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Introduction

'CATHOLICOS OF THE EAST' originated as the honourable title conferred to the ecclesiastical head of the Christian congregation in the erstwhile Persian Empire that extended from Mesopotamia in the west, to the boundaries of the present day Afghanistan and North India in the east. In the beginning the bishop who assumed this title was known as MAJOR METROPOLITAN / CATHOLICOS OF SELEUCIA; Seleucia being the capital city of Persian Empire.  This institution was initially set up to serve as a link between the Patriarch of Antioch and the Syrian Christian Community in Persia who found the journey to Antioch hazardous because of the bitter political rivalry between the Roman and Persian empires at that time.1

The Church in Persia was known in different names: Persian Church, Babylonian Church, East Syrian Church, Church of East, Chaldean Church etc. Though the jurisdiction of the Seleucian Catholicate was initially within the Persian Empire only, it later extended to few other regions outside the empire in Asia in the further East, through missionary activities.

 

Catholicos

The term ‘Catholicos’ (Katholikos) is derived from the Greek words ‘Kath-Holikos’, meaning ‘General Primate’ or ‘General Vicar’.2  Even before the primates of the Church adopted this title, it existed in the Roman Empire where its Government representative who was in charge of a large area was called as ‘Catholicos’.  The Government servant, who was in charge of State treasury, too was known in that name.  In due course, the secular administrative heads in Persian Empire also adopted this title.    

The Churches (mainly outside the Roman Empire) started to use this term for their chief Bishops much later, probably by 4th or 5th centuries.  Now the primates of the Orthodox Churches in Armenia, Georgia, Iraq and India, use the title ‘Catholicos’.

 

Evolution of the historic office of Catholicos of the East

At the dawn of Christianity in the 1st century, there were two great political powers that stood against each other in the Near and the Middle East; the Roman (Byzantine) Empire and the Empire of the Parthians (or Sassanaid Persians since the early 3rd century), the traditional enmity of which has a determining influence on the history of that area for centuries.  The border line between these rival empires divided the landscape of Mesopotamia with the Syriac speaking population on either sides.3 The great city of Antioch where a Christian presence appeared for the first time outside Palestine, was the capital of the Syrian Province, in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. The bishoprics of the city of Antioch has special importance in the history of Christianity as it was here St.Peter, the chief of the Apostles, established his Apostolic See before leaving for Rome. Antioch and regions east of it were placed under the care of the Bishop/Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. (The Christian church laws that took shape in the early era through regional and ecumenical councils, reaffirmed the ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria and Rome).

But the political barriers between the Persian and Roman Empires and the bitter rivalry between its rulers made intercommunications between the two regions difficult and dangerous. There were instances where clergy from Persia who were ordained by the Patriarch of Antioch were put to death alleging to be spies. It therefore, became necessary for the Patriarch to vest authority in an ecclesiastical dignitary to carry on the administration in the Persian region.4 Thus evolved the historic office of the Catholicate in Seleucia (Persian capital). The Bishop/Catholicos of Seleucia acted as the deputy of the Patriarch of Antioch, in the Persian Empire, with some exclusive privileges to consecrate bishops on behalf of the Patriarch.  Though attempts to bring the Church under this single authority (Seleucian bishop) started in early 4th century itself, it became fruitful only a century later. Initially the other prelates of Persia were opposed to the idea of vesting powers in this Catholicate, but the support from the Antiochean Patriarchate helped to shed all barriers.

 

The First Catholicos of the Syrian Church

It was around the year 300, an attempt was made for the first time to organize the Church in Persian Empire into an ecclesiastical structure. The initiative for this was taken by Bishop Papa (Baba, AD.267-336) of the Persian royal capital at Seleucia-Ctesiphon with the concurrence of the Patriarch of Antioch. In AD. 315, the Bishop convened a Synod of the Persian prelates at Seleucia in which he tried to organize the local churches, with himself as a head. But the other prelates, especially those of Persia proper resisted and even deposed Bishop Papa. At this crucial juncture, the Bishops of Antioch, Edessa and Nisibis came to his rescue and reinstated him as prelate of the prime city. 

