Official Website of Bishop Mar Mathew Makil


Mar Mathew Makil was born on 10.4.1851 at Manjoor in Kottayam District. He was appointed Vicar General for the Southists in the Vicariate of Kottayam in 1889. When the Vicariate Apostolic of Kottayam and Trichur were re-organized into Trichur, Ernakulam and Changanassery in 1896, he was nominated Titular Bishop of Trallus and appointed Vicar Apostolic of Changanassery. In 1911, a new Vicariate Apostolic of Kottayam was constituted exclusively for the Knanaya Catholics and Mar Mathew Makil was transferred to Kottayam as Vicar Apostolic. He died at Kottayam on



Founder of SVM (Sisters of the Visitation of the BI. Virgin Mary)

As the Vicar general, Fr. Mathew Makil was very much interested in the spiritual life, education and upliftment of the Knanaya women. For this purpose he charted the Constitutions and Rules of the Congregation of the Visitation sisters which was juridically erected by bishop Lavigne on 24th June 1892, the feast of the Sacrd Heart of Jesus. Being the founder of S.V.M, he took keen interest to give them firm spiritual foundation. The purpose and charism of the foundation of S.V.M was to attain Christian perfection by closely following Jesus Christ through consecrated life, to bear witness to the sweet, humble and meek love of Jesus by fulfilling God’s will through consecrated life and apostolic activities, and working for the upliftment of all people especially of women folk through education, healing ministry and other missionary activities.

While Bishop Makil was the Bishop of the eparchy of Changanacherry, Congregation of the Sacred Heart (S.H.) and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (S.A.B.S) were started. His whole hearted support and paternal care in bringing up these two congregations and the existing Franciscan Clarist Congregation (F.C.C.) is well appreciated.

Vicar Apostolic of Changanacherry 

When Pope Leo XIII reconstituted the two Syro-malabar Vicariates in to three, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Changanacherry in 1896 and appointed indigenous bishops, Msgr. Mathew Makil was appointed titular Bishop of Trallus and Vicar Apostolic of Changanacherry. Bishop Lavigne had strongly recommended the appointment of Msgr. Mathew Makil as Bishop, highlighting the good works done by him and his various capacities. Bishop Marcellinos described him as an honest, service minded and obedient priest.

Bishop of Changanacherry

On Oct.25th 1896, Mar Mathew Makil was ordained Bishop of Trallus and Vicar Apostolic of Changanacherry at Kandy by Msgr. Zaleski. Appointment of Mar Mathew Makil as the head of the newly formed Vicariate of Changanassery was not pleasing to many of the Northist majority community for he belonged to the Southist minority the Knanaya community. He served as the head of the Vicariate Apostolic of Changanassery successfully for fifteen years facing all oppositions. He was ready to accept all challenges considering it as the will of God. As a true follower of Jesus Christ, he was prone to forgive all those who turned against him, to pray for them earnestly and to work hard for them.

Decreth and pastoral Letters

Seven years after becoming the Vicar Apostolic of Changanassery Mar Makil published a book, which contained the rules and regulations for the proper administration of the Vicariate. The book of decrees promulgated by Bishop Mar Mathew Makil for the Vicariate of Changanassery was the first eparchial statutes, promulgated by a native bishop in Kerala. It was an important piece of legislation in the canonical history of the Malabar Church. In 1909 Mar Makil published ‘Christheeya Vedopadesa Samkshepam’ “A summary of Christain Catechism”. He addressed his flock in forty one pastoral letters.

Literary Works

He encouraged the collection and edition of the Christain folk songs and folklores such as the ancient songs of Syrian Christians of malayalam and the margamkali. Bishop Makil made arrangement also for printing and publishing the ‘Njaanakeerthanangal’ written by Thakidiyel Mathan Ittiavira, a knanaya poet.

Erection of Kottayam Vicariate for the Southist People

In order to establish peace and harmony in the Vicariate of Changanacherry, as well as to get established a separate Vicariate for the Knanaya Community, which had kept its identity for 16 centuries the peace loving Bishop Mar Makil, accompanied by father Mathew Vattakkalam and Alexander Chulaparambil started for Rome in April 1911 to meet His Holiness Pope Pius X. On 25th May 1911 Mar Makil visited Pope Pius X and submitted a joint memorandum signed by the three Vicars apostolic, Mar Louis Pazheparambil, Mar Johannan Menacherry and Mar Mathew Makil. Bishop Makil spent several nocturnal hours in prayer for three months, waiting for the will of God. At last on August 29, 1911, Pope Pius X erected a new Apostolic Vicariate of Kottaym exclusively for the Southist People by the Apostolic letter In Universi Christiani. On the next day the Pope issued also the Papal Bull which contained the appointment of Mar Makil as the Vicar Apostolic of Kottayam. Thus, a centurie’s old long dream of the Knanaya Community came true.

Concern for his sheep at Changanassery

After returning from Rome, Mar Makil stayed at Kottayam, but did not forget the Vicariate of Changanassery where he had served for almost fifteen years. To get a good shepherd for Changanassery he strongly recommended the peace loving Fr. Thomas Kurialassery who subsequently was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Changanassery. The Archdioces of Changanassery gratefully acknowledges the great services done by bishop Mar Mathew Makil. In 2004 at a seminar in Commemoration of the 90th death anniversary of Mar Makil, Mar Joseph Powathil Archbishop of Changanassery praised Mar Mathew Makil for his services done at Changanassery, for which the people of Changanachesery would always remember him. Mar Makil occupies an important position in the history of Changanassery. Various educational institutions, churches including the famous ‘Parel Palli' and several religious congregations for women were established during his tenure at Changanassery.