Monday, 11 January 2010



Constable Ittiyaveera died from the bullets of Dhanashekaran, leaving behind his wife and three children. It was the first incident in Kerala police station where a policeman was shot by the culprit. “ I will kill Dhanashekaran” was the only diary note of victim’s son. Today the son is not Zakharia but Fr. Zakharia. He demonstrated the path of goodness to the world instead of the unholy path of revenge.

The life of Fr. Zakharia Therambil, the vicar of Mar. Gregorios Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church Thiruvanchiyoor, has turned to spirituality after having gone through the path of communist ideology and the thoughts of revenge. As a teenager and later as an young man his mind was full of communism and theories of Evolutions. The thoughts of revenge to kill his fathers murderer followed. Soon Zakharias visualized the crucified figure of the Christ, the most merciful lord, enlightened Zakhria’s mind.

Reckless Teenage

Zakharia, the youngest son of Ittiyaveera and Thankamma wasn’t a believer to start with. Ittiyaveera, a head constable, was a man of principles and was against bribery and dishonesty. Zakharia was taken to communism in his schooldays. Later he joined St.Marys college, Manarkad. For the pre-degree course. He was forced to leave the college due to his rebellious attitude. Zakharia says that it happened as a result of misunderstanding by the college authorities. His father didn’t persuade his son to apologise and go back to college. He continued his education privately.

The Day Life Changed.

Zakharia was at his home when he heard that his father was shot, on 8 January 1989.
Dhanashekaren shot Ittiyaveera four times and one bullet hit his forehead. While he was doing body-check to pull out the fake currency notes. Ittiyaveera died at Kottayam medical college after a six hour long surgery at 11 pm, leaving behind his innocent wife and school going children. It was the first incident of shooting a police man in Kerala police station. The incident has shocked Zakharia.

Today fr. Zakharia laughs while reading his diary note, “I will kill Dhanashekaran”.

It was his intention to find and kill him who escaped jail soon after the arrest.A lot of well wishers came forward to help the family, that shattered mentally and financially. The colleagues of Ittiyaveera- V R Rajeevan [S.P], ASP Sreelekha, Alphonse Kannanthanam [ District collector], sympathetically helped the family of their respectable and principle minded Ittiyaveera. Still the thoughts of revenge didn’t subside in Zakharia’s mind. While at the Baselios college his mind gradually changed. Zacharia believes that it was by the intervention of God. It started during a short stay on the street, on his way back home fro college. He listened to Rev. Fr. Mathew Naickamparambil who was conducting a camp at Nagambalam, sponsored by Muringoor retreat centre. It was incredible to believe the change of Zakharia towards spirituality that he refused to accept before.

The condition of his family worsened because of the falling rubber prices and difficulty in paying home loan. By God’s grace his elder brother Kurian managed to secure a job in village office soon relieving the family burden. Zakharia doesn’t remember the time he thought of priesthood. Anxiety and difficulty in decsision making followed regarding future course in life. By this time he completed his degree at the university. He wrote a long letter describing the situation to Prof. of Economics- P C Elias. It was the reply of this letter that initiated Zakharia to become Fr. Zakharia. The reply said “I expect my students of the batch will reach great heights. Zakharia is one among them. I pray that you become a priest showering the light of divinity to many”.

With The Poor And Needy

Zakharia started visiting the patients of medical college Kottayam after joining the Navajeevan trust. He continued his sympathy and compassion to them after becoming the priest as well. His vicariate started at the St. George church at Valayadi in the high range. He reached there at a time when the factories where closed and people were jobless and starving. He started collection of food from Kottayam and distributing to them.

It was liquor addiction of the villagers that made him to start a retreat centre there. He could liberate many from alchoholism and drugs. In 2003 he reached Thoothutty Mar Gregorios church. He started a retreat centre here also. Selecting a hundred poverty striken family in the area he arranged to provide three kilogram rice every week to them. It was his brain behind the construction of ten houses to the homeless in this area.
His compassion and sympathy to the sick made him to join Pain and Palliative Care Unit. Centered at the church, 25 volunteers and over hundred patients seek advice and treatment. He drove for the first time an ambulance to Kottayam medical college and saved the life of person who met with accident at Thoothutty. Fr. Zakhariah, opting celibacy, destined to serve the poor until death. Like Pope John Paul II he too has no personal bank account.

His Holiness the Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas approved the recommendation of the Holy Synod of Malankara, the name of Rev. Fr. Zacharia T. I, Mor Gregorian Centre Thoothootty, Kottayam as bishop for Malabar Diocese. On 4th January 2009,  the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church  consecrated him at a pious but auspicious ceremony held at the St. Athanasius Cathedral in the Malankara Syrian Church headquarters, Puthencuriz.

He prays God to help him to live poor and die poor..

Report by : Thankachan Samuel

For more information, please visit Mor Grego , Syrian Church, Global Vision, SOCMNet ,  , Manorama, Mathrubhoomi, Desabhimani, Mangalam, Deepika
For visiting photo Album 
Album One, Album Two, Album Three, Album Four

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