Kerala

Metropolitan’s life an epic chronicle of political and social history of the country

Those who have happened to meet or hear Philipose Mar Chrysostom even once will instantly recognise some of his hallmarks; a mix of mundane with the weighty discipline of theology, instinctive humour, and the sardonic use of language.

He would talk of God for hours as though he is talking about a person in the neighbourhood, tease his listeners, crack a joke about himself and his God, all the while spreading light and warmth all around. Indeed, laughter had a great deal to do with the prelate’s connections that transcended much beyond his religion and cut across all walks of life.

According to Blessy, the award-winning film-maker who made the biographical documentary of the Metropolitan -100 years of Chrysostom, the philosophical insights that the Valiya Thirumeni (as he was fondly called) conveyed through his speeches have left a legacy that will eventually outlast his humour. Having travelled extensively with the Metropolitan across the country for years on end, Blessy regards mirth as an ancillary behaviour of the prelate that helped him impart his wisdom.

Great communicator

While his innate humour and effective communication skills may have helped the Metropolitan instantly strike a chord with the audience, a great deal of preparation also went into each of his speeches. “I have seen him reading books in the early morning hours in preparation of the speeches to be delivered. But the message that the Metropolitan tried to convey through simple, humorous stories were often lost as people began celebrating the funny side of his character,” he says.

Born in 1918, the year when the First World War drew to a close, the Metropolitan’s life is an epic chronicle of the political and social history of India in the last century.

“The project was completed in a span of over five years as unfolding the many facets of this great man's life was a daunting task,” Blessy says.

Wide circle of friends

Beyond the innate humour and philosophical vision, part of his popularity no doubt stemmed from a little too wide friendship circle that the Metropolitan had possessed.

There was little wonder then that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one among his friends, on Thursday took to the social media to state that he felt “saddened by the demise of His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan”.

“He will be remembered for his rich theological knowledge and many efforts to remove human suffering. Condolences to the members of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church,” tweeted the Prime Minister.


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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 6:41:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-chronicle-of-political-and-social-history-of-the-country/article34493436.ece

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