Aboon Mor Baselios Paulose II

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1914 - '96


             His Beatitude Catholicos Paulose II was born on June 12, 1914 as the second son of Vicar of Cherai St. Mary's church, 'Qasheesho' Puthussery Joseph and Elizabeth (Eeralil family, N. Parur). He was named P.J. Paulose.  Qasheesho Joseph, who was an eminent Syriac scholar, served as a 'malphono' (teacher) at Kottayam Old Seminary and M.D. Seminary, and was also the editor of 'Malankara Edavaka Deepthi'.   P.J. Paulose completed his secondary education at Cherai Ramavarma High School.   After completing college education at Kottayam CMS College and Alwaye Union Christian College, Paulose joined the Manjinikkara Mor Ignatios Dayro.   His education in Syriac had begun early in his childhood under the tutelage of his father and Qasheesho Vellakunnathu Mathai.   At Manjinikkara Dayro, Paulose continued his Syriac education under Rabban `Abdul Ahad (later Patriarch Ya`qub III). 

In 1934, Mor Yulius Elias, the delegate of the Patriarch to Malankara, ordained Paulose as Deacon at Kottayam Valiapally.   In 1938, Mor Yulius ordained him as a priest at Manjinikkara Dayro. Fr. Paulose served as the Vicar of churches in Ceylon, Madras, Bramhavar (Karnataka), Trivandrum, Parathode and Ponkunnam.   Later Fr. Paulose became secretary to Mor Yulius Elias and was entrusted with the charge of Manjinikkara Dayro.  the 'Malphono' at 

As Kassisso


Ordination as the Metropolitan

On April 25, 1952, the Kandanad diocesan delegates meeting selected 'Qasheesho' Paulose to succeed late Mor Athanasios Paulose (Alwaye Valiya Thirumeni), who by then had relinquished his additional duties as the metropolitan of Kandanad diocese due to illness. Patriarch Aphrem I ordained 'Qasheesho' Paulose as Metropolitan with the name Mor Philoxenus on 19th October 1952 at Homs, Syria.   On 12th January 1953, Mor Philoxenus Paulose assumed responsibilities as Metropolitan of Kandanad from Mor Athanasius Paulose at Alwaye Thrikkunnathu Seminary. For some time, Mor Philoxenus also served additionally as Metropolitan for Kottayam and Kollam dioceses.  Following the peace accord of 1958 with the opponent group in Malankara church, Mor Philoxenus was appointed the assistant metropolitan of Kandanad with Mor Thimotheos Augen (later consecrated Catholicos by Patriarch Ya`qub III) as the senior metropolitan. 


Mor Philixinous (middle) on his arrival
 in Malankara after his ordination as Metropolitan
Mor Philixinous Paulose with his parents,
Rev Fr. Paulose Kassiso &  Elizabeth


In 1960 and in 1965, Mor Philoxenus visited the Holy Land.

The peace that was reestablished in 1958 was only superficial and hence problems continued for some more years.   Philixinous Thirumeni's leadership to the desperate sheep during this turn moil in the Church between 1958 and 64 is most memorable.  In his capacity as the metropolitan of Kandanad diocese, Mor Philixinous along with the late lamented Elias Mor Yulious Bava, led a crusade for safeguarding the true faith of the Syrian Church.  During the Patriarchal Day celebrations in Kottayam held on 22nd February 1961, popularly known as the Kottayam convention, lakhs of faithful declared their unflinched support to the Metropolitan Mor Philixinos in his fight to uphold the Malankara-Antiochean relationship.  His tireless efforts in that period culminated in the visit of Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Yakub III to India and ordaining Mor Augen Thimothious as the Catholicos of the East, in 1964.

The period 1964 to 70 was almost calm in the life of Bava Thirumeni.  But the unity in the Malankara church was unfortunately not destined to last long.  The claims for an autocephalous free national Church and the throne of St.Thomas started coming from a section of Malankara Church with the support of the then Malankara Church leadership.  These developments alongwith the anti-Antiochean utterances of the Catholicos and few others created a grave situation in the Church.  The Church administration in 1973 influenced the Govt. of India to cancel the visa of Mor Aphrem Abudi Metropolitan, the delegate of the Patriarch who was then residing in the Majanikkara Dayro.   Once again, the faithful had only one figure to look at, that of Bava Thirumeni for guidance and leadership.  He ably led the flocks and got ordained new Metropolitans for the Malankara Church.   Their graces Dr.Paulose Mor Athansius (Kadavil), Mor Geevarghese Gregorious (Parappallil), Mor Dionysius Thomas (Cheruvallil), Mor Koorilose Kuriakose (Poothiote), Mor Osthathious Thomas and Mor Yulios Yakub were the bishops ordained by His Holiness Ignatius Yakub III, the then Patriarch of Antioch.


