Printing Press


Arun Jose

In 1846 Saint Chavara took essential steps in opening a printing press for the Church in Kerala. At that time there were only two printing presses in Kerala, one owned by Protestant missionaries and another run by the state government. First he approached the Protestant missionaries to get technical help to start a printing press. However, they refused to help. Hence, he somehow got permission to see the press operated by the government at Thiruvananthapuram, took mental note of its details, made a mini sample press with his own hands and asked a carpenter to make a full size press according to his model. The Carpenter was successful in implementing the plan of Saint Chavara. Thus the dream of Saint Chavara to begin a press for Catholics was realized.

It was from this press that the first Malayalam daily newspaper, Deepika (Torch-bearer), came out in 1887. He was also the first Indian to start a printing press in the private ownership.  Chavara has proved his interest in printing press and publication by situating press with great pain and struggle to awakening the Kerala church specially in the field of literatures, devotional prayer books and many people especially young men and women were acquired knowledge on their mother tongue and various news about kerala church and news from other prominent areas.

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