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AP 230 to 221

St, EPHREM The Syrian
By Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar.

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AP 221 - A Catechetical Study on Saint Ephrem : By കൂനമ്മാക്കൽ തോമ കത്തനാർ
Call Number

AP 221

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title St. EPHREM The Syrian By Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar.
Duration 9:57
Place of Recording Beth Aprem Nazrani Dayra, Kuravilangad, Kottayam Dt., Kerala, India.
Date of Recording 3 August 2014
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s)



പരിശുദ്ധാത്മാവിൻ്റെ കിന്നരം
St. Ephrem the Syrian.
A Catechetical Study on Saint Ephrem : By കൂനമ്മാക്കൽ തോമ കത്തനാർ

Note: The name of St. Ephrem, the pride and glory of Syriac Christianity, is not familiar enough to the Syro Malabar Catholics. We are indeed blessed to have a class on St. Ephrem's significance by an eminent scholar of Kerala, Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar. The theology of St. Ephrem should have been a chapter in the high school students' catechetical textbooks. This poet-saint who lived and taught and sang in the fourth century is still appealing to our era. St. Ephrem married theology to the sound and rhythm of Syriac poetry. He was very much like the rishis in India who composed Mahabharat in poetry. St. Ephrem, according to Koonammakkal Kathanar, was more prolific than the Indian rishis. Our Hindus in India have been smarter than the Christians in the matter of pedagogy of faith. Hindu stories and legends were transmitted not through formal classroom education but art and poetry. Children learned innumerable lines of poetry and mastered religious lessons through poems. St. Ephrem bequeathed a beautiful example that did not catch the attention of Syro Malabar Catholics. This video is a wake-up call. Theology is not an intellectual gymnastics but the oxygen for living, breathing lungs of faith. We hope that this video will inspire many people to rediscover St. Ephrem and tell themselves that it is all right to enjoy faith and that aesthetics and faith are complementary. "Sing to the Lord a new song" (Psalm 96:1).

We are immensely grateful to Jarly Mathew and Kuriachan J. Palackal for making this videotaped conversation happen. At present, the Kathanar is suffering from ill health and we do not know when he will regain the strength to talk as he did in this video. We can only pray, be grateful to God, and enjoy what we have.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York 8
December 2020.

(Feast of the Immaculate Conception)

Keywords: St. Ephrem. Mar Aprem. Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar Aramaic Project Syriac Christianity.

Related Videos

  • AP 16 - Interview with Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar.
  • AP 16a – Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar becomes emotional while speaking about the contributions of Fr. Emmanuel Thelly, CMI (1925-2015) and the failure from the part of the Syro Malabar Church to "recognize the face of a scholar."
  • AP 16c – Etymology of the word "Aramaic." Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar
  • AP 16d – What is the Etymology of the word " Chaldaya." Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar
  • AP 16f – Koonammakal Thoma Kathanar about the library at Beth Aprem Nazrani Dayra
  • AP 28 -The pronunciation of Syriac in Kerala and Iraq.
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  • AP 218 - Fr. Emmanuel Thelly, CMI, A Servant of the Syro Malabar Church.
  • AP 219 - Koonammakkal Thoma Kathanar on the beauty of the Syriac language and music.
  • AP 308 - Prof. Sebastian Brock pays tribute to Rev. Dr. Thomas Koonammakkal Part-1
  • AP 309 - Prof. Sebastian Brock on Dr. Koonammakkal's Contribution to Syriac studies in India
  • *********************
  • AP 29 - Fr. Thomas Perumayan teaches the Sunday School children "Laaku Maara".
  • AP 30 - Sunday School Children sing Qandisa alaha/ kandisa alaha (Trisagion)
  • AP 196 - Catechism through Syriac chants. Ramsha Mariam Payyappilly.

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