Kuriakose Elias Chavara popularly known as "Chavarayachan" was the co-founder and first Prior General of the first congregation for men in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, now known as the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, and of a similar one for women, the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel..
Kuriakose Elias Chavara was born on February 10, 1805, at Kainakary, Kerala in a Saint Thomas Christian family as the son of Iko (Kuriakose) Chavara and Mariam Chothirakkunel/ Thoppil. He was baptized on February 17, 1805, at Chennamkary Parish Church in Alappuzha. In his childhood, Kuriakose attended the village school. There he studied language and elementary sciences.He entered the seminary in 1818 in Pallipuram where Father Thoma Palackal was the Rector. He was ordained a priest on 29 November 1829 at Arthunkal and presided over the Holy Qurbana for the first time at Chennamkary Church.
Kuriakose Kathanar joined with two other priests, Palackal Thoma Malpan and Porukara Thomas Kathanar to lead a monastic life. The name of the community they founded was the Servants of Mary Immaculate. The foundation for the first monastery at Mannanam was laid on May 11, 1831, by Porukara Thomas Kathanar. Palackal and Porukara Kathanars died in 1841 and 1846, respectively. On December 8, 1855, Kuriakose Kathanar and ten other priests took vows in the Carmelite tradition. He was nominated as the Prior General of the Mannanam Monastery. The congregation became affiliated as a Third Order institute of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. From that point on they used the postnominal initials of T.O.C.D