Former head of Mar Thoma Church Philipose Mar Chrysostom dies, PM Modi expresses grief

ANI
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Image of Philipose Mar Chrysostom tweeted by Pinarayi Vijayan
Image of Philipose Mar Chrysostom tweeted by Pinarayi Vijayan

New Delhi [India], May 5 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the demise of Philipose Mar Chrysostom -- one of the oldest religious leaders of the country -- who died in the wee hours of Wednesday.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said the senior-most Metropolitan of the Malankara Marthoma church headquartered in Thiruvalla will be remembered for his "rich theological knowledge and many efforts to remove human suffering".

"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 (sic)," said the Prime Minister.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also expressed grief at his demise and tweeted: "Padma Bhushan Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Valiya Metropolitan brought people together transcending the boundaries of religion and politics, cared for them and made them laugh. Beloved thirumeni's passing is a loss to humanity, a void that cannot be filled. Respectful homage."

Born on April 27, 1917, he was awarded India's third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan, in 2018.

After his graduation from Union Christian (UC) College, Aluva, he was attracted to missionary work and was ordained as a Deacon of the Church in 1944. In 1953, he was consecrated as Bishop.

In 1999, he became the Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church. On August 28 2007, he announced his resignation as supreme head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on grounds of old age and ill-health

Prime Minister Modi had visited Philipose Mar Chrysostom in 2016 and wished him for his 100th birthday the following year. (ANI)