the Catholic Church. Later, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Dioscoros, the Metropolitan of the Knanaya Jacobite Church, reunited with the Catholic Church on 12th Nov 1939.
In God's providence, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church engaged in her double mission of communion of the Malankara Orthodox Church and evangelization. The Church began to increase in number. With the blessing 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.
On 21st Feb 1943 Bishop Thomas Mar Dioscoros passed away and was buried at St. Mary's Malankara Catholic Church, Thirumoolapuram (Tiruvalla) where he had been residing. 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. Nevertheless, His Grace consecrated Benedict Mar Gregorios as his Auxiliary on 29th Jan 1953. Archbishop Mar Ivanios passed away on 15th July 1953 and was entombed at St. Mary's Cathedral, Trivandrum.
The Eparchy of Tiruvalla was also making strides in its growth and development under the leadership of Jacob Mar Theophilos and Joseph Mar Severios. Mar Severios was the administrator of the Eparchy until 1950 due to the ill-health of Mar Theophilos. On 5th May 1950 he was appointed as the Bishop of Tiruvalla. He was also invested with the title 'Archbishop' by the Holy See. He was called to eternal rest on 18th Jan 1955.
Metropolitan Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios (1953-1994)
Most Rev. Benedict Mar Gregorios was enthroned as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum and the Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on 27th Jan 1955. Under the spiritual renewal, the pastoral guidance and the social commitment of Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios, the Church began to flourish in its various dimensions.
The Holy See appointed Zacharias Mar Athanasios as the successor of Joseph Mar Severios, whose episcopal ordination took place on 22nd April 1954. His Excellency Most Rev. Jacob Mar Theophilos was called to eternal rest on 27th June 1956. The mortal remains of His Excellency was entombed in St. John's Cathedral, Tiruvalla.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Imitation of Christ (Bethany Sisters), a religious congregation for women founded by Archbishop Mar Ivanios was raised to the Potifical status on 6th Aug 1956.
Attracted by the Liturgy of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Fr. Francis Acharya, a Cistercian Monk from Belgium came to the Eparchy of Tiruvalla. In the year 1957 he founded in the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, the Kristiya Sanyasa Samaj (KSS), commonly called Kurisumala Ashram in the high ranges of Vagamon in Kerala.
The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church has been steadily growing and spreading throughout all the States in South India. On 14th Feb 1958 through the letter (Port.No.534/53) of the Congregation of the Oriental Churches, the territorial boundaries of the Eparchy of Tiruvalla was extended to the north including the Malabar region of Kerala, the civil districts of Coimbatore and Nilgiris and Karoor Taluk in Tiruchirappally District of TamilNadu and districts of Mysore, Mandya, Coorg, Hasan, Chickamangalore, Shimoga and South Kanara of Karnataka State.
The Order of Imitation of Christ (Bethany Fathers), a religious congregation for men founded by Archbishop Mar Ivanios, was raised to the Pontifical status on 14th Apr 1966.
Zacharias Mar Athanasios was called to eternal rest on 28th Sept 1977. The mortal remains of His Excellency was entombed in St. John's Cathedral, Tiruvalla.
His Excellency Most Rev. Paulos Mar Philoxenos, the Metropolitan of the Malabar Independent Church (Thozhiyoor), was received into the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on 28th Aug 1977. He was appointed Episcopal Vicar of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum.
Upon the request of His Excellency Zacharias Mar Athanasios His Holiness Pope John Paul II on 28th Oct 1978, by the decree dated 12th Oct 1978 separating the civil districts of Malapuram, Kozhikkode and Kannoor of Kerala, Nilgris of Tamil Nadu and Coorg, Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, South Kanara, Chickmanglore, and Shimoga of Karnataka from the Eparchy of Tiruvalla, erected the new Eparchy of Bathery and appointed Very Rev. Dr. Cyril Malancharuvil OIC, the Superior General of Bethany Ashram as its first Bishop. Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios ordained him with the name Cyril Mar Baselios on 28th Dec 1978. The new Eparchy was officially inaugurated on 2nd Feb 1979.
Most Rev. Isaac Mar Yoohanon was appointed Bishop of Tiruvalla to succeed Most Rev. Zacharias Mar Athanasios and was ordained a Bishop by Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios on 28th Dec 1978. The Golden Jubliee of the Reunion Movement of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was celebrated in Kottayam