It is believed that the title 'CATHOLICOS' was first used by this Bishop Papa. Anyhow, neither this Seleucian bishop nor his successors, until 410, never had any authority over other bishoprics in Persian empire and hence the title Catholicos, if ever used by Bishop Papa, does not mean in the same sense as it was known later.

About a century later, another serious attempt was made to unite all the bishoprics in the Persian Empire.  In AD 410, an historic Synod of the churches in Persia was held under the auspices of Bishop Mor Marutha of Muipharqat (delegate of the Antiochean Patriarch), which recognized the primacy of the Metropolitan of Seleucia for the first time.  Thus MOR ISHAQ (Issac), the bishop of Seleucia become the head of the Persian Church.  He is the one who is acknowledged as the first "CATHOLICOS", with jurisdiction over the entire Persian Empire.  He assumed this title at the Synod of Seleucia (held in AD 410), or a little prior to that.  The primate at that time, was also conferred with the title "Great Metropolitan and Chief of All Bishops". (In some records the title is mentioned as "Great Metropolitan of All the East and Major Metropolitan of Seleucia-Ctesiphon.)

 

Churches that claims the ecclesial connection with the ancient Catholicate of the East

From the days of establishment of Christianity in Persia, the Church there has to face severe persecutions; first from the Parthian / Persian kingdoms that considered the Christians as their adversaries, then due to the dissidence grown within their congregations and finally because of the Moslem and Mongolian aggressions and also due to the crusades Thus the Syrian Church in Persia/East separated into three main stream Churches with two more sub-divisions in the last century.  The list of Syrian Churches in the East that are under separate Catholicoses are given below.

1.  Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite) Church of Antioch & all the East

                  div-1.  Orthodox Syrian Church of Malankara  (Separated from Jacobites in 1912)

2.  Assyrian Church (Nestorians) of the East

                 div-2.  The Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East

                 div-2.  The Ancient Church of the East

3.  Chaldean Church (Catholics) of the East  (Separated from Nestorians in 1445)

 

 

 

 

{1} Catholicate of the Syriac Orthodox (Jacobite) Church of Antioch and all the East

The evolution of the historic office of Catholicate of the East is the result of enmity of the Persian ruler with taht the Roman Empire.

According to the canons of the first (Nicea-325) and second (Constantinople-381) councils, the Patriarch of Antioch is the supreme ecclesiastical dignitary of the 'entire orient', which includes the whole of Persia.  During this period the Church spread its wing in

 

So the Patriarchate of Antioch situated in the neighboring Syrian Province of the Eastern Roman Empire could not smoothly exercise all the ecclesiastical needs of those people under its jurisdiction in Persia. This compelled the Church in Persia to have a separate entity with the concurrence of their supreme head the Patriarch of Antioch and thus the Catholicate evolved in the Persian Empire. This Metropolitan/Catholicos of Seleucia always acted as the deputy of the Patriarch of Antioch, in the Persian Empire, with some exclusive privileges to consecrate bishops and Holy Mooron on behalf of the Patriarch.

 

In the early centuries the Christians in the Persian as well as in the Roman Empires were subject to religious persecutions, so the Church spread its wings without the help of any of the imperial authorities. After Roman Emperor accepted Christianity in 315, the church here was spared from atrocities, but then the Persian Kings become much more hostile towards those Christians in Persia as they were considered as agents of the former. It was during this period the office of the Great Metropolitan, which later came to be known as the Catholicate of East, was established in Persia. He acted as the deputy to the Patriarch of Antioch in the Persian East. But as the enmity between the empires increased, the leaders of the Church in Persia found it nearly impossible to continue ecclesiastical commune with the universal church.

