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Updated: May 27, 2014 11:22 IST

Catholicos Emeritus Mar Didymos dead

Special Correspondent
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His Holiness, the late Baselius Mar Thomas Didymos I, Catholicos Emeritus of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
Special Arrangement His Holiness, the late Baselius Mar Thomas Didymos I, Catholicos Emeritus of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

The Catholicos, who was leading a retired life at the Catholicate Palace at Devalokam, near here, was admitted to a private hospital at Parumala following old-age related problems.

His Holiness Baselius Mar Thomas Didymos I, Catholicos Emeritus of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, affectionately called Valia Bava, passed away on Monday evening. He was 92.

The Catholicos, who was leading a retired life at the Catholicate Palace at Devalokam, near here, was admitted to a private hospital at Parumala following old-age related problems.

Funeral tomorrow

His funeral has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the Mount Tabor Dayara, Pathanapuram.

Born on October 29, 1921, at Nedumbram, near Thiruvalla, into a middle-class agricultural family, he joined the spiritual vocation as a full deacon in 1947 and was consecrated as a priest in 1950. Serving various educational institutions as a teacher for the next 15 years, he was consecrated as Ramban in May 1965, and seven months later was elected Metropolitan by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association at Kottayam. He was consecrated Metropolitan Thomas Mar Themotheos on August 24, 1966.

The newly consecrated Bishop was appointed head of the Malabar diocese.

He was also the General Superior of the Mount Tabor Dayara and convent at Pathanapuram. He was elected successor-designate of the then Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II in 1992.

Mar Themotheos took over as the Malankara Metropolitan on October 29, 2005, and two days later was consecrated Catholicos Baselius Didymos I, the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Church, at the age of 84.

Eastern monastic style

Given to an austere regimen of prayers and physical labour and a frugal life, Catholicos Didymos I is considered the last on a long list of spiritual leaders who had shaped their life in the eastern monastic style.

The body will be brought to the Orthodox Theological Seminary in the night.

The mortal remains will be placed for the people to pay their respects from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

The last leg of the journey will begin by noon from Kottayam to the Mount Tabor Dayara, Pathanapuram.

Chandy condoles death

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy mourned the Catholicos Emeritus.

In a message here on Monday, Mr. Chandy said the contribution of the Catholicos as head of the Orthodox Church were invaluable.

Speaker G. Karthikeyan, Culture Minister K.C. Joseph, and KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran also mourned the Catholicos.

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