THE CATHOLICOSE OF THE EAST
His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews III
The Ninth Catholicos of the East in Malankara
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews III was enthroned as the Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan (the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India) on Friday, 15th October 2021. His Holiness is the 92nd Primate on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas.
His Holiness was born on 12 February 1949 to Mr Cherian Anthrayos of Mattathil family, being a member of St Peters Church, Vazhoor. After his school education, he joined Kerala University and passed his BSc in Chemistry. After his BSc, he joined Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam, and had his GST degree. His Holiness took his BD degree from Serampore University and did his higher studies in Theology at Theological Academy, Leningrad, Russia. Thereupon he joined Oriental Institute, Rome, and took his MTh and PhD from there. His Holiness was ordained as a deacon in 1976 and a priest in 1978 by HH Baselios Mathews I. His Holiness was escalated to the post of an Episcopa on 30 April 1991 at a function at Parumala, and metropolitan in 1993.
He is a well-known teacher and a faculty member of the Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam. A philanthropist, he works relentlessly for the uplift of the poor, especially women. He has started many ventures to help give employment opportunities to women from the economically backward classes. His Holiness also served the Holy Episcopal Synod as its secretary. His Holiness has authored a few devotional and contemplative books in Malayalam.
H.H. Baselios Marthoma Mathews III,
Devalokam P.O, Kottayam
Tel: 04812578499, 04812578500
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II
The Eighth Catholicos of the East in Malankara (2010–2021)
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II was enthroned as the Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan (the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India) on Monday, 1st November 2010. His Holiness is the 91st Primate on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas. He was born on 30th August 1946 in a village called Mangad near Kunnamkulam, Trissur District, Kerala as the son of the late Kollannur Iype and the late Pulikkottil Kunjeetty, the boy K.I.Paul had his early education in local schools. After graduating from St. Thomas College, Trichur, Paul joined the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, from where he obtained G.S.T and B.D. degrees of Serampore University. After taking the holy orders, he joined C.M.S College, Kottayam and took his M.A in Sociology.
At the young age of 36, the church Parliament (Malankara Syrian Christian Association) elected Fr. K.I.Paul as Bishop. On 15th May 1985, he was consecrated as Episcopa ( bishop) with the new name Paulose Mar Milithios. Subsequently, His Grace was elevated as the first Metropolitan of the newly formed Kunnamkulam diocese on 1st August 1985. The Malankara Syrian Christian Association held at Parumala on 12th October 2006 unanimously elected Ills Grace Paulose Mar Milithios Metropolitan as the Catholicos Designate and the successor to the Malankara Metropolitan. On 1st November 2010, following the abdication of his predecessor, His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymus I. His Grace Paulose Mar Milithios Metropolitan was enthroned as the Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan with the new name His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II. Incidentally, Kunnamkulam which is a stronghold of the Orthodox Community in Kerala has given birth to three Malankara Metropolitans including the reigning Catholicos. His Holiness' illustrious Predecessors Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius II and Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius V were towering personalities who contributed much to making the Malankara Church what it is today.
It was His Holiness' keen interest that the Church should have effective and meaningful Inter-Church relations. It is with this emphasis that His Holiness has already finished journeying to all the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Once in this short span of time as Catholicos, he has already had meetings with all the present heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The fraternal relations with the sister Churches have been given prime importance. The meeting with the present Pope of the Catholic Church has enhanced the bilateral relations between the two Churches. His Holiness' unassuming character and his philanthropic interests have given new dimensions to the life of the Church. He has authored a few devotional and contemplative books in Malayalam.
His Holiness had been called to the eternal abode on 12th July 2021. His mortal remains are interred in the Chapel at Catholicate Palace, Devalokam, Kottayam, India.
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymos I
The seventh Catholicos of the East in Malankara (2005-2010)
His Holiness was consecrated and enthroned at Parumala Seminary as Catholicos of the East in the Apostolic throne of St. Thomas on 31 October 2005. He is the seventh Catholicos since the Catholicate of the East was relocated to India and 90th in the lineage of Catholicos of the East in the Apostolic throne of St. Thomas. He is also the 19th Malankara Metropolitan of the Church.
