The historic event of the reunion of His Grace Archbishop Geevarghese Mar Ivanios with the Catholic Church took place on 20 September 1930. Archbishop Mar Ivanios and Mar Theophilos along with Fr. John Kuzhinapurath OIC, Deacon Alexander OIC and Mr. Chacko Kilileth, members of the Malankara Orthodox Church, made their profession of faith on the very same day and entered into full communion with the Catholic Church before His Excellency Aloysius Maria Benziger OCD, Bishop of the Diocese of Quilon (Kollam), who was specially delegated by the Holy See.
His Grace Mar Ivanios initiated the work of the re-union movement under the guidance of the Holy See, especially in the light of the Apostolic Decree Magnum Nobis of His Holiness Pope Pius XI. His Grace made his visit to Rome in1932 and His Holiness Pope Pius XI invested him with the Sacred Pallium. The Holy Father, Pope Pius XI through the Apostolic Constitution Christo Pastorum Principi of 11 June 1932, established the Syro-Malankara Hierarchy and erected the Archieparchy of Trivandrum as the Metropolitan See with the suffragan Eparchy of Tiruvalla. The territorial boundary of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum was established from Kanyakumari, the southernmost part of India to the north up to river Pampa, to the Western Ghats in the east and to the Arabian Sea in the west.
The Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum, with its head quarters in Trivandrum, was inaugurated on 11 May 1933 and His Grace Mar Ivanios was enthroned as its first Metropolitan-Archbishop at the provisional Cathedral, dedicated to the Mother of God, at Palayam, Trivandrum. Having made the Profession of faith before the august assembly of the Bishops, priests and laymen and amidst the acclamations of ‘Oxios’ (a customary hymn for the occasion) Archbishop Mar Ivanios was enthroned as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum and the Hierarchical Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. The Apostolic Constitution was executed by His Excellency Aloysius Maria Benziger, the Bishop of Quilon. On the following day His Grace Mar Ivanios celebrated the solemn Qurbono in the same Pro-Cathedral, concelebrated by Bishop Jacob Mar Theophilos, the Bishop of Tiruvalla. His Grace Mar Augustine Kandathil, the Archbishop of Ernakulam, His Grace Mar James Kalassery, the Archbishop of Changanassery, His Excellency Mar Alexander Choolaparambil, the Bishop of Kottayam, Rt. Rev. Joseph Pulikottil Remban and Rt. Rev. Philipose Cheppad Remban were present on the occasion.
As part of the evangelising ministry of the southern regions of Thiru-kochi including parts now bordering Tamil Nadu, Archbishop Mar Ivanios himself initiated evangelisation ministry at Marthandom. Later, with the blessings of Archbishop Mar Ivanios, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Kuzhinjalil founded the missionary congregation of the Daughters of Mary in 1938 at Marthandom in Kanyakumari District. Through the great zeal of these missionaries, the mission of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church spread to the southern regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Mar Ivanios worked relentlessly for the building up of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Through his travels abroad (Rome and other European countries, America and Australia) he spread the message of ecclesial communion and the awareness of the mission of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the Universal Church. After a period of 22 years of strenuous hectic task of organizing and administering the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church he fell ill for more than a year. Archbishop Mar Ivanios ordained Benedict Mar Gregorios as his Auxiliary and as the Titular Bishop of Anterdos on 29 January 1953. After a period of heroic leadership for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, and for the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum, Archbishop Mar Ivanios was called to eternal rest on 15 July 1953 and was entombed at St.Mary’s Cathedral.
Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis was enthroned as the Second Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the Major Archbishop of Trivandrum on 5 March 2007 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom. His installation service was officiated by Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, the Synodal Administrator of the Church. A large number of ecclesiastical and political dignitaries including His Eminence Cardinal Telesphore Toppo (President of the CBCI), His Eminence Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil (Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church) and Shri. V. S. Achuthanandan (the Chief Minister of Kerala), His Grace Oswald Gracious (Archbishop of Bombay), Official representatives of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, a large number of Bishops, Priests, Religious, lay faithful and social and political leaders participated in the Enthronement ceremony and public meeting.
During the 54th Anniversary of the Commemoration of Archbishop Mar Ivanios, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios, the Major Archbishop-Catholicos proclaimed Mar Ivanios as Servant of God at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom on 14 July 2007.
The Tomb of the venerable prelates in St. Mary’s Cathedral was renovated and extended in July 2008. His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos blessed the tomb chapel on 5th July 2008. The sanctuary of St. Mary’s Cathedral was renovated and portico was extended to the Cathedral in November 2008. His Beatitude blessed the renovated sanctuary and the portico on November 8, 2008.
The Platinum Jubilee of the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum (1933-2008) was celebrated in a meaningful way during 2007-2008. Conventions for spiritual renovation were held in every ecclesiastical district. 75 houses were built and given to the poor families of the Major Archdiocese. Many charity schemes were launched in parishes and districts. The Jubilee was formally concluded with the visit of His Eminence Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on 10 November 2008. His Eminence was received at St. Mary’s Cathedral, by the Holy Episcopal Synod. During the Holy Mass, the Cardinal Prefect delivered the Jubilee Message and imparted the Blessing of the Holy Father.
Upon the request of His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, Major Archbishop Catholicos, the Supreme Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI, elevated St. Mary Queen of Peace Church, Palayam to the title and dignity of a Minor Basilica with all its rights and liturgical privileges on 13 October, 2008, as a souvenir of the Platinum Jubilee of the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum (2007-2008). The formal announcement of the Basilica was made by His Eminence Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches during his visit on 10 November 2008. The church was elevated to the status of Basilica through a solemn liturgical ceremony by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, Major Archbishop Catholicos, on 7 December 2008.
