KOTTAYAM: All the newly consecrated Metropolitans of Malankara Church set out today on a historic pilgrimage to the land, where Jesus set his foot on earth, Israel.
Metropolitans Dr. Yuhanon Mar Dimitrios (Diocese of Delhi), Jacob Mar Elias (Diocese of Brahmavar), Dr. Youhanon Mar Thevodoros (Diocese of Kottarakkara-Punaloor), Dr. Joshua Mar Nichodemus (Diocese of Nilackal), Dr. Zacharia Mar Aprem (Diocese of Adoor-Kadampanaadu), Pulikkottil Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios (Diocese of Ahmadabad), and Dr. Abraham Mar Seraphim (Diocese of Bangalore) are in the visiting group comprising 50 faithful. Fr. John Sankarathil leads this group, who is undertaking his 39th trip to Israel.
The group will first visit Egypt. Places, where infant Jesus spent with the Holy Family during the time between the order of Herod to kill all children below two years and his death, Coptic Orthodox Monasteries, the Egyptian museum in Cairo, and the pyramids etc. are their points of interest in Egypt.
From Egypt the group will set out to Israel by road and the main part of the visit will be to trace the places, where the incarnate God spent His life on earth. The group will move to Jordan then and from Amman they will fly back on 1st of October.
St. Gregorios of Parumala undertook a pilgrimage to Israel in 1895 along with other six clergy men, namely, Ramban Fr. Paulose (who later became Metropolitan Paulose Mar Coorilose), Vattasseril Fr. Geevarghese Malpan (who later became St. Geevarghese Mar Dionysius), South Paravur Thoppil Chor-Episcopos Luckose, Thumpamon Karingattil Fr. Skaria, Kadammanitta Puthenpurackal Fr. Geevarghese, and Dn. Sleeba from Syria. This is the first time after St. Gregorios’ time that an organized pilgrimage of Metropolitans of the Malankara Church to Jerusalem is being undertaken.
“We, all the newly consecrated Metropolitans, wanted to visit Israel together even before our consecration. We consider this opportunity as a blessing from heaven that we can pray and meditate together in the land, where the Lord set His foot, and receive blessings from above, which will be a head start in serving respective dioceses that are assigned to us”, said Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios to IOH. The Metropolitan also requested prayers of support from all the faithful during this venture.