St.Thomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church,

(under the holy see of Antioch and all the East)

"Jesus Christ is the head of this Church"

The Church is the part of Universal Syrian Orthodox Christian Church under the Holy Apostolic rule of Moran Mor Ignatius Zaka I was. This Church is serving (but not limited to) the Malayalee Community from India in Australia. St. Thomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church Brisbane,Australia welcomes you to join with the happiness of spiritual worship (Holy Qurbana) and to the salvation and to the peace of our Lord Jesus

Vicar's message

StThomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church

Everything you want to know about our Church

The Jacobite Syrian Christian denomination can claim the antiquity as part of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, whose foundations can be traced back to the very dawn of Christianity. The Church justifiably prides itself as being one of the earliest established apostolic churches. It was in Antioch, after all, that the followers of Jesus were called Christians as we are told in the New Testament, “The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26). According to ecclesiastical tradition, the Church of Antioch is the second established church in Christendom after Jerusalem, and the prominence of its Apostolic See is well documented. In his Chronicon (I, 2), the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea tells us that St. Peter the Apostle established a bishopric in Antioch. So St Peter is the first Bishop of Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church. In the mid of the 5th century, the Bishop of Antioch, and his counterparts in Alexandria, Byzantium and Rome, would be called patriarchs. The Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch used to be known by his own name; however, since 1293 the patriarchs of Antioch adopted the name Ignatius, after the Illuminator. The See of Antioch continues to flourish till our day, with His Holiness Moran Mor IgnaTius Aphrem II, being the 122nd in the line of legitimate patriarchs. The Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church is unique for many reasons as the part of Syriac Orthodox Church. Firstly, it presents a form of Christianity, which is Semitic in nature, with a culture not far from the one Christ himself experienced. Secondly, it employs in its liturgy the Syriac language, an Aramaic dialect akin to the Aramaic spoken by Christ and the Apostles. Thirdly, its liturgy is one of the most ancient, and has been handed from one generation to another. Fourthly, and most importantly, it demonstrates the unity of the body of Christ by the multiethnic nature of its faithful: The Syriac Orthodox Church has been a member of the World Council of Churches since 1960, and is one of the founding members of the Middle East Council of Churches. The Church takes part in ecumenical and theological dialogues with other churches. As a result of these dialogues, the Church has issued two joint declarations with the Roman Catholic Church and another with the Eastern Orthodox churches.

HISTORY- FROM AD 52-TILL NOW Throughout Syria and Mesopotamia, Aramaic, in its many dialectical forms, was the language of the land, and Syriac, originally the Aramaic dialect of Edessa in Northern Mesopotamia, must have been the most influential literary form of Aramaic. When we speak of Syriac Christianity, we refer to Christians whose native tongue was Syriac and those who employed Syriac as their liturgical language. Syriac Christianity has had a long history in India. According to tradition, Christianity in India was established by St. Thomas who arrived in Malankara (Kerala) from Edessa in A.D. 52. The close ties between the Church in Malankara and the Near East go back to at least the fourth century when a certain Joseph of Edessa traveled to India and met Christians there. The church in Malankara today is an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church with the Patriarch of Antioch as its supreme spiritual head. The local head of the church in Malankara is the Catholicos of the East, consecrated by and accountable to the Patriarch of Antioch. Syriac Christianity spread rapidly in the East. The Bible was translated into Syriac to serve as the main source of teaching as early as the second century. Till our day, the antiquity of the Syriac biblical versions is upheld with high esteem by modern scholars. In the words of Dr. Arthur Vööbus, “In our search for the oldest translation of the Greek original [of the New Testament] we must go back to the Syriac idiom” (Studies in the History of the Gospel Text in Syriac, p. 1). The Syriac Church Fathers made no less than six translations and revisions of the New Testament and at least two of the Old Testament. Their scholarship in this domain has no equal in Church history. Arch Cor. Kurian Kaniyamparambil the scholor of the church transelated the Bible in to local language Malayalam in 21st centuary. The Syriac Orthodox Church survived under the dominion of many empires in the centuries that followed. Under the Arabs, Mongols, Crusades, Mamluks and Ottomans, the Syriac Orthodox Church continued its survival. Neither intimidation nor oppression could suppress the faithful, but the Church diminished in size to a fraction of what it was. As an the Emperor supported the Chalcedonian camp, the Syriac Church came under much persecution. Many bishops were sent to exile, most notably Patriarch Mor Severius, who was later given the epithet togho d-suryoye, ‘Crown of the Syriacs’. Mor Severius died in exile in 538. By the year 544, the Syriac Church was in an abysmal situation with only three bishops remaining. It was at this time that Mor Yacqub Burd`ono (Jacob Baradeus) emerged to rejuvenate the Church. Mor Yacqub traveled to Constantinople for an audience with Empress Theodora, the daughter of a Syriac Orthodox priest from Mabbug according to Syriac Orthodox sources, and wife of Emperor Justinian. Theodora used her influence to get Jacob ordained as bishop in 544. Later, Mor Yacqub would travel across the entire land reviving the Church. He managed to consecrate 27 bishops and hundreds of priests and deacons. For this, the Syriac Orthodox Church honors this saint on July 30 of every year, the day of his death in 578. A few centuries later, adversaries labeled the Syriac Orthodox Church ‘Jacobite’ after St. Jacob. The Syriac Orthodox Church rejects this belittling label which wrongly suggests that the Church was founded by Mor Yacqub. As a result of further immigration that ensued, the Syriac Orthodox Church today has faithful not only in the Middle East and India, but in Europe, the Americas and Australia as well.

