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Hundreds pay homage to former Catholicos

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PAYING TRIBUTES: Mortal remains of the former Catholicos Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II being taken from Mar Elia Cathedral, Kottayam, to Mount Horabe Diara at Sasthamkotta on Friday afternoon. - Photo: Johney Thomas
PAYING TRIBUTES: Mortal remains of the former Catholicos Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II being taken from Mar Elia Cathedral, Kottayam, to Mount Horabe Diara at Sasthamkotta on Friday afternoon. - Photo: Johney Thomas

Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA: Hundreds of faithful assembled at various towns along MC Road on Friday afternoon to pay their last respects to the former Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Church Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II who passed away on Thursday.

The procession carrying the mortal remains of Mar Baselius entered Pathanamthitta district at 5.30 p.m. Minister for Tourism and Devaswom K.C. Venugopal offered floral tributes on behalf of the State Government when the procession reached Ezhinjillom on the Pathanamthitta border.

Senior Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Osthatheos, of the Niranom diocese of the Orthodox Church, and his assistant, Youhanon Mar Chrisostomos, accompanied by Church secretary Alexander Karackal and PRO Jose Parakkadavil, received the mortal remains of Mar Baselius when the procession entered Ezhinjillom.

P.J. Kurien, MP; Joseph M. Puthuserry, Elizabeth Mammen Mathai, MLAs; A.J. Rajan, District Collector; N. Govindan Namboodiri, RDO; and Koshy Thomas, Thiruvalla municipal chairman; were among those who offered tributes to the departed soul at Ezhinjillom.

Mar Thoma Metropolitan Philipose Mar Chrysostom offered floral tributes to Mar Baselius when the procession reached the SC Seminary Junction in the heart of Thiruvalla.

In a message, Mar Chrysostom expressed deep sorrow and condolence of the Mar Thoma Church on the demise of Mar Baselius. Bishop of Thiruvalla diocese of the Malankara Catholic Church Issac Mar Cleemis condoled the death of the former Catholicos.

In a statement, Revolutionary Youth Front State secretary Saleem P. Chacko also condoled the death of Mar Baselius.

Our Staff Reporter writes from Kottayam: Thousands bid a tearful farewell to Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II, whose mortal remains were taken to his final resting place at Mount Horabe Diara at Sasthamkotta on Friday afternoon.

People from all walks of life flocked to the Catholicate palace at Devalokam, near here, following the announcement of the demise of the former Catholicos on Thursday evening. The body was taken to the chapel at the Orthodox Seminary at Chungom late in the night. On Friday, after the special mass led by Metropolitan of Kottayam diocese Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, the mortal remains of the spiritual leader were taken to Mar Elia Cathedral for the faithful to pay their last respects. The last leg of the journey to Horabe Diara began at 3 p.m. The funeral procession was led by a pilot jeep carrying the portrait of the late Catholicos followed by the carriage carrying the body of Mar Baselius. Hundreds of people accompanied the carriage.

Meanwhile, the church authorities said that all educational institutions managed by the Orthodox Church would remain closed on Saturday also. The church has declared a 40-day mourning, during which special prayers would be held for the departed soul.

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