Meanwhile some in the Catholicate of Persia found it convenient to adopt the Nestorian Christology which was earlier officially dejected by the universal Christian councils for its remarks on the Mother of God; thus they tried to convince the Persian rulers that they distance themselves from the mother Church as well as the Roman (Byzantine) Empire. By this act, the Christians in Persia who accepted Nestorian Christology could easily win the favour of the Persian rulers while those of non-Nestorian faith suffered severe persecution. As the office of the Catholicate fall into heresy, the Orthodox faithful were wandering in wilderness. The Catholicos of Seleucia meanwhile took over the title 'Patriarch', thus trying to be equal in status with the Patriarch of Antioch.

Even though the Church in Persia had officially accepted Nestorius as a Church father, a substantial group of Christians in Mosul, Niniveh and Tigris (Tagrit) continued to keep their loyalty to the old faith.5 A few decades later the Orthodox wing of the Church in Persia that continued to be under the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch & all the East, got reorganized under St. Ya`qub Burdono and installed St. Ahudemmeh as 'The Great Metropolitan of the East', but he too experienced it difficult to discharge his ecclesiastical duties smoothly. However by the 7th century the situation changed for better which finally led to the formation of an office of the 'Maphrianate of the East’ at Tigris (Tagrit). In AD 629, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East elevated St. Marutha (Marooso) as the first MAPHRIYONO OF THE EAST for the rejuvenated Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite) Church in Persia.

Later the centre of the Maphrianate was shifted to St.Mathew’s Dayro in the city of Mosul in Iraq and continued there till the middle of 19th century. In 1860 the office of Maphrianate was abolished as per the decision of the Syrian Orthodox Church Synod held at Deyrul'alZafran Monastery (Kurkumo Dayro) under Patriarch Ignatius Ya`qub II. The same was re-established in India in 1964 by the Universal Synod held at Kottayam, presided by Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III. From the days of the establishment of this Maphriyanate in India, the Church started to officially use the title ‘Catholicos of the East’ and his jurisdiction was limited to India in the East. In 2002 the office of the Maphrianate was renamed as ‘Catholicose of India’ in accordance with its actual jurisdiction. Present headquarters of this ancient Maphrianate/Catholicate of the Syrian Orthodox Church is at Puthencuriz, Cochin, with Catholicos Mor Baselios Thomas I as the Chief of the Church in India.

In Episcopal dignity the Catholicos ranks second to the Patriarch and, as his deputy, presides over the provincial Holy Synod. He and all the clergy of the faithful in India pledge loyalty to the Patriarch of Antioch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, the supreme authority of the Syriac Orthodox Church throughout the world.

(b)  Catholicate of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian Orthodox Church) 

This wing of the Orthodox Church in Kerala came into existence in 1912 with the establishment of an autocephalous Catholicate for the dissident section of the Jacobite Church.  The Chief of this Church assumed the title “Catholicos of the East” and he administers an autocephalous wing of the ancient Jacobite Syrian Community of Malabar. In 1934, this independent group got organised itself under the banner “Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church” with headquarters in the town of Kottayam in southern Kerala. Though in 1964 the group reunited with the Syrian Orthodox Church following the consecration of  a Catholicose by the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, they once again separated from the Universal Church in 1970's. The present Catholicos of this group is Baselios Marthoma Mathews II.

 

{2 Catholicates (Patriarchates) of the Assyrian Church of East (Nestorian Church)

Nestorian Church which is also called the 'Church of the East' and more recently the 'Assyrian Church', is one of the most important section of the ancient Christian Congregations in Persia.  By the end of the 5th century, when the chief of the Persian church (Catholicos of Seleucia), adopted Nestorian doctrinal teachings, a vast majority of faithful followed him.  In 498, the section declared their independence claiming it as an exclusive Persian Church. Since then the Catholicos (also called 'Catholicos-Patriarch') of the Persian Church assumed the title 'PATRIARCH of the East, sometimes known as 'Patriarch of Babylon'.