Ordination as the Catholicos of the East

Following the schisms that again erupted in Malankara Syrian Church, the Patriarch after consultation with the Malankara Syrian Christians, was forced to excommunicate the Catholicos Mor Augen I.   At the church delegates meeting held at Thuruthusseri, Mor Philoxenus was chosen as the new Catholicos.   As per the wishes of the multitude of the faithful in India, the Patriarch Ya`qub III, on 7th September 1975, consecrated Mor Philoxenus as Catholicos of the East.   On returning to Malankara, His Beatitude worked tirelessly to rejuvenate the Church which had been deprived of many of its churches and institutions. 

Patriarch His Holiness Ignatius Yakub III


Consecration of the Patriarch of Antioch

On September 14, 1980, His Beatitude made history by consecrating Mor Severius Zakka, Archbishop of Baghdad, as the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East; this was the first time in the long history of the Patriarchate of Antioch that a Catholicos from Malankara officiated at the consecration of a Patriarch. (Click here for the Speech made by His Beatitude at the Enthronement Ceremony of the  the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East on September 14, 1980).  About a 100 odd people from all parts of Kerala (India), was there at the Cathedral Church to witness the historic event.


His Beatitude Mor Baselious Paulose II, Catholicos of the East leading the ordination ceremony of
 the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East, H.H. Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
 on Sep 14, 1980 at the St.George Cathedral, Damascus, Syria


Metropolitans ordained by Catholicos Mor Baseious Paulose II

During his tenure as the Catholicos of the East, His Beatitude ordained six bishops and many a number of priests for the Malankara church.   The Metropolitans consecrated by Catholicose Baselious Paulose II are 'Mor Philixinous Samuel'  on 26th Dec 1975, Mor Thimotheos Yakub, Mor Theophilos Thomas and Mor Ivanious Philipose on 19th April 1979, Mor Philixinous Yuhanon on 12th Sep 1985, Mor Athanasius Thomas on 3rd July 1990 and Mor Thimotheous Thomas on 3rd Jan 1991.  Unfortunately Mor Athansius Thomas  later defected the Holy Church against the wishes of our Bava Thirumeni and the faithful.    Consequently the Church was forced to excommunicate Mor Athansius.

Bava together with the newly ordained Metropolitans in 1979


Holy Apostolic Visit of the Patriarch of Antioch in 1982

In 1982, His Beatitude the Catholicos of the East had the privilege to host the supreme head of the Syrian Orthodox Christians, the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.  His Beatitude accompanied the Patriarch during the entire three months period of the Holy Apostolic visit.  It became a great event in the history of Malankara Church.  In February, a massive Patriarchal day rally followed by a public meeting in which a large gathering assembled, was held at Cochin.  His Beatitude the Catholicos made the welcome speech at this meeting.


Visit to Vatican & the historical signing of Agreement

In June 1984, as part of an historical signing of agreement regarding the Christological controversies (between the Syrian Church & the Roman Church) in the early centuries, Catholicos Mor Baselious Paulose II visited Vatican to meet Pope John Paul II, together with supreme head of the Holy Church, His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East.  On their way back, the delegation visited the Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Central Europe and also held special meetings with the President of Austria & Lord Mayor of Vienna.

A Gift to the Pope from His Beatitude the Catholicos of the East


His Holiness the Patriarch  &  His Beatitude attending a Holy Mass by the Pope John Paul II


In November 1993, the Joint Theological Commission of the Roman Catholic and the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Churches drafted an agreement on inter-church marriages, known today as the "Kerala Agreement." This was approved by Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Zakka I and released on January 25, 1994.


Foundation of the Theological Seminary

A great desire of the Catholicos was fulfilled with the founding of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Seminary at Udayagiri near Mulunthuruthy.  The foundation stone of this Seminary was laid at 4.00 PM on 1st January 1986, in the presence of the metropolitans and other eminent persons, thus fulfilling a life long wish and vision of Bava Thirumeni.  This seminary is a jewel in the crown of achievements of this great accomplisher.  The land measuring about 5 1/2 acres was purchased by him with the money he raised from the Malankara diocese of the Church in America and the leadership was given by Bava himself to build this institution.  Metropolitan Mor Thimotheos Thomas, the chief of the Theological Seminary recall that every time Bava visited the seminary, he used to shed tears of joy, to see that his dreams coming true.   The first block of the seminary was inaugurated on 1st January 1990 by Bava Thirumeni and Very Rev.Adai Jacob Corepiscopa was appointed as the principal.