From 20-26 September 2009, His Beatitude Moran Mor Ignace Yousuf III Younan, the Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch and a Delegation from the same Church visited the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum. His Beatitude the Patriarch was the chief guest at the 79th Reunion Day Celebrations on 19-21 September, 2009.
As per the decision of the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and having consulted the Apostolic See of Rome, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, Major Archbishop-Catholicos, erected the Eparchy of Pathanamthitta bifurcating the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum on 25 January 2010. The official declaration was made on the same day by His Beatitude the Major Archbishop-Catholicos at St. Mary’s Cathedral. The territory of the Eparchy of Pathanamthitta consists of four ecclesiastical districts-Pathanamthitta, Konni, Ranni-Perunadu, Pandalam and the parishes of Anandapally, Angadickal, Chandanapally, Pongaldy and Thatta of the eccelsiatical district of Adoor. His Beatitude transferred His Excellency Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom from the Eparchy of Marthandom and appointed him to the new Eparchy of Pathanamthitta as its first Bishop. The new Eparchy of Pathanamthitta was inaugurated and its first Eparch was His Excellency Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom who was installed by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Major Archbishop-Catholicos on 20 March 2010. Inauguration ceremony was conducted at Cyril Baselios Catholicos Nagar (Muncipal Stadium, Pathanamthitta) and the installation took place at Sacred Heart Malankara Catholic Church, Mylapra.
Having been elected by the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and with the assent of His Holiness Pope Benedict XIV, Most Rev. Dr. Samuel Mar Irenios has been appointed by the Major Archbishop Catholicos as the Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum. Most Rev. Dr. Samuel Mar Irenios was consecrated Bishop (along with Most Rev. Vincent Mar Paulos, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios and Most Rev. Philipose Mar Stephanos) by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis on 13 March 2010 at Mar Ivanios Vidyanagar, Nalanchira Trivandrum. His Beatitude Gregorios III Laham, the Patriarch of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church and a Delegation from the same Church participated in the Episcopal Ordination. His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III Laham was the chief guest.
The Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum hosted the 80th Reunion Day Celebrations. His Beatitude blessed the newly built Samannuaya Pastoral Centre in Cathedral Campus on 20th September 2010. During the 80th Re-union day Celebrations at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Eusebius, the newly appointed Exarch of USA and Apostolic Visitor for Canada and Europe was consecrated a Bishop by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos.
Being raised to the status of a Major Archieposcopal Church the Syro_Malankara Catholic Church got the right to convene its own Canonical Assembly. As part of the preparation for the First Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Assemby held from 21 to 23 of September 2011, Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum convened an Eparchial Assembly on 22 and 23 of July, 2011. 153 delegates representing the whole Major Archieparchy participated in the Assembly. The Ecclesial Assembly gave new impetus to the mission awareness of the Church. “Evangelization” was the theme selected for the Assembly. The leitmotiv of the Ecclesial Assembly was “The Evangelizing (Suvisheshakayaya) Syro-Malankara Catholic Church: From Experience to Testimony”.
With the intention of bringing faithful closer to God and hence renewing the Church the Major Archdiocese has dedicated a Chapel for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration which is located adjacent to the tomb of the great prelates of revered memory.
Witnessing Church’s care for the sick and poor the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum has started a Community Hospital at Pirappencode, Trivandrum: St. John’s Malankara Medical Village. His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church officiated the blessing and dedication ceremony on 5 November, 2011. Honourable Central Minister, Sri. Vayalar Ravi inaugurated the St. John’s Community Hospital. Many Dignitaries and thousands of people took part in the function.
The Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum was privileged to have the visit of His Beatitude Beshara Butrose Al Rai, the 77th Patriarch of the Melkite Syrian Catholic Church as he arrived to be the guest of honour in the 82nd Re-Union anniversary celebrations of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the consecration of the newly constructed Cathedral of the diocese of Pathanamthitta held from 17-21 September, 2012.
His Beatitude Moran Mor Ignace Yousef III Younan, the Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch, visited the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum for a second time on 23-24 January, 2012. On his visit he was accompanied by a few Archbishops, bishops and a group of lay faithful. They were all cordially welcomed by His beatitude Baselios Cleemis Catholicos.
On 24 September, 2012 Mar Gregorios College of Law was inaugurated in Mar Ivanios Vidya Nagar,Trivandrum in order to form excellent and professional advocates for the nation,with the motto”Righteousness is immortal”.
On 24 October 2012 Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI officially announced the decision to create His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church as a Cardinal in the Universal Church. His Beatitude was created a Cardinal along with other five new carrrrdinals in the consistory held on24 November, 2012, officiated by the Supreme Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. On 1 December 2012 the entire Malankara Syrian Catholic Church gathered together under the blissful leadership of His Beatitude Baselios cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, along with several Cardinals and Bishops from all over India at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Trivandrum to offer Holy Qurbono to thank God for the innumerable blessings He pours out on the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church.
His Eminence Antonio Louis Cardinal Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, Philipines, who was created Cardinal along with His Beatitude Baselios Cardinal Cleemis, visited the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church from 14 to 16 July, 2013 in connection with the 60th anniversary of the demise of Archbishop Mar Ivanios, the Servant of God.
On July 17, 2013 the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum started Cardinal Cleemis School of Management Studies in the Mar Ivanios Vidya Nagar Nalanchira, Trivandrum.The School functions with the motto”Devoted to Ethics and Excellence”.