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymus I was born on 29 October 1921 to Ittyavira Thomas of Mulamootil House in Nedumbram near Thiruvalla and Sosamma of Chiramel House in Mavelikara. He joined the Tabor Dayara in Pathanapuram in 1939 and completed his high school education. He passed his Intermediate from C.M.S College, Kottayam in 1945, and his B. A from National College, Tiruchirapalli in 1951, his B.T from Maston Training College, Madras in 1954, and his M.A from Christ Church College, Kanpur in 1961. He completed his training for priesthood under the disciplined guidance of Thoma Mar Dionysius and His Holiness Baselios Oughen, Catholicos of the East. He received from His Holiness Geevarghese II Catholicos of the East the order of Korooyo on 11 March 1942, full deaconship on 22 May 1947 and priesthood on 25 January 1950. He Has served as headmaster of Ponnayya High School, Thiruchirapalli and St. Stephen's High School, Pathanapuram, as Professor of English in St. Stephens College Pathanapuram and as President of the Orthodox Youth Movement. On 16 May 1965, His Holiness Baselios Oughen made him Ramban. The Malankara Syrian Christian Association, which met on 28 December 1965 at M.D Seminary, Kottayam, elected him to the high offer of Metropolitan. On 24 August 1966 at Kolencherry His Holiness Baselios Oughen Bava consecrated him as Metropolitan Thomas Mar Timotheos.
He became the Metropolitan of Malabar on 11 November 1966. He continues to serve as the General Superior of Mount Tabor Dayara and Convent in Pathanapuram. On 10 September 1992, the Malankara Association, which met at Parumala, elected him as successor- designate to the Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicos of the East.
His Holiness started his service to the Church as a monk when he was a teenager. He was called to the monastic life by the late Metropolitan Mar Dionysius of Niranam. He went through a rigorous monastic life that tuned up his body through hard work and his mind through intense discipline and his spirit through spiritual exercise. This writer believes Mor Baselios Didimos I is an exemplification of eastern monastic life. Our tradition of selecting bishops from the monastic ranks has a long history. Unfortunately due to discontinued monastic communities, we could not always select our bishops from the thorough-bred ascetics period. Mor Didimos is an exemption to our recently fabricated monasticism as a preparation to receive the episcopate. He has been deeply rooted in his monastic practices and exercises long before he became a priest and a bishop. He has witnessed many late nights during which our new Shepherd kept vigil in the chapel of Mount Tabor Monastery. Yes, indeed the church of Malankara is blessed to be shepherded by a monk of prayer.
Mar Didymos is not just a monk, who is enamoured of some primitive practices of monasticism. He is endowed with erudition which he derived from his long career as a student of theology, mathematics and English literature. Prior to his consecration to the episcopate, he had been a professional educator holding various positions in academia. He was a mathematics instructor for many years and was a high school headmaster for more than a decade. After receiving his postgraduate degree in English literature he held his lectureship in English literature when St. Stephen’s college of Pathanapuram came into existence. His Holiness is also rightly credited with his musical skills; his divine liturgies are musically mellifluous to the ears of the participants.
He entered the eternal realms on 26 May 2014 at Parumala Seminary. He was laid to rest at Mount Tabor Dayara, Pathanapuram.
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews II
The sixth Catholicos of the East in Malankara (1991–2005)
His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II, Catholicos of the East, and 89th successor to the Holy Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas was enthroned on 29 April 1991.
He was born on January 30, 1915, at Perinad in the Kollam District of Kerala. His Holiness had his early education in a local school. After his High School education, he had his training at Old Seminary Kottayam and also at Basil Dayara, Pathanamthitta. Later he joined Bishop's College, Calcutta for his B.D. Degree. He had his higher education in Theology at General Theological Seminary, New York. He was ordained as a Deacon in 1938 and a Priest in 1941. It was during his stay at St. George Dayara. Othara that Father Mathews made a mark as a devoted and an able priest of the Indian Orthodox Church. He was noted for his spiritual leadership and loving nature and could endear himself to everyone who came in contact with him. He was known as "Father Angel" at that time. The Catholicos His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II took special interest to see that the services of Father Mathews are utilized in a still better way for the church and the community.
On May 15, 1953, he was ordained as a Bishop of the Orthodox church. He was only thirty-eight years at that time. The young Bishop grew in stature very soon. As Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kollam, he was fully responsible for its growth and progress and the number of parishes almost doubled within a short period. Several monasteries and convents were started. A large number of educational institutions and hospitals were established. His services in the field of education and social service are all very well known. Several Colleges, Schools, Hospitals and other service institutions are successfully established and administered under his direct control and leadership.