At present there are two independent Patriarchates for the Assyrian Church of East  It was in the middle of the 20th century, a split happened in the Church which resulted in the formation of two independent factions. The dispute was triggered off in the Church after the reigning Patriarch Mar Simon decided to adopt the Gregorian calendar in 1964. But the actual reason behind the controversy was over the hereditary succession of the Patriarchs that started in 1450. The office of the Patriarch and some other Episcopal sees had since then become hereditary within one family, usually being passed down from uncle to nephew. Opposing this practice, a section under a Metropolitan separated in 1968 and this led to the formation of a parallel Catholicate/Patriarchate.  However in 1973, the age old practice of hereditic succession came to end with the retirement of the Patriarch Mar Simon in 1973, who himself become the prelate at a young age of 12.  But the division that occurred in 1964 still continues and two parallel Patriarchates are functioning in the Church of the East.

The two sections of the Assyrian Church with separate Catholicates (Patriarchates) are:-

{a}   The Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, whose head is known as the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. The present primate is Mar Dinkha IV, residing in Chicago USA. They follows the Gregorian Calendar since 1964. This Church has faithful in Kerala (India) which in India is called the Chaldean Syrian Church (this must not be mistaken for the Chaldean Church under Rome).

{b}   The Ancient Church of the East, whose head is called the Patriarch of the Ancient Church of the East.  The present Primate is Mar Adai II, residing in Baghdad. The Church sticks to the Julian calendar.

 

 

{3} Catholicate (Patriarchate) of the Chaldean Church of the East (Roman Catholic communion) 

The Chaldean Church which is in commune with the Roman Catholic Church is a break away group of the Nestorian Church.  The Church came into existence in AD 1445 after the then chief of the Nestorians adorned the Roman Catholic faith.  The Chief used the title ‘Patriarch of Chaldean Church’ from its inception. His headquarters is in Bagdad, Iraq. The last Primate of the Chaldean church was Mar Raphael Bidawid who died on 7th July 2003.  The official title of the primate is 'Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans'

 

 

Chronological order of the Catholicos/Maphriyono's of the East

 

 

METROPOLITANS OF SELEUCIA

 
(Following are the list of bishops, starting from Papa bar Aggai, who worked for the unity of all the Christian Churches in the Persian Empire)

 

Papa bar Aggai

285-326/7

He was the first bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon who tried to bring all churches in the Persian Empire under a single authority

 

 

Shimun (Simon) Bar Sabbae

326/7-344

Martyred by order of Persian King Shapur II

 

 

Shahdost

344-345

Martyred

 

 

Barbashmin

345-346

Martyred on January 9th

 

 

Thomooso

364/5-372/3

 

 

 

Qayuma

372/3-380

 

 

CATHOLICOS OF SELEUCIA/EAST

(Assumed this title for the head of the Church in the Persian Empire in A.D. 410)

1.

Mor Ishaq (Isaac)

399-410/2

 

 

2.

Mor Ahai

410/2-414/5

 

 

3.

Mor Yaballaha I

414/5-420

 

 

4.

Mor Mana

420

Deposed from the Catholicate

 

5.

Mor Dadyeshu

421-450

 

 

6.

Mor Babowai

450-484

 

 

The Catholicate fell into heresy after Mor Babowai

GREAT METROPOLITANS OF THE EAST

(Bishops ordained for the rejuvenated Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite) church in the Persian East after the Catholicate of the East fell into heresy)

 

Mor Ahudemeh

559-575

The first 'Metropolitan of the East' after it had been usurped by the Nestorians.    Ordained by Mor Ya`qub Bourdono.     

Tigrit was the headquarters of this Metropolitan See under the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.

 

Died on Aug 2, 575

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mor Khameeso

578-609

 

 

 

Mor Samuel

614-624

 

 

MAPHRIYONO (Maphrian) OF THE EAST

Assumed this title since AD 629.  This ‘Catholicate’ / ‘Maphrianate of the East’ was founded to take care of the Syrian Orthodox living in the dioceses situated in the ancient territory of the Persian Sasanid Empire. In the beginning Tigrit was the main centre of the Syrian Orthodox faithful and also the headquarters of the Church, but with the destruction of the city around the 12th century, the Maphrianate was moved to Monasteries situated in Mosul and near by areas, in Northern Iraq.