Bava laying the foundation stone for the Theological Seminary at Udayagiri


M.J.S.S.A  and  other institutions under the Patronship of Bava Thirumeni

The Sunday School Asscociation of the Malankara Church (M J S S A) established by late lamented Malanakara Metropolitan Mor Athanasius Paulose (Valiya Thirumeni) is another movement that grew under the leadership of Bava Thirumeni.  Mor Dionysious Thomas, Mor Philixinous Samuel and Mor Koorilose Kuriakose functioned as the President of M J S S A during different periods under Bava Thirumeni during his tenure as the Catholicos of the East.   The foundation stone for the central office of M J S S A at Puthencuriz was laid by Bava Thirumeni on 30th April 1977.  It is in the two storied building constructed here, the central office of Sunday School Association, Book depot etc is located.   Atmadeepam periodical published by the association is printed from the press located in this building.  In order to cherish the revered memory of the beloved Bava Thirumeni, the Charitable Fund started by Association, has been named as the "Mor Baselious Paulose II Charitable Fund".  A large painting of His Beatitude has been unveiled in the Association conference hall in connection with the observation of first "Dhukrono".

The Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Youth Association is another organization that was initiated under the special interest of late Catholicose.  Besides these, he had worked a lot for the development of many of the educational institutions, the St.Peter's College at Kolencherry, Baselious Paulose II Arts College at Piravom, Ignatius Zakka I Iwas training college at Malecuriz  are some among them.   The construction work of Medical Mission hospital at Kolencherry, was inaugrated by Bava Thirumeni when he was the Metropolitan of Kandanad diocese.  Later in 1979, Mor Baselious Medical Mission Hospital at Kothamangalam started by Mor Dionysius Thomas was inaugurated by Bava Thirumeni.

On 2nd Oct 1994, the late Catholicos unveiled the Malayalam version of the Syriac Holy Bibile (Pshetto version) translated by Very Rev Kurien Kaniamparambil Corepiscopa in a function held at the MarThoman Church, Kothamangalam where the Holy Tomb of Mapfriyono Mor Baselius Yeldho is situated.


Demise of Bava Thirumeni

Catholicos Aboon Mor  Baselious Paulose II passed away to his heavenly abode on Septemeber 1, 1996 at Piramadom Dayro.  He was 83 then.  His funeral on the next day was attended by tens of thousands of people—a testimony to the affection that he commanded in the society.  The remains of Catholicos Mor Baselius Paulose II are interred in a tomb in Malekurishu Dayro near Puthenkurishu in Ernakulam District, Kerala in accordance to his wishes.


Loving Memories of His Beatitude

Mor Baselius was widely revered for his simple mind and his Spartan ascetic life. He conducted himself as a spiritual father to all without ever displaying the pomp that accompanied his office. Even in his private conversations he would dwell on his accountability on the Day of Judgment.  As metropolitan and later as Catholicos, Mor Baselius desired for a lasting peace in the Malankara church. He was admired and revered by members of both factions in the church, as also multitudes of others in all walks of life. 

He was a true Indian in culture, a true Antiochean in tradition and a true Christian in faith.  He had a very good knowledge of Sanskrit which helped him to know and retain the essence of Indian culture.  He was a good scholar in Theology and an appealing orator in English and Malayalam.  He was a great scholar in Syriac.  His proficiency in Syriac was such that while reading the Evangelion, he would follow the Syriac text and translate into Malayalam impromptu.  His extempore speeches were well known which had even astonished the Syrians.

He was a true lover of nature and loved to lead the life of a farmer.  Though his diocesan & the Catholicate headquarters was at the heart of Muvattupuzha town, he liked to be in the Piramadom Dayro, situated in an interior place, where he spend most part of his life as Metropolitan & Catholicos.  This Dayro had a vast farm with various types of trees and plants.  He thoroughly enjoyed walking through the farm, nursing the plants.  Agriculture and farmers problems were his favorite subjects and whenever he visited churches in Kerala he used to discuss the farmers problems with the parishioners.   After a deputy was ordained for the Kandanad diocese, he preferred to stay in this Dayro or the Dayro at Malecuriz, which is also located in an interior part.  


Piramadom Dayro

The late Bava Thirumeni was a symbol of simplicity.  He showed politeness and courtesy to all without differentiating the laity from clergy, the poor from the rich and the young from the old.  Even though he was the chief priest and head of the Syrian Orthodox Church in India, he never used to administer, but used to serve the Church.  He was a noble high priest, who loved the children, the community and served the Church, shedding all selfish motives and without lust for power.  The hospitality of this great Catholicos is known to all who had visited him at least once.  He took great pleasure in serving food to his visitors by his own hands.  One can never forget the innocent smile on his face.  His heart had no room for enmity.  His Beatitude was a tower of light for the Malankara Church.  With love as an article of faith, and as a good shepherd, he led a holy life.  By upholding the true faith and practices, he exhibited unwavering stand which every member of the Church should make a model.  His respectful and exemplary life, no doubt will be a source of inspiration for the present and for future generations as well.  Truly he was an extraordinary personality who led a divine life of a great Holy father.  One will only rarely come upon a person like His Beatitude.





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