Dr.Philipose Mar Christostm, Metropolitan Emeritus of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian church , passed away on Wednesday. He was 104.
Official sources said the Metropolitan Emeritus was ailing for a while and passed away at a private hospital in Kumaband around 1.15 a.m. The funeral will be held on Thursday.
Regarded as the world’s longest serving bishop who served for about 68 years, he was called the man with the golden tounge and was well-known for his warm friendship with people cutting across religions, and his no-holds-barred humor sense. The senior metropolitan was awarded with the country’s highest civilian honour of Padma Bhushan in 2018.
Born as the son of a vicar general K.E. Oommen Kaseessa and Sosamma on on April 27, 1918 in Kumbanad, Mar Chrysotom had his early education from Kozhencherry High School and St. John’s High School, Eraviperoor.
He then pursued his higher studies at Union Christian College, Aluva and became a member of the Ankola Ashram in 1940. He joined United Theological College, Bengaluru in 1943 for his priesthood studies and was ordained as deacon in 1944 and later as an episcopa. He was awarded the title Philipose Mar Chrysostom in 1953.
Going steadily up the hierarchy of the Mar Thoma Church in the subsequent years, Mar Chrysostom was designated as Suffragan Metropolitan in 1978. He was designated as the Officiating Metropolitan of the Church in March 1999 and was installed as the 20th Metropolitan of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on October 23, 1999.
The Metropolitan had handed over his administrative responsibilities to his successor, the late Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, in October 2007 and had since been staying at the Maramon Aramana (Jubilee Home).