 ‘Maphrian’ is derived from the Syriac word afri, “to make fruitful’, or meaning even “father of fathers”. In the mid 13th century the title ‘Catholicose’ sometimes also came to be used, and it is used today in India, while ‘Maphrian’ is no longer used.

 

 

Year

Remarks

 The Patriarchs of Antioch who ordained the Maphriyono's

1.

Mor Marutha (Morooso)

629-649

He had oversight of 13 bishoprics to which 4 more added subsequently. Tigrit was the headquarters of the Maphrianate of the East. --  Died on 2 May, 649

Patriarch Mor Athanasius I Gammolo

2.

Mor Denha I

649-659

 

Patriarch Mor Theodore

3.

Bar Easo

669-683

 

Patriarch Mor Severius bar Masqeh

4.

Mor Abraham (Ibrahim al-Sayyad)

685-686

 

Patriarch Mor Athanasius II

5.

Mor David

686

 

As the Patriarchal See was vacant after the demise of Patriarch Mor Athanasius II, Bishops of Tigrith Archdiocese ordained the Maphrian

6.

Mor Yohannan

686-688

 

As the Patriarchal See was vacant after the demise of Patriarch Mor Athanasius II, Bishops of Tigrith Archdiocese ordained the Maphrian

7.

Mor Denha II

688-728

Following the complaints received from the Bishops of Tigrith Archdiocese, the Patriarch removed the Maphrian from the office

Name of the Patriarch who consecrated the Maphrian not available

8.

Mor Paulose

728-757

 

Patriarch Mor Athanasius III

9.

Mor Yohannan II

758-785

Maphrian was removed from the office by the Patriarch following complaints received from the Bishops of Tigrith Archdiocese

Patriarch Mor Geevarghese I

10.

Mor Joseph

785-786

 

Patriarch Mor Kuriakose of Tigrit

11.

Mor Sarbiel

794-810

The Maphrian submitted resignation before the Patriarch following allegations.

Patriarch Mor Kuriakose of Tigrit

12.

Mor Shemavun

811- ?

 

Patriarch Mor Kuriakose from Tigrit

13.

Mor Baselios

  ?  -830

 

Patriarch Mor Kuriakose from Tigrit

14.

Mor Daniel

829-834

 

Patriarch Mor Dionysius I from Tellmahreh

15.

Mor Thoma

834-847

Died May 8, 847

Patriarch Mor Dionysius I of Tellmahreh

16.

Mor Baselios II (Lazar the Stylite)

848-868

Died October 17, 868

Patriarch Mor Yuhanon III

17.

Mor Malkeesadek

857-869

Died November 25, 868

Patriarch Mor Yuhanon III.

18.

Mor Sargis

872-883

Died November 11. 883

Consecrated by the Episcopal Synod

19.

Mor Athanasius

887-903

Ordained Maphrian on February 8, 887 -- Died December 27, 903

Patriarch Mor Theodosius Romanos from Tigrit

20.

Mor Thoma II (Stylite)

910-911

Ordained Maphrian on September 9, 910

Patriarch Mor Yuhanon IV Qurzahli

21.

Mor Denha III

912-932

 

Patriarch Mor Yuhanon IV Qurzahli

22.

Mor Baselios III

936-960

Ordained Maphrian in November 936

Name of the Patriarch who consecrated the Maphrian not available

23.

Mor Kuriakose

962-979

 

Patriarch Mor Abraham I

24.

Mor Yuhanon III of Damascus

980(981?) -988

 

Patriarch Mor Yuhanon VI Sarigta

25.

Mor Ignatius bar Keekke

991-1016

Tigrit was confirmed as the seat of the Syrian Orthodox in 991 by order of the Khalifate

Patriarch Mor Athanasius IV of Salah

26.

Mor Athanasius II of Edessa

1027-1041

 

Patriarch Mor Yuhanon VII bar`Abdun

27.

Mor Baselios IV of Tigrith

1046-1069

 

As the Patriarchal See remained vacant for a few years after the demise of Patriarch Mor Dionysius IV Yahya in 1044, Bishops of Tigrit Archdiocese ordained the Maphrian

28.

