Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA: The festival at the St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s Church at Parumala ended with the customary holy rasa (procession) on Monday afternoon.

The 106th feast of St. Gregorios, whom believers reverently call Parumala Thirumeni, was celebrated with fervour at the church on Monday. Scores of pilgrims came in processions from various parts of Kerala and dioceses of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church outside the State to offer prayers at the saint’s tomb in the church.

The celebration began with a holy Eucharist by Paulose Mar Pachomios Metropolitan at 4 a.m. The bishops were escorted to the church in procession at 6.30 a.m.

Thomas Mar Athanasius Metropolitan led the holy tri-mass at 7 a.m. The Bishops-designate Markose Joseph and Alex Daniel were the co-celebrants. Catholicos-designate Paulose Mar Milithios led the holy tri-mass in the presence of the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, Baselios Mar Thoma Didymus I at 8.30 a.m. Zacharias Mar Anthonios Metropolitan and Zacharias Mar Theophilus Metropolitan were the co-celebrants.

Hundreds of people took part in the prayer of incense that followed. The Catholicos-designate and other bishops were led to the balcony of the church to bless the throng of pilgrims in prayers on the church premises. Silence prevailed for a few minutes when the bishops blessed the believers. The Catholicos-designate inaugurated the annual meeting of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Students’ Christian Movement at 12.15 p.m. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Metropolitan presided. C.K. Koshy, a former Gujarat-cadre IAS official, delivered the keynote address.