The Catholicos of the East is the title of the autonomous primate of the East whose succession is to the throne of St. Thomas the Apostle, and who has a spiritual primacy of honour over all churches of the East. He is the supreme head of the Indian Orthodox Church and he is called the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan.
The Catholicate was established in Malankara on 15th September 1912 at St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church, Niranam. H.H. Baselious Paulose I was ordained as the first Catholicos of the Indian Orthodox Church by Patriarch Mar Abded Messiah, the Patriarch of Antioch.
His Holiness (HH) was born on 19th January 1836 to Murimattom Kurian and Mariamma. HH Baselios Paulose I received his deaconship from Cheppad Mar Dionysius in 1843. In 1852, HH was ordained as Priest and served for a long period as the Vicar of Kollenchery Church. On 17th May 1877, His Holiness Patriarch Pathrose consecrated him as His Grace (HG) Paulose Mar Ivanios at Cherallayam Palli, Kunnamkulam and was appointed as Metropolitan of Kandanad Diocese. HH was the first Catholicos of the East after its reinstatement in India in 1912. HH was seated on this throne from 15 September 1912 and was elevated to the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas as Catholicos of the Malankara Church until his demise on 2nd May 1913. HH returned to His heavenly abode with the legacy of establishing the Malankara Suriyani Suvishesha Sangham, establishing many schools, 17 Churches and much more.
His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese I was born in 1870. He was ordained as Sub-Deacon (Korooyo) on 13th June 1885 and as Deacon in 1892. In the year 1896 HH was ordained as a priest and later in that year on 23rd August as Monk (Ramban) by Metropolitan Kadavil Paulose Mar Athanasios. HH was then consecrated as Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Philexinos at the Niranam Church in February 1913 after serving as the manager at the Thrikunnath Seminary. In April 1925, he was elevated to the supreme ecclesiastical position in Malankara Orthodox Church. He was consecrated as the Catholicos of the East. Sadly he was taken to the heavenly abode on 17th December 1928. His mortal remains are entombed at Vallikkattu Dayara, where he frequently spent his life in solemn prayers.
His Holiness was born to Ulahannan and Naithi of the Kallaseri family on 16th June 1874, in Kurichi Kottayam. Kadavil Paulose Mar Athanasios ordained him as Deacon on 24th April 1892. HH was later ordained as Priest and then as a Monk (Ramban) on 24th November and 27th November 1898 respectively. On 8th September 1912, Abded Messiah consecrated him as a Metropolitan at Parumala Seminary. On 24th December 1934, he was chosen and consecrated to the throne as Catholicos and along with assumed the title as Malankara Metropolitan. Following this year onwards the Malankara Church holds the offices and title of the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan. These two titles were united in one and assumed by one spiritual father. HH was well known for publishing the books such as ‘Sahodaran-Marude Charithram’, ‘Rehasaya Prathanakal’, ‘Parudaisa’, and ‘Mar Youhanon Mambdana’. The completely inspirational knowledge and spirituality of this Catholicos earned him the title ‘Valiya Bava’ or ‘The Great Catholicos’. Sadly HH Baselios Geevarghese II entered to eternal rest on 3 January 1964.
His Holiness was born on 26th June 1884 at Ernakulam. At a very young age, he accepted the life of discipleship with Malankara Malpan V. Rev. Mathen Cor-Episcopa. He was then ordained as Sub-Deacon by Kadavil Paulose Mar Athanasius Metropolitan. When the re-unified Malankara Association met at Niranam on 17th May 1962, Augen Thimothios was elected and took charge as the Malankara Metropolitan. HH has left an admirable impression in various offices that he held during his lifetime including the Orthodox Theological Seminary and Metropolitan of Kandanad and Thumpamon Dioceses. Having exceptional achievements in both the Malayalam and Syriac languages, the following books were translated in Malayalam by HH, ‘Penkisa Namaskaram’, ‘Promiyonukal’, ‘Valiya Nombile Namaskaram’, ‘Pattamkoda Susroosha Kramangal’; and ‘Pallilkoodasha. On 8th December 1975, Baselios Augen I entered to eternal rest and is entombed at the Catholicate Palace, Devalokam, Kottayam.
His Holiness was born on the 27th of March 1907 to Kurien Kathanar and Olesha Pulickaparampil Mariamma in Kottayam. On the 27th of October 1946, HH was ordained as a priest by His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II. On the 21st of September 1951, he was elevated to the rank of Monk (Ramban) and was later consecrated as Episcopa under the name of Mathews Mar Athanasios by His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II. After being unanimously elected as the Supreme Head of the Church and the successor to the Catholicate of the East by the Malankara Association on the 31st of December 1970, he became Malankara Metropolitan on the 24th of September 1975. On the 27th of October 1975 (at the Old Seminary) he was elevated as Catholicos of the East with the title of His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I. He returned to His heavenly abode on the 8th November 1996 and is entombed at The Catholicate Palace in Devalokam, Kottayam.
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews II was born on the 30th of January 1915 in Perinad, Kollam District of Kerala. He was ordained as deacon in 1938 and as a priest in 1941. HH stood out for his spiritual leadership, kind nature and ability to endear himself to everyone who came to know him. Hence he was also known as “Angel Bava”. HH was consecrated as an Episcopa of the Orthodox Church on the 15th of May in 1953. In 1980 he was unanimously elected by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association as the successor to the throne of Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan. His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews II resumed this role from His Holiness Marthoma Mathews I in the year 1991. He was a good orator, an eminent scholar and a renowned theologian. He entered eternal rest on the 26th of January 2006 and is entombed in Mar Elia Chapel, Shasthamcotta.
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymos I was born on the 29th October 1921 to Ittyavira Thomas and Sosamma. After completing his training for priesthood under the disciplined guidance of Thoma Mar Dionysius and His Holiness Baselios Augen, HH received his deaconship on 22nd May 1947 and was elevated to priesthood on the 25th January 1950. On the 24th August 1966 in Kolencherry, His Holiness Baselios Augen consecrated him as Metropolitan Thomas Mar Thimothios. On the 10th of September in 1992, the Malankara Association elected him as the successor to the throne of the Catholicos of The East and Malankara Metropolitan. HH was a professional educator holding various positions in academia including a high school headmaster and a mathematics instructor. He entered eternal rest on the 26th of May 2014 at Parumala Seminary. He is entombed at Mount Tabor Dayara in Pathanapuram.
His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II was born on 30th August in 1946. On 15th May 1985, he was consecrated as a bishop, and subsequently given the name of Paulose Mar Milithios. He was then elevated as the first Metropolitan of the newly formed Kunnamkulam Diocese on 1st August 1985. The Malankara Syrian Christian Association held at Parumala on 12th October 2006 unanimously elected Paulose Mar Milithios Metropolitan as the Catholicos Designate and the successor to the throne of Malankara Metropolitan. On 1st November 2010, he assumed the spiritual throne of St Thomas as Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan from HH Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos 1 and was enthroned with the new name of His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II. It was His Holiness’ keen interest that the Church should focus on meaningful Inter-Church relations which was enforced through organising meetings with all present heads of the Oriental Orthodox Church and the present Pope of the Catholic Church. During the spiritual reign of HH, the Malankara Church achieved the rule that all of the Malankara Church will be under the leadership of HH from 3rd July 2017 and abiding to the 1934 Constitution of the Church. Sadly, His Holiness was taken to heavenly abode on 12th of July 2021 at 02:35 hours IST.Read more about His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II.