Mor Yuhanon Sleeba I

1075-1106

Following the attack on Tigrit by the Arabs in 1089, the Maphriante moved to Mosul

Patriarch Mor Baselios II

29.

Mor Dionysius Mosa

1112-1134

Maphrian Mor Dionysius returned to Tigrit

Patriarch Mor Athanasius VI bar Khamoro

30.

Mor Ignatius Lazar

1142(1143?) -1164

In 1152 the two sees of Mosul and Tigrit were united and the Maphrian’s title was “Metropolitan of Mosul and Nineveh”.  With the destruction of Tigrit by the caliph in 1156, the Maphrianate permanently moved to Mosul. Mor Mattai Monastery become the seat of Maphrian.

 

Patriarch Mor Athanasius VII bar Qutreh

31.

Mor Yuhanon Sarugoyo (Sarug)

1164-1188

 

Patriarch Mor Athanasius VII bar Qutreh

 

Mor Dionysius

1189-1203

Challenger

 

32.

Mor Gregorios Yakub

1189-1214

 

Patriarch Mor Michael Rabo

33.

Mor Ignatius David

1215-1222

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius III David (1222-'52)

Patriarch Mor Yuhanon XI

34.

Mor Dionysius Sleeba

1222-1231

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius III David

35.

Mor Yuhanon bar Ma`dani

1232-1252

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Yuhanon XII bar Ma`dani (1252-'63)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius III David

36.

Mor Ignatius Sleeba

1252-1258

Become the Maphrian in December, 1252

Patriarch Mor Yuhanon  XII bar Ma`dani

37.

Mor Gregorios bar Ebrayo

1264-1286

The most famous of all the Maphrians - Ordained Maphrian on 19 Jan, 1264 - died on 30 July, 1286

Patriarch Mor Ignatius IV Yeshu

38.

Mor Gregorios bar Souma

1288(1289?) -1308

Brother of Mor Gregorios bar Ebrayo

Patriarch Mor Philexinos I

39.

Mor Gregorios Mathai

1317-1345

 

Patriarch Mor Michael III

40.

Mor Athanasius Abraham

1364-1379

 

Patriarch Mor Baselios III

 

Mor Gregorios bar Kainaya

(?)  - 1361

Challenger

 

41.

Mor Baselios Bahnam al-Hadli (Hadliyo)

1404-1412

Became the Patriarch of Mardin in 1412. In 1445 he was enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Behnam al-Hadli (1445-‘54)

 

Patriarch Mor Philexinos II

42.

Mor Bahnam Araboyo (Diascorus)

1415-1417

 

Mor Ignatius Behnam al-Hadli, when he was the Patriarch of Mardin

43.

Mor Bar Souma Moudyano

1422 -1455

Consecrated as Maphrian on April 9, 1422

Mor Ignatius Behnam al-Hadli, when he was the Patriarch of Mardin

44.

Mor Baselios Azeez

1471-1487

Died in September, 1487

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Khalaf

45.

Mor Nuh the Lebanese

1489-1493

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Nuh (1493-1509) -- Died on 28 July, 1509

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Yuhanon  XIII

46.

Mor Abraham

1496-1508

Consecrated as Maphrian on Jan 5, 1496.

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Nuh

47.

Mor Baselios Blias

(?)  - 1523

Details of this Maphrian is not available.

It is not known who ordained this Maphrian

48.

Mor Athanasius Habeeb I

1528-1533

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abd-Allah I

49.

Mor Baselios Elias

1533-1552

From 1533 the Maphrians added ‘BASELIOS’ to their name. Since a Maphriante for ‘Turabdin’ came into existence around the year 1500, the MAPHRIANATE OF THE EAST, with their seat in Mosul, came to be also known as ‘MAPHRIANANTE OF MOSUL’ in order to distinguish from the former

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abd-Allah I

50.

Mor Baselios Nemet Allah I

1555-1557

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Ne`met Allah I (1557-'76)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abd-Allah I

51.

