Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma, the senior-most metropolitan of the Thiruvalla-headquartered Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, has passed away.
He was 103 years old. Mar Chrysostom was discharged from a hospital in Thiruvalla on Tuesday. He died at Kumbanad Fellowship Mission Hospital at around 1.15 am on Wednesday, a church spokesman said.
Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom was the oldest bishop in the world and the longest-serving bishop of the churches in India. In 2018, he was awarded Padma Bhushan by President Ram Nath Kovind.
He was ordained as a priest in 1944 and became a bishop in 1953. He became the Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church on October 23, 1999, and the Valiya Metropolitan or Metropolitan Emeritus after resigning due to old age and health issues.
An outstanding religious dignitary with a genuine humanitarian outlook and global vision, Mar Chrysostom, is credited with implementing and formulating many projects to improve the social, economic and cultural condition of the poor and deprived.
Born on April 27, 1918 in Karthikappally, he had inherited the missionary zeal from his father.
After obtaining graduation from Union Christian (UC) College, Alwaye, he was attracted to missionary work and ordained as Deacon of the Church in 1944. Nine years later, in 1953, he was consecrated as Bishop.
Mar Chrysostom became the Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in 1999.
Chrysostom Thirumeni is one of Kerala’s most famous priests; known for his pleasant attitude, the bishop was unparalleled with his touching style of speech full of humour.
Many books and documentaries have been published on the bishop.
His humour and defiance of convention kept him popular among people of all faiths.
We pray for the family and many thousands of friends he leaves behind.
(With inputs from PTI)