Thoma of Villarvattom
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Thoma of Villarvattom

Thoma Villarvettath was a person claimed by some members of the Nasrani community to be a king of Villarvettom, a vassal principality of the Kingdom of Cochin.[1][2][3]

In 1439, Pope Eugene IV sent an apostolic letter through his legates to Thomas, the Villarvettom king in the following manner: "To our dearest son in Jesus the great king Thomas of India happiness and apostolic benediction. We have been often told that you and your subjects are true and faithful Christians".[4][5]Udayamperoor (known as Diamper in Portuguese), the capital of this kingdom, was the venue of the famous Synod of Diamper of 1599 CE. It was held in the All Saints Church in Diamper. The venue was apparently chosen on account of the place having been the capital of a Syrian Christian principality.[6]

According to the claimed accounts, this Christian dynasty lasted till about the close of the 15th century. The last ruler of the line Jacob Swaroopam died without a male heir. His surviving daughter was married by a prince of the Cochin royal family who was converted to Christianity. So the territories of the Villarvettom came to be absorbed in the Kingdom of Cochin. Consequently, it was considered that the rulers of Cochin had a special responsibility for looking after the welfare of the Saint Thomas Christians of Malabar Coast. The Malabar Syrian Christians however preserved the royal emblems of the Villervattom and presented this to Vasco da Gama, when he arrived in Cochin. This was done to show their homage to the Christian King of Portugal.[7]

The tale of Villarvattom dynasty is mentioned in the Malayalam novel Manja Veyil Maranangal (Yellow Lights of Death) by Benyamin. The Tomb of Villarvettom Thoma Raja can be found in the udayamperoor church.

References

  1. ^ "Raja Thoma Villarvattam - King of the Nasranis". NSC Network. 15 April 2007. Retrieved 2009.
  2. ^ The Travancore State Manual. II. Kerala Gazetteers Dept. ISBN 9788185499321. |first= missing |last= (help)
  3. ^ http://www.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/localContentView.do?tabId=16&programId=1079897624&contentId=14805595&district=Cochin&BV_ID=@@@
  4. ^ A. J. John, Anaparambil Archived 1 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ History - Chendamangalam Syro-Malabar Church
  6. ^ http://www.synodofdiamper.com/mal/index.php
  7. ^ Flashes of Kerala History. 1980. |first= missing |last= (help)



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