His Holiness, Moran Mor Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East and primate of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, passed away at 2:35am on Monday. His Holines was the 91st reigning Catholicos of the East.
The funeral services will be held on Tuesday at the Catholicate Palace chapel in Devalokam in Kottayam, Kerala from 3 pm. The Catholicos had been ailing for quite some time from lung cancer. Though His Holiness had recovered from Covid in February, 2021, was on continued treatment for post covid health issues and in the past few days on ventilator support.
A much-loved personality, Bava Thirumeni, as His Holiness was known to all, was a great source of support to the destitute and the poor for whom he executed many a service scheme. His Holiness had given the ancestral property for building houses for the homeless. A great humanitarian, the Catholicos was a votary of social justice and equality. This was amply evident when the Malankara Metropolitan broke age-old traditions by allowing women equal participation in the administration of the church and the community too. His Holiness went a step ahead when in 2011 by granting them voting rights along with their male counterparts in all parishes of the Church. The Catholicos was a symbol of change with his contemporary moves and courage of conviction. The adorable Primate had also authored 5 enlightening books.
His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II was enthroned as the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan on the Holy Apostolic See of St. Thomas on 1 November 2010. Prior to that, starting in 1985, as H.G. Paulose Mar Militheos, His Holiness was the Metropolitan of Kunnamkulam Diocese, and later, in 2006, as Catholicos Designate of the Church. His Holiness was ordained as a Priest in 1973.
The Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Syrian Church was founded by St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, who came to India in A.D. 52. The Church now consists of about 2.5 million members, who are spread all over the world, though the majority reside in Kerala in South West India.
His Holiness was plenteously revered and beloved of his flock, particularly for his judicious administration and leadership skills that shepherded the Church in spiritual and the secular realm. His Holiness was keen in maintaining ecumenical relationship with sister churches and cordial brotherhood with their leaders.
The Headquarters of the Diocese of Calcutta ( one of the Dioceses of Indian Orthodox Church) and St. Thomas Mission at Bhilai was blessed by three Apostolic Visits of His Holiness, who was also the patron of M.G.M. group of institutions, which consists of 32 schools and three colleges located in Chhattisgarh , Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. .
With profound grief, His Grace Dr. Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan along with all the priests, office bearers and believers of the Diocese of Calcutta, office bearers of St. Thomas Mission Bhilai and MGM Group of institutions expressed heartfelt condolences and prayers for the Holy Father.
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