Our Patriarch
 

Late Archbishop Dr. V J Stephen D.D

Seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Travancore and Cochin

Born on 19th August 1906 as the son of famous Evangelist Vattappara Stephen John and Chiravalumkal Aleyamma Zacharia, in Chelacompu Village, Kottayam, Kerala. His mother died at his age of six and later he was raised by his father and his step mother. He married Mariamma, daughter of Joseph and Aleyamma of the Murinjakallil family in Anikadu Village near Mallappally.

During his years as a civil servant, the late archbishop served the Government in the Department of Judiciary and later he resigned his job and joined the Seminary.

He was ordained as a Presbyter in 1940 and served in the Anglican Church and after the Church Union he served the Church of South India (CSI).

During the reestablishment of the Diocese of Travancore and Cochin, he led the Diocese and the people and separated from CSI in 1964. He was then consecrated as the seventh Bishop of the Diocese on May 5, 1966. In 1982 he became Arch Bishop and in 1983 he was elected as one of the Vice Presidents of International Council of Christian Churches. He was taken by God on 24th November 1986.

He was the First Bishop from among the erstwhile Royal Dynasty of Cherans in Kerala. On the day of his consecration he ordained 24 Clergy and in his lifetime he has ordained more than 50 Presbyters and has consecrated four Bishops. He has single handedly lead the people to established congregations in more than 200 places. He was the greatest Christian Reformer Kerala has ever seen.

While he was alive, his name was published in the official historical publications of the Government of Kerala.

The House in which he lived as Bishop at Kurichy, Kottayam, is preserved as a Museum now. The articles he used , his Books, his writings, some Books referring him, etc are maintained there. This was opened by the Chief Minister of Kerala, Hon. Oomman Chandy, on Sunday 20th November 2005.

He will ever be remembered as the Preserver and Renovator of the Anglican faith in India.