He has travelled widely in various countries: the United States, Canada, Europe, Malaya, Singapore, Gulf countries etc. and has attended various international meetings and conferences. It was in 1980 that he was unanimously elected by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association as successor to the throne of Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan. In recent years some of the new schemes started under his direction are found to be of much help and benefit to the community at large. A Civil Service Academy was started at Thiruvananthapuram, to give proper training for candidates appearing for IAS, IPS, IFS and other Central Service Examinations. With a view to providing shelter for the poor, an House Building Assistance project was started. The Community Marriage Scheme is found beneficial for the marriage of poor girls. Human Resources Development and Services Wing are also helpful for the community in general.
As President of the Ecumenical committee in Kerala and also in various other Inter-Church Committees he has shown excellent leadership. He keeps in touch with Heads of other Churches constantly and is keenly interested to promote Ecumenism. He has very friendly relations with leaders of other religions as well and has fully demonstrated by his activities the role the Head of a Christian Church has to play in the Secular, Socialist, Democratic, Republic of India. He encourages all activities directed toward the progress and development of the Nation and the promotion of communal harmony and maintenance of peace in the country. A good orator, an eminent scholar, a renowned theologian, an able administrator and a man of the Word of God, he has all the qualities needed for a spiritual leader and a good shepherd. With his intelligence, wisdom, love and vision and with his vast experience in various fields he has proved himself successful as a skilful ecclesiastical head of an ancient Church. With his devotion and dedication in life and sincerity of purpose, no doubt the community at large is benefited from his true Christian life as a servant of God in the service of mankind.
He entered into eternal rest on 26 Jan 2006 and was laid to rest in Mar Elia Chapel Shastamcotta.
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I
The fifth Catholicos of the East in Malankara (1975–1991)
His Holiness was born on 27th, March 1907 as the youngest son of Vattakunnel Kurien Kathanar and Olesha Pulickaparampil Mariamma in Kottayam. He took his B.A, B.D. degrees. Even as a layman he had achieved unique distinction in studies and also in the Canonical Laws; he was selected as a member of the Managing committee in 1944. He received on 18 August 1945 at the Old Seminary the order of "Musmrono" and on 19 August at Mar Elia Chapel he became a full deacon; on 27 October 1946, he was ordained as a priest by His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II, Catholicos of the East.
Later, on 21 September 1951, he was elevated to the rank of Ramban (Monk). His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II consecrated him as Episcopa under the name Mathews Mar Athanasios. He was further elevated to the office of Metropolitan on 12 July 1959. In 1960, he became Head of outside Kerala Diocese of the Malankara church. He was unanimously elected as the Supreme Head of the church and successor to the Catholicate of the East/Malankara Metropolitanate by the Malankara Association, which met on 31 December 1970 at M.D.Seminary, Kottayam. On 24 September 1975, he became Malankara Metropolitan.
On 27 October 1975, at the Old Seminary, he was installed as Catholicos of the East with the title His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I. He executed many administrative innovations and helped to strengthen the sovereignty of the Malankara Orthodox Church and its right to have its own sovereign Head. He was able to project the name and fame of the church on an international level. On 27 April 1991, due to failing health, he relinquished his office. On 8 November 1996, he passed away and was laid to rest in Devalokam Aramana.
Anniversary: 8 November
His Holiness Baselios Augen I
The Fourth Catholicos of the East in Malankara (1964–1975)
His Holiness was born on 26 June 1884 at Perumbavoor, Vengola, to Abraham Kathanar of the Chettakulathukara family. He was ordained as a deacon by Kadavil Paulose Mar Athanasios and in 1908 at Jerusalem, he was elevated to the monastic order of Ramban. He was consecrated as Metropolitan Oughen Mar Timotheos on 15 May 1927 in Jerusalem. He was appointed as the fourth Metropolitan of Kandanad. He has left his imprint in several offices that he held during his life.
He was the principal of the Orthodox Theological Seminary, and the Metropolitan of Kandanad and Thumpamon dioceses. On 17 May 1962, when the Malankara Association met at Niranam, he was chosen as the Catholicate of the East. It was on 22 May 1964 at M.D. Seminary, Kottayam that he was installed formally as the fourth Catholicos. As he was very old, he relinquished his position as Malankara Metropolitan to his successor on 24 September 1975. Having achieved exceptional scholarship in Malayalam and Syriac languages, he translated into Malayalam the 'Pemkisa Namaskaram' 'Prumiyonukal', ' Valiya Nombilae Namaskaram', 'Pattamkoda Shushrusha Kramangal' and 'Pallikoodasha Kramangal'.
