History of Mannil Family
It is traditionally believed that St.Thomas founded seven and a half churchesin Kerala.They are Kodungalloor or Malyankara,Palayur ,Parur,Gokkamangalam,Kurakkeni- Kollam,Niranamand Chayal. Due to fights among kingdoms and attack by Arabs a good number of Christians from North migrated to southern side like Kuravilangadetcaround 300 AD.They were Christians originally converted by St.Thomas fromPalayoor and Kodungalloor,prominent among them were members of Royal family.Besides the 7churches established by St.Thomas there are many other old churches in Kerala which are of great importance to Syrian Christian community. One among them is the St.MarysChurch,Kuravilangad.This church is more than 1500 years old and its kapela is believed to have been made in AD 335.Many of the old Christian families migrated to Kottayam,Changanassery,ThiruvallaChengannur,Kozhencherry,Thumpamonetc claim their origin from this church.As per the information passed through generations, it is believed that Mannil family also migrated from Kuravilangad and finally settled in Thumpamon.Some of these families claim generations of priesthood which was given to members of eminent families.Mannil family was also such a family holding respect in the society and consisted of priestly classfrom olden times.MannilKuriakoseKathanaar (Rev. Fr. Kuriakose) whomthe family members fondly call asMannilAchen wassuch a priest of the family who lived about 350 years ago.
The name Thumpamon is derived from Thumba plants. Thumba (Leucaindica) is a very small herb that grows in the area; the plant has very small milky white flowers, 6 to 8 mm in diameter. Thumba flowers signify purity and simplicity; “Mon” means either soil or a small piece of land. It seems that when the name Thumba was written in English it was misspelled as thumpa; mon was added to thumpa to signify “land of the thumba flowers”, arriving at the name “Thumpamon”. Thumpamon is a renowned Christian centre from immemorial times. The first church here at Thumpamonwas built around AD 717 and the second church was built in AD 950. However, the present Church, St.Mary’s Orthodox, was built in AD 1175.
Mannil Ancestral Family
Mannil Ancestral Family is located approximately 120 KM south of Ernakulam and 90 KM north of Trivandrum on the banks of the Achenkovil river, in the village called Thumpamon and is about 1KM east from the center of Thumpamon where St. Mary’s Church, the high school and middle school, and shops and the market place are located. It is one among the very few old families which settled at Thumpamon in the early days.As any other old family, the Mannil ancestral family is also now having many branches and sub-branches .Main branches are Kottackal,Thiruvinal,KaringattilThekkethil and Mulamoottil and such families in course of time are again sub- branched and now the family members are residing all over the world.
Memmory of Kuriackose Kathanar and Mannil Kudumbayogam
As mentioned earlier, it is a well-known fact that the Mannil family included an ascetic priest Mannil Kuriakose Kathanar (Rev. Fr. Kuriakose) who lived about 350 years ago . His death anniversary is remembered every year on Vruschikam -1( VruchikaMasam- KV-Malayalam era). The month Vruschikam, is a holy month even to Hindus (Sabarimala) and everywhere during this month the atmosphere is filled with holy prayers and songs. It is with much reverence and devotion that the family members who branched out from Mannil and now residing at different parts of Kerala and even abroad come to Thumpamon to attend the Holy Communion and incense prayer (Dhupaprarthana) at Mannil, in memory of our beloved Mannil Achen. Other priests from the family like Thiruvinal (Yakoob Kathanar[expired in 1926],Geevarghese Kathanar [expired in 1959] ) Plavilayil (Rev Fr. Joyce Plavilayil [expired in 2007] ) are also honored and remembered on this day. It is followed by a family get-together (Kudumbasangamam) and sharing of meals. Family members coming from far and near make it an event cherished with reverence in their hearts. Two priests from Mannil Family namely, Rev. Fr. Thomas Plavilayil and Rev. Fr. Joshua Chuttippara are patrons of Kudumbayogam at present.