MARTHA MARIAM VANITHA SAMAJAM (M.M.V.S.)
Marth mariam Vanitha Samajam (MMVS) is one of the major spiritual organizations in the Malankara Orthodox Church. In 1920 it started as a woman's prayer group, and as it grew it began meeting in various parishes, scattered all over the Malankara Orthodox Church in India.
In 1928 under the patronage of very Rev: M. C. Kuriakose Ramban and the leadership of K. M. Annamma and colleagues, the entire parish-based woman's prayer groups were brought under one umbrella, and named Marth Mariam Vanitha Samajam, Marth is the feminine form of Mar, which means Saint in Syriac, so it is named after, “Saint Mary”.
The Samajam mainly aimed at the spiritual growth of women, and the patron Mother Mary, set the perfect example. As we all know, she grew up in the temple, which meant that she had a complete knowledge of the scriptures, and a great faith in God. We can see in the Bible, she continued to follow her Son, Jesus, in His ministry, she was there in Cana, where Jesus did His first miracle. She was also there at the crucifixion of her Son, she did not get discouraged or stop there, but continued the ministry with the disciples and other women, in the upper room in constant prayers, until the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit poured out on all of them. Acts 1:13-2: 4.
From the beginning, the motto of the Samajam has been, “Pray, Act and Illumine”, for Jesus taught us to pray, He asked us to help the needy and He called us to be the “The Light of the World”. The visionary lady behind this was Mrs. K.M. Annamma (Kandathil family), she was the first secretary of this association, and worked very hard for 36 years to help it grow into a viable woman's wing of the church, up to the point where the constitution of this organization was recognized by the Holy Apostolic Synod in 1964.
The Association's first President was, very Rev: M.C. Kuriakose Ramban (1928-1931). Thereafter for the next 20 years, Puthancave GeeVarghese Mar Philexinose (1931- 1951). The current President is H. G. Yuhanon Mar Theodoros. Currently the General Secretary is Mrs. Mary Mathew. It's headquartered in Kottayam and all the women in the Malankara Orthodox Church belong to this organization and there are now over 100,000 members.
Here at St. Mary's Orthodox Church Atlanta, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Mathew Koshy, we of the Marth Mariam Vanitha Samajam (MMVS), make every effort to meet each Sunday after the Holy Qurbana, and we begin with a devotional song and prayer, which is followed by Bible Teaching; next we discuss any official matters and the meeting ends with a Thanksgiving prayer.
Every third Sunday we set apart for Intercessory Prayer, at which time the members write down their prayer requests and we then pray individually for each one and for many others as well.
We are so blessed to have Alexios Mar Esuebius as our President of the Southwest Diocese of America, who works very diligently for the educational and spiritual growth of the women by establishing Bible Studies, Mathopadasam and Diviabothanam Studies over teleconference calls as well as Annual Conferences.
We collect money from all the members to give financial aid to the sick, who are poor and needy as well as for furthering education. This year we’ve sponsored an Orphanage girl for her College education and also we’ve collected canned food from the parishioners and donated to the soup kitchen during the Easter, where hundreds of homeless and poor are being fed and we’re planning to donate during the Christmas as well. Besides all these, we, the MMVS, hold the vital part in fund raising project towards Church building fund, especially in the construction of Madhubaha.
We, the Samajam, conducted a Talent Show on Mother’s day, consisted of Elocution, the topic was, “Jesus Christ the Unchangeable Model”, 1 Peter 2:21, and the singing of a devotional songs, in groups as well as solo. Whoever was the best will perform at the Regional Conference which will take place on August 16th Tampa, Florida.
This year the East Region Family and Youth Conference was held in our Church, and our enthusiastic, energetic MMVS members, wholeheartedly worked side by side with its male coordinating officials and pleased all the guests. I extend my thanks and blessings to all those who were actively involved in this event and glorified the Lord’s name. May the Grace of God be with us to continue to practice in our daily lives, the theme of Marth Mariam Vanitha Samajam, “Pray, Act and Shine”, which was established over 80 years ago.