He also composed the 'Hood- omakal' for 'Holy Synods' and the 'State after death'. He passed away on 8 December 1975 at Develokam Aramana and was laid to rest near the Aramana Chapel.
His Anniversary: 8 December.
His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II
The Third Catholicos of the East in Malankara (1929–1964)
His Holiness was born to Ulahannan and Naithi of the Kallaserri family in Kurichi, Kottayam on 16 June 1874. On 24 April 1892, Kadavil Paulose Mar Athanasios ordained him as a deacon and on 24 November and 27 November 1898 he was ordained as priest and Ramban (Monk) respectively by St.Gregorios. As per the order of St. Gregorios, he resided in the Kadambanad church and took charge of the southern dioceses. He also served as Manager and Malpan of Old Seminary. He published books like "Sahodaran- marude Charithram". "Rehasya Prarthanakal". "Parudaisa", and "Mar Yuhanon Mamdana".
On 8 September 1912, His Holiness Patriarch Abdhedh Messiah consecrated him as Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Gregorios at Parumala Seminary. He was appointed as the Metropolitan of Thumpamon, Kollam and Niranam dioceses. On 15 February 1929. With the Malankara Metropolitan Vattaserril Geevarghese Mar Dionysios as the chief priest, he was installed as the Catholicos of the East. When the Association met on 24 December 1934 at M. D. Seminary, Kottayam, he was chosen as Malankara Metropolitan. It was a period when issues became very complex. Through prayer and fasting, he received strength from God to lead his people for long years, courageously, inspiring his people to work for their church and for the glory of God. Following the peace pact of 1958, he had the good fortune to guide the destiny of the unified Malankara Church. Apart from consecrating twelve Metropolitans, and ordaining more than a thousand priests and deacons, he founded and consecrated many churches.
On 22 April 1932 and on 20 April 1951 he conducted the 'Mooron Koodasha' (Chrism Consecration) at the Old Seminary. On 2 November 1947, he declared Geevarghese Mar Gregorios and Yeldo Mar Baselios as Saints. From his time onwards the offices of Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan came to repose in one and the same person. The deep spirituality and wisdom of this Catholicos earned him the title “Valiya Bava,” or “The Great Catholicos.” Shedding lustre like a Beacon illuminating the history of the church, he led it from glory to glory. He entered the eternal realms on 3 January 1964 at Develokam Aramana He was laid to rest beside the Devalokam Aramana Chapel.
His Anniversary is 3 January.
His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese I
The second Catholicos of the East in Malankara(1925–1928)
His Holiness was born in 1870 as the second son of Karuchira Paulose. He was ordained as 'Koruya' on 13 June 1885, as a deacon in 1892, on 16 August 1896 as a priest and on 23 August as Ramban(Monk) by Metropolitan Kadavil Paulose Mar Athanasios. He served as Manager in Thrikunnath Seminary, Aluva from 1908 to 1910. On February 1913, he was consecrated as Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Philexinos. He was the Metropolitan of Kottayam and Angamaly diocese. He made Vallikattu Dayara his administrative headquarters. On 30 April 1925 at Niranam, the Holy Synod installed him as the Catholicos of the East. Through prayer and fasting, he achieved spiritual strength, which helped him to guide the Malankara Church into green pastures.
He passed away on 17 December 1928 at Neyyoor Hospital. He was laid to rest on the northern side of Vallikattu Dayara. His death anniversary is on 17th December.
His Holiness Baselios Paulos I
The First Catholicos of the East in Malankara (1912–1913)
His Holiness was born on 19 January 1836 to Murimattom Kurian and Mariamma in Kolencherry. He received deaconship from Cheppad Mar Dionysius in 1843 and in 1852 he was ordained as Priest by Metropolitan Yuyakim Mar Kurilos. He served for a long period as Vicar of Kolencherry Church. On 17th May 1877, His Holiness Patriarch Pathrose consecrated him as Paulose Mar Ivanios at Cherallayam Palli, Kunnamkulam and appointed him as Metropolitan of Kandanad diocese.
On 15th September 1912, His Holiness Patriarch Abdhedh Messiah with the co-operation of Vattasseril Geevarghese Mar Dionysios Metropolitan and Geevarghese Mar Gregorios Metropolitan elevated him to the Apostolic throne of St. Thomas as Catholicos of Malankara church. He passed away on 2 May 1913. He was laid to rest in Pampakuda Cheriya Palli. His death Anniversary is on 3rd May.