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Peralummoottil family

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The Peralummoottil family is an ancient Suriyani (Syrian) Christian family in Kerala, India. They are popularly known as Syrian Christians in view of the Syriac (classical form of Aramaic) liturgy used in church services since the early days of Christianity in India and not for any Syrian migration. They are also known as Nasrani (followers of Jesus the Nazarene).

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History

According to tradition, St. Thomas, the apostle visited Kerala in A.D. 52, as part of his missionary work in Persia, India and Afghanistan. It is believed that four Brahmin families namely Kalli, Kaliyankal, Pakalomattom and Sankarapuri were evangelized by Thomas the Apostle. There is no direct contemporary evidence for Thomas being in the subcontinent, though it definitely would have been possible for a Roman Jew of the time to make such a trip. The earliest known source connecting the apostle to India is the Acts of Thomas, written in Edessa likely in the 2nd century. The text describes Thomas' adventures in bringing Christianity to India, a tradition later expanded upon in early Indian sources such as the "Thomma Parvam" ("Song of Thomas"). According to a Malabar tradition that he ordained Bishops and priests from the Pakalomattom and Sankarapuri families.

In course of time, the members of Pakalomattom Tharvadu, divided into different branches and settled in different places and one branch from them came to Kuravilangad and settled there. The families namely Pakalomattom, Kudukkassery, Thumpassery, Panamkuzha alias Palliveettil, Manakkad, Kurialassery and Nidheerickal were some of them known to have lived with high reputation and integrity during the 17th Century.

Tradition

Palayoor was one of the places near the port of Muziris, where St. Thomas established church. The place is referred as Palur in some old documents. It is believed that in one of the Temple Ponds in Palayoor St. Thomas performed a miracle. Some Vaidik Brahmins were performing Vedic ritual called Tharpanam in which they devote Lord Sun by the symbolic submission of water in their palms along with vedic recitation. St. Thomas was attracted to the ritual and queried the logic of their submission since the water thrown above was not accepted and returned to earth. Thus St. Thomas got an opening to present his subject before that Brahmin community. St. Thomas threw water in the name of Jesus and it stood still in the air and glittered like diamond. By this "Experience" many Brahmins accepted Christianity while the other Brahmins cursed the place and left the place with their families saying that they would bathe their next bath at Vembanattu. Nedumpally, Madeipur, Koykkam, Muttodal, Pakalomattom, Panakkamattam, Sankarapuri, Kalli, Kallikavu, etc. were among the families who were Baptised in Palayoor.

Medieval History

In the year A.D. 345, Mar Joseph, the Metran of Edessa, appointed the clergy representative Archdeacon to rule over the Malankara Nasranis. The first among them was the Mar Thoma hailing from the Pakalomattom Family. The Archdeaconry continued until the end of 17th century. After Coonan Cross Oath (Koonan Kurishu Satyam), due to the indulgence of Karmaleetha Viewers, the religious atmosphere became dingy on the issue of the initial status of the Marthoma. The areas included in the Vadakkumkoor Rajya namely Kuravilangadu, Kaduthuruthy etc. which were the stronghold of the Karmaleetha viewers due to their attachment to the monarchy, the strength of the followers of the Marthoma Metran became gradually impaired. In consequence of that, the members of the Pakalomattom Family and its branches, inclined their will to move to the neighbouring states. During that time, the Marthoma II, III and IV made their headquarters at Niranam, Chengannur and Mavelikara. Since it became difficult for Puthenkoottukar (families which supported the Coonan Cross Oath) to live at Kuravilangadu, Thommy, hailing from the Karavadasseril House, included in the Kudukkasseril branch of Pakalomattom, left the Vadakkumkur Kingdom, with his family and permanently settled at Vellikkara, Kavungumprayar in Kallooppara Pakuthy included in Thekkumkur Rajya in the year 1700 (M.E. 875 )with his two sons namely Chandy and Chandapillai.

During those days the offerings such as ghee, oil etc. to the temple by the people of low castes were consecrated by the Syrian Christians, who adopted the traditional (order of) life of Brahmins. Such offerings brought to the Kallooppara Sri. Devi Temple were thus consecrated by Thommy, son of Chandy by a special order from Travancore Royal Kingdom and The Edappally Thampuran, the local administrator, supplied him a two storied building in the Temple yard free of cost and tax. On the northern boundary of the said property there was a big Banyan Tree (Peral), and hence derived the family name Peralummoottil.

References

Peralummoottil family Wikipedia


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