Lecture on ‘Mango Grafting’ by Metropolitan Alvares Julius at the M. D. Seminary School – Kottayam

Photo of Metropolitan Alvares Julius recreated for OCP-MARP by Fr. Prakash Kuriakose ( Cheif Technical Designer @MARP Research Board)

Dr. Ajesh T. Philip – Head & Chief Research Officer @ OCP-MARP – 11/11/2018

During the second half of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, Mar Alvares and several other nationalist leaders raised their voice against the constantly exploited (by the hands of European and Portuguese rulers) and stagnant nature of the Goan economy. Mar Alvares was a mighty writer and orator and he tried everything to enhance unity among the Goan people. He also offered a number of solutions to overcome the Goan economic crisis. Mar Alvares spoke a lot about the importance of optimum and wise utilization of the natural resources.

Agriculture and Metropolitan Mar Alvares
Metropolitan Alvares gave high importance to farming and agriculture. Mar Alvares believed that only a strong agriculture can save the economy. He spoke on the importance of introducing high yielding crops in Goa. He urged Goan youth to work hard and motivated them to cultivate cassava (tapioca). Mar Alvares urged them to take up the cultivation of cassava because it yielded six times that of rice, wheat or other crops. This would result in better income for them and it will also encounter any sort of food shortage in Goa. He asked Goans to understand the potential (economic merits) of local coconut and mango cultivation (during the period, Goans were asked to export coconut, coconut oil, mango, tamarind, and many other items).

Lecture on ‘Mango Grafting’ at the M.D. Seminary School
It is interesting to note that in the year 1910, Metropolitan Mar Alvares delivered a detailed evening lecture on ‘Mango Grafting’ (at the M. D. Seminary hall), Kottayam for the students of the M. D. Seminary school. For a better understanding of the process, Mar Alvares made a live demonstration of the ‘mango grafting’ process for the students. The Prelate also advised various methods to fix ‘unproductive’ mango trees.

Apart from a journalist, an educationalist, orator, and a spiritual leader, Mar Julius championed the promotion of the various forms of agriculture (through which he had high hopes of creating a self-reliant and sustainable swadeshi economy).

The M.D. Seminary School at Kottayam. Pic -Fb
The M.D. Seminary School at Kottayam. Pic -Fb

M. D. Seminary School
Founded by the late lamented Metropolitan Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius II of Malankara, the school was inaugurated on January 30th, 1893 by the then Kottayam Divan Peshkaar Ramah Rayar. The M.D. Seminary school is one of the oldest and most reputed schools in Kerala, managed by the Corporate Management of the Malankara Orthodox Church.



The Goa-Ceylon Religious Connection: A Review of the ‘The Indian Cry’ of Alvares Mar Julius, Archbishop of Ceylon, Goa, and India by Pratima P. Kamat (University of Goa).
Western Rites of Syriac-Malankara Orthodox Churches – Dr. Ajesh T.Philip and George Alexander.
Data collected by examining various secondary documents as well from interviews and conversations with historian and researchers.

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