Baselius Mar Thoma Didymus I, Catholicos Emeritus and Malankara Metropolitan, who passed away at the Parumala hospital in Pathanamthitta on Monday, was laid to rest in the Dayara chapel of Mount Tabore at Pathanapuram in Kollam district on Wednesday.
The funeral services began by 11 a.m., and the Catholicos was laid to rest in the evening in a crypt inside the Dayara, erected between the tombs of Thomas Mar Dionysius, former Metropolitan of the Niranom diocese, and Zachariah Mar Dionysius, former Metropolitan of the Madras diocese.
Reigning Catholicos of the East Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II was the chief celebrant of the funeral services. Thousands assembled at the Dayara for a last glimpse of the departed high priest.
Before the funeral rites, the mortal remains were taken and kept inside a room at the Mount Tabore complex which the Catholicos had used for resting and praying whenever he was there. The last rites of the Catholicos were performed at the Pathanapuram Dayara as per his wishes.
The cortege bearing the mortal remains reached Pathanapuram at 1.30 a.m. on Wednesday via Mavelikara and Adoor. All bishops of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church were present. Senior Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church Philipose Mar Chrysostom also arrived to pay his last respects.
The Catholicos was placed in the crypt in a sitting posture. After placing the body inside the crypt, the faithful sprinkled it with incense. A condolence meeting was held after the funeral rites at the chapel.Condolences
At the funeral services, condolence messages from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi were read. Those who paid their last respects at Pathanapuram included Chief Minister Oommen Chandy; Ministers Ramesh Chennithala, K.M. Mani, Adoor Prakash, and K. Babu; Government Chief Whip P.C. George; MPs Kodikunnil Suresh, N.K. Premachandran, Anto Antony, Jose K. Mani, and K.N. Balagopal; Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president V.M. Sudheeran, Communist Party of India (Marxist) State unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan; MLAs K.B. Ganesh Kumar, M.A. Baby, Raju Abraham, and P.C. Vishunath.