John XXII (in captivity in Avignon)
made Quilon as the first Diocese in the whole of Indies, as suffragan to the
Archdiocese of Sultany in Persia,
through the decree Romanus Pontifix.
French Dominican friar Jordanus Catalani de Severac is appointed as the
first Bishop of Quilon.
East Syrian mission to India: two
Chaldean bishops, John and Thomas, in Kerala.
Between 1490 and 1503 the Church of the East responded to the request of
a mission to Mesopotamia from the East Syrian
Christians of the Malabar Coast of India for bishops to be sent out to them. In
1490 two Christians from Malabar arrived in Gazarta to petition the patriarch
Shemʿon IV (Basidi) to consecrate a bishop for their church. Two monks of
the monastery of Mar Awgin were consecrated bishops and were sent to India.
Shemʿon IV died in 1497, to be followed by the short-reigned Shemʿon
V, who died in 1502. His successor Eliya V (1502-03) consecrated three more
bishops for India
in April 1503. These bishops sent a report to the patriarch from India in 1504, describing the condition of the
East Syrian church in India
and reporting the recent arrival of the Portuguese. Eliya had already died by
the time this letter arrived in Mesopotamia,
and it was received by his successor, Shemʿon VI (1504–38). (MSS Vat
Syr 204a and Paris
BN Syr 25)
1494 June 7, Treaty of Tordesillas: division of the world
and mission lands between Spain