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The faith of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church is in accordance with the Nicene Creed. It believes in the Trinity that is one God, subsisting in three separate persons called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The three being of one Essence, of one Godhead, have one Will, one Work and one Lordship. The special aspect of the First Person is His Fatherhood, that of the Second Person His Sonship, and that of the Third Person His Procession. The Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church believes in the mystery of Incarnation. That is, the Only Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, took to Himself a body and became man. It further believes that at the time of Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit came upon her and cleansed her of all natural impurity, filling her with His grace. Then the Only Son of God came down and entered her immaculate womb, and took to Himself a body through her, thus becoming a perfect Man with a perfect Soul. After nine months, He was born of her and her virginity was maintained contrary to the laws of nature. It further believes that His true Godhead and His true Manhood were in Him essentially united, He being one Lord and one Son, and that after the union took place in Him, He had but one Nature Incarnate, was one Person, had one Will and one Work. This union is marked by being a natural union of persons, free of all separateness, intermixture, confusion, mingling, change and transformation. The Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church calls Mary yoldath aloho, ‘Bearer of God’, because she gave birth to Christ, God truly incarnate. The Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church believes that the death of Christ was the separation of His soul from His body, but His deity did not at any time leave either His body or His soul. It further believes that by His death for us, He conferred upon us salvation from eternal death and reconciliation with His Heavenly Father. The Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Spirit of Truth, and proceeding from the Father. The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. (Note. The word for ‘spirit’ in Syriac, ruho (which is also the word for ‘wind’), is grammatically feminine. Holy Spirit is referred to with the feminine pronoun in almost all early Syrian writings, though later writings refer to it in the masculine. Concerning the Church, the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church believes the Church is the body of true believers in Christ, and that the Head of the Church is Our Lord God Jesus Christ. The Chief Bishop of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church is the Patriarch of Antioch and Catholicos Aboon Mor Beselios Thomas I. With regards to Sacraments, the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Sacraments are tangible signs designated by the Lord Christ to proclaim divine grace, which He gave for our sanctification. The Sacraments of the Church are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Repentance, the Priesthood, Anointing of the Sick, and Marriage. Holy Sacraments are offered by the Bishops and the Priests. Only believers can receive the Sacraments. All but four of the Sacraments are essential for salvation: Baptism, Confirmation, Repentance and Eucharist. Of the sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation and the Priesthood may be received only once. The Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church conforms to the teachings of the Three Ecumenical Councils of Nicea (A.D. 325), Constantinople (A.D. 381) and Ephesus (A.D. 431). It rejects the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451).

The supreme head of the Syriac Orthodox Church is the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. He also presides over the Holy Synod, the assembly of all bishops. The local head of the church in Malankara (India) is the Catholicos of the East Aboon Mor Beselios Thomas I. The Catholicos is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch and is accountable to the Holy Synod and the local Malankara Synod. He is consecrated by the Patriarch and presides over the local Holy Synod. The local head of every archdiocese is an archbishop. He is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch and is accountable to the Holy Synod. The archbishop is ordained by the Patriarch and at least two bishops. Some archdioceses are ‘patriarchal vicarates’; the patriarchal vicar, regardless of ecclesiastical office, is accountable directly to the Patriarch.

Prayer Timings

Holy Qurbana

Sunday 3.30 PM

Annual Retreat

will soon be announced

Monthly Prayer Meetings

First Satuday Every month


Vicar's Message

Dear beloved in Christ,

Welcome to St Thomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church Brisbane Webpage., I am happy to welcome you to Brisbane parish, Where ever you are in the world.

My message:

John 3.16 says God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son; those who will believe in him will not perish but will have an everlasting life. God has created entire universe and then humanity out of HIS love. The Son of God, Jesus Himself taught us God’s love. Jesus has taught us to treat everyone as our neighbour and brother or sister, including enemies. It is Gods’ plan about us that, as we all sinners, we have to turn from our own ways to the new life of God. Jesus Christ is the symbol of God’s love, forgiveness, salvation; healing, justice and He re-established the right relationship with God through His life, death, and resurrection. This is knowledge is the real wisdom. Man's ways lead to a hopeless end! God's way leads to an endless hope!

Why do we go to Church?

Church is the place where the Holy Qurbana takes place; Holy Qurbana resembles the Holy sacrifice in Calvary. Inside the Church, Altar is the most Holy place because, that is where the same Holy sacrifices as that of on Cross takes place with every Holy Qurbana. So that Church is the place to worship God. Church is the place where God is present. So I really want you to understand the great fact that in each Holy Qurbana, Our Lord Jesus Christ really present and renews the sacrifice of the Holy Cross.


A man who fails to go to Church and who fails to Love Holy Qurabna- He fails to love The Lord Jesus. He goes away from the salvation. All the teaching of Jacobite Syrian Church has we received, directly from Jesus through his disciple St Peter and then followed through our ancestors and Saints. We protect all the teachings of Jesus without an interruption. It is still in the original version.

So I would like assure my prayer to you and your family. Our Lord is mighty to comfort you in all your problems. Please find the Church timings and join with the Holy Qurbana without fail. If any Jacobite Syrian Orthodox member is visiting Brisbane from India or Middle East or Europe or USA or any part of the world please visit us. This Congregation is a small growing community. Please pray for me and for our Church. Please feel free to contact me for all your prayer requests.


I would like to thank God for His Care and Mercy for this little Congregation. Also special thanks to our Catholicos His Beatitude Beselios Thomas 1 and His Eminence Metropolitan Mor Athanasios Geevargis for their spiritual guidance and Support. Finally I am thanking all of you who take an effort to prepare this website and those who shown interest to visit our parish website.

May God bless you and your family.
With prayers
Fr.Lilu Varghese,
Vicar, St Thomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church Brisbane

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