Our Founder
Mar Antony Cardinal Padiyara was born at Manimala in Padiyara family as fifth son of  Mrs & Mr Kuruvila on 11th February 1921. He was known with the pet name Kunjachan at home.He had his education at Govt. L.P.S, St. George U.P.S Manimala and SB H.S.S. Changanacherry. After his school he entered the Seminary life. He completed his ecclesiastical studies at the petit seminary at Coimbatore and St.Peters Major Seminary at Bangalore. He received his sacerdotal ordination from the Bishop of Salem on 19th December 1945. Then he served as assistant at Kodivery and Parish priest at Kollegal and Ootty. In 1952 he was made rector of the Minor Seminary at Mysore and in 1954, was appointed as Professor in St. Peters Pontifical seminary, Bangalore.
On July 3rd 1955 he was nominated Bishop of the newly formed Diocese of Ootty. He was Consecrated bishop on 16th October 1955.

 He spend fifteen long years there at Ootty which was an under developed area and contributed much towards its development.

He was promoted as Archbishop and was transferred to the Metropolitan see of Changanacherry, of which he took charge on 15th August 1970. He received palliam   on 7th August 1970. On 21st September 1974, he laid the foundation stone of Apostolic Sisters a religious congregation for women in Syro Malabar rite. In 1976 he was elected president of the Catholic Bishops Council in India (C.B.C.I) and in 1983 president of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (K.C.B.C). In 1984 he was elected president of Syro-Malabar Bishops Conference (S.M.B.C). On 8th September 1978 his Holiness Pope John Paul 1 appointed him as apostolic visitor of the Syro Malabar Catholics living outside Kerala. After 15 years of meritorious service at Changanacherry he was transferred to the Metropolitan see of Ernakulam on May 18, 1985. He received charge of it on 3rd July 1985.

His Holiness Pope John Paul II nominated Mar Antony Padiyara as a member of the College of Cardinals on May 29, 1988. At the consistory on June 28, 1988 he was raised to the dignity of a cardinal. On 20 October 1988 he was appointed as a member of the Congregation for the oriental churches, and of the pontifical commission for the revision of the code of oriental Canon Law. As a crown to his glory on 16th December 1992 the Holy Father was appointed His Eminence the first Major Archbishop of the new Major Archiepiscopal see of Syro Malabar Church Ernaklam-Angamaly

On 18 December 1996 he retired from his service at the age of 75. In 1988 he was honoured by India Government by giving Padmasree Award, he spent his last days in natural cure centre at Kakkanad. The last few months of Cardinal Padiyara witnessed great physical suffering too. He kept a bless of smile till his last breath. He was called to eternal reward on 23 Mach 2000. 

He grew up with extra ordinary goodness and piety from his early childhood onwards, he had a special devotion to holy mother and a special friendship with Jesus. He was filled with missionary spirit. To be a priest was his lifelong desire. He was a faithful son of the church. As a priest and Bishop he was a good shepherd. Always he presented a warm welcome and pleasant smile to each and every one who came before him. He was a man of humble mind and simple life style. He stood for peace and oneness and as a man of great intellectual vigor. He was a lamp to those who were in darkness. His pastoral letters bear witness to the apostolic zeal for the spiritual welfare of the people of God. Above all he is a man of God and ardent devotee of Holy Mother. The book JOURNEY IN SPIRIT, a collection of his retreat talks reveals his wisdom and insight about the life as a priest and religious person. His Motto was always serve the God in joy - is the sign of his life style.
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