In 1796 A D., the Sakthan Thampuran, King of erstwhile Kochi State (now part of Kerala) brought 52 Christian families to Thrissur from the neighbourhood with a view to develop Thrissur as a center of trade and commerce. The Mart Mariam Church was constructed in 1814 for the worship of those Christian families. Abraham Cathanar of Palai dedicated the Church in 1815 by the command of King of Kochi state, Ramavarma, successor of the famous Sakthan Thampuran, who had settled down this community in Thrissur.
The chapel adjacent to Mart Mariyam big church is a center of pilgrims. The main tomb in this chapel is of Mar Abimalek Timotheus Metropolitan who died on 30th April 1945. He is considered as a saint by people of all religions. They come and pray at his tomb. On May 1st every year more than 15000 devotees come and pray homage at the tomb. They are given a sumptuous vegetarian lunch (agape). Jawaharlal Nehru who visited church in may 1931 has mentioned about the pious Metropolitan in his autobiography.
For about Four decades in the first half of the last century The Chaldean Syrian Church of The East in India was administrated by the late MAR ABIMALEK TIMOTHEUS METROPOLITAN of blessed memory. This great Metropolitan was an instrument of the Divine Omnipotence. It was His Grace who showed the chaldean Syrians of India the tree of true faith, and because of his heroic leadership and the rare dazzle of his spiritual stature this sacred relic of the church founded by Apostle Thomas could survive whose dark and dangerous days. Mar Timotheus mended the fences of the deserted wine yard, and he labored with single minded devotion and stout heart determination.
Protracted litigation and the problems it gave rise to take away much of his time and energy, yet Mar Timotheus could work wonders in church in India. Comforted with the appalling necessity of beginning from the scratch, His Grace toiled with indomitable courage and determination and produced results which have become part of the history of the Church of The East in India.
Mar Abimalek Timotheus was not a born Indian, but the ease and earnestness with which he identified himself with the people of India was amazingly inimitable. His Grace was a great friend of the Indian freedom movement and true admirer of Mahathma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru who with his daughter Indira Priyadarsini ( Indira Gandhi ) visited the metropolitan house at Thrissur and stayed there during the period of freedom movement and had discussions with His Grace Mar Abimalek Timotheus Metropolitan. He has Proudly mentioned of those sweet memories in his famous books of “AUTO BIOGRAPHY” and “GLIMPSES OF WORLD HISTORY”. After India became an independent Nation and when Mrs. Indira Gandhi honored with the prestigious crown of the president of the Indian National Mahila Congress, she visited the Metropolitan’s house in Thrissur and with utmost respect placed wreath on the tomb of late Abimalek Timotheus Metropolitan. It was His Grace’s great and gracious attitude to the Indian National Movement that whetted the patriotic zeal and fervor of his flock and helped in a really Big Way the Chaldean Syrian Community in India to keep itself happily and firmly in the main stream of India’s National life. Mar Abimalek Timotheus Metropolitan died on 30th April 1945.
Mar Abimalek Timotheus truly a man of God, and his life a saga of service and sacrifices.