Marcelline Jayakody

Fr. Marcelline Jayakody (Sinhala: මර්සලින් ජයකොඩි පියතුමා) (3 June 1902 ─ January 15, 1998) was a Sri Lankan Catholic priest, musician, lyricist, author, journalist[1] and an exponent of indigenous culture. He is attributed with the epithet 'පන්සලේ පියතුමා' (Pansale Piyathuma - Priest in the Temple). Ven. Dr. Ittapane Dhammalankara Thera authored a book on Jayakody's life, මල් පැලේ උපන් පන්සලේ පියතුමා, (Malpale Upan Pansale Piyathuma), which is recorded as the first book in the world by a Buddhist prelate on a Catholic priest.[2]

Fr. Marcelline Jayakody
Fr.Merciline Jayakody.jpg
Born(1902-06-03)3 June 1902
Died15 January 1998(1998-01-15) (aged 95)
NationalitySri Lankan
Other namesMalpale upan Pansale Piyathuma, Modern Gonsalvez
EducationRoman Catholic Boys' School in Madampe, St. Joseph's College, St. Aloysius Seminary, Borella
OccupationCatholic priest, musician, lyricist, author, journalist and patriot

Passion Play of DuwaEdit

Fr. Jayakody served as the head priest in Duwa in 1939. Duwa is the Passion Play Village of Sri Lanka.[3] Originally, the play used traditional puppets as actors. Jayakody wrote the original script for a passion play, influenced by Fr. Jacome Gonsalves, and composed new hymns to the traditional "Pasan".[4] He next introduced live male and female actors instead of puppets. Eventually there were over 250 live actors taking the place of puppets in his adaptation of Dorothy L. Sayers's The Man Born to Be King (Dukprathi Prasangaya in Sinhala).[5] The Duwa passion play was considered as the greatest passion show in Asia at that time.[6]


  • In 1979 his poetry book Muthu (Pearls) won the National State Literary Award (the first Catholic priest to have won a state award).
  • In 1982 he was honoured with the title "Kalasuri" by the state, and "Kithu Nandana Pranamaya" by the Catholic Church for his contributions to arts and culture for over six decades.
  • In 1983 he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, considered the Asian Nobel Prize, (along with $US20,000, a medal and a citation) in Manila, Philippines in the category of Journalism, Literature, and the Creative Communication Arts (JLCCA) as appeared on the List of Ramon Magsaysay Award winners.


  1. ^ "Fr. Marcelline Jayakody – vibrant Catholic priest and patriot". dailynews. 2003. Archived from the original on 24 August 2003. Retrieved 3 June 2003.
  2. ^ "Fr. Marcelline Jayakody මර්සලින් ජයකොඩි පියතුමා". අපේ කට්ටිය. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Duwa is The Passion Play Village". passionplay.lankasites. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  4. ^ "In commemoration of Rev. Fr. Marceline Jayakoddy". passionplay.lankasites. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Dabbling with mystic themes". sundayobserver. 2009. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
  6. ^ "Duwa Passion play' at Bishop's". sundaytimes. 2000. Retrieved 29 March 2009.


  • "'Christmas, a season of goodwill and celebrations'". 2005.[1]. Retrieved 2005-12-25.
  • "'Pansale Piyathuma'- 103 years old". sundaytimes. 2005.[2]. Retrieved /2005/08/21.
  • "'Pansale Piyatuma' at the age of 95". sundaytimes. 1997.[3]. Retrieved /19977/06/01.
  • "A legend in his own lifetime". sundayobserver. 2004.[4]. Retrieved /2004/05/23.
  • "A singer – with style". sundayobserver. 2007.[5]. Retrieved /2007/06/03.
  • "Birth centenary of Fr. Marcelline Jayakody". passionplay.lankasites. [6] Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  • "Carols and their impact on Sri Lanka". Sunday Observer.2004.[7]. Retrieved /2004/12/19.
  • "Christmas Carols in Sri Lanka". dailynews. 2007.[8]. Retrieved /2007/12/25.
  • "CITATION for Marcelline Jayakody".[9].
  • "Could Fr. Marcelline Jayakody be called 'Modern Fr. Jacome Gonsalvez'?". island.. 2001.[10]. Retrieved /2001/01/08.
  • "D. F. Kariyakarawana 60 'Not Out' in journalism". island. 2006.[11]. Retrieved 2006/05/14.
  • "Fifty Years after Rekava...: Rekava – The Line of Density (1956)". 2006. [12].
  • "Glimpses of genuine socialism". Sunday observer. 2006.[13]. Retrieved /2006/12/03.
  • "Inspiring life sketch of Fr. Mercelline Jayakody". dailynews. 2007.[14]. Retrieved /2007/09/05.
  • "Latha Icon & national treasure". dailynews. 2008.[15]. Retrieved /2008/11/4.
  • "Pahan Ridma': Choral music on CD". sundaytimer.. 2007.[16]. Retrieved /2007/06/24.
  • "Sunil Santha songs – something to treasure". Sundaytimes. 2008. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 October 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) Retrieved 2009/11/1.
  • "The Father in the temple". dailymirror. 2010.[17][permanent dead link]. Retrieved /2010/02/01.
  • "True propagator of Dhamma". dailynews. 2010.[18]. Retrieved /2010/10/14.
  • "Two eminent Sri Lankans in the field of arts were born in the first week of June.". sundaytimes. 2007. [19]. Retrieved /2007/06/03.

External linksEdit