Mor Baselios Abded al Ghani

1557-1575

Died June 19, 1575

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ne`met Allah I

52.

Mor Baselios David Shah Ibin Nur`Adin

1575-1576

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius David II Shah (1576-'91)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ne`met Allah I

53.

Mor Baselios Philathose

1576-1591

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Pilate I (1591-'97)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius David II Shah

54.

Mor Baselios Abd al Ghani

1591-1597

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Pilate I

55.

Mor Pathros V Hadaya

1597

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Hadayat Allah (1597-1639)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Pilate I

56.

Mor Baselios Isaya

1626

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Hadayat Allah

57.

Mor Baselios Sakralla I

1639-1652

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Hadayat Allah

58.

Mor Baselios Abdul Masih I

1655-1662

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Abdul Masih I (1662-'86)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Simon I

59.

Mor Baselios Habeeb II

1665-1674

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abdul Masih I

60.

Mor Baselios Yeldho

1678-1685

Born in the village of KOODED, also known as Karakosh (near Mosul in Iraq). 

Died when he was at Kothamangalam, India on 29 September 1785.  Entombed in the Marthoma CheriaPally Kothamangalam. Dhukrono is celebrated on 1st and 2nd of October every year.   

Name of the Saintly Maphrian is recited in TUBDEN as per the Patriarchal Bull No. E 265/87 dated October 20, 1987.

 

 

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abdul Masih I

61.

Mor Baselios Gevarghese II

1674-1687

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Geevarghese II (1687-1708)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abdul Masih I

62.

Mor Baselios Isahac II

1687-1709

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Isahac Azar (1709-'22)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Geevarghese II

63.

Mor Baselios Mathai

1709

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Isahac Azar

64.

Mor Baselios Lazar III

1713

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Isahac Azar

65.

Mor Baselios Mathai II

1714- ?

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Isahac Azar

66.

Mor Baselios Sakralla II

? -1722

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Shukr Allah II (1722-'45)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Isahac Azar

67.

Mor Gregorios Lazar IV

1730-1742

 

Patriarch Mor Mor Ignatius Shukr Allah II

68.

Mor Baselios Sakralla III of Aleppo

1748-1764

Consecrated as Maphrian for the Church in Malabar in 1748.  he reached Malankara in 1751 and died at Kandanad on 20 Oct, 1764

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Geevarghese III

69.

Mor Baselios Geevarghese III Mosa

1760-1768

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Geevarghese IV (1768-'81)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Geevarghese III

70.

Mor Baselios Sleeba IV

1773- ?

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Geevarghese IV Mosa

71.

Mor Baselios Bishara

1782-1811

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Mathai

72.

Mor Baselios Yavanan

1803

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Mathai

73.

Mor Baselios Kurillos Abd  al Azeez

1811-1816

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Mathai

74.

Mor Baselios Mathew IV

1820

Retired in the same year

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Geevarghese IV

75.

Mor Baselios Elias II

1825-1827

Excommunicated following his affection towards the Roman Catholics

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Geevarghese IV

76.

Mor Baselios Elias III Ankas

1827-1838

Later enthroned as the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH - Mor Ignatius Elias II (1838-'47)

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Geevarghese IV

77.

Mor Baselios Behanam IV

1852-1859

 

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub II

In 1860,  Office of the Maphrianate of the East was abolished as per the decision of the Universal Synod held under the Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub II at the Deir ez-Za`faran Monastery (Kurkkumo Dayro) in Turkey

CATHOLICOS OF THE EAST for the Malankara (Indian) Church

(The Maphrianate for the Church in Malankara was established with the title 'CATHOLICOSE OF THE EAST', as per the decision of the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church held at Kottayam under Patriarch Ignatius Ya`qub III in 1964)

78.

Mor Baselios Augen I

1964-1975

Ordained as the Catholicose on 22 May 1964  --  Removed from the office of the Catholicate (Maphrianate) in 1975 after the faction under him claimed to be a separate Church.

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III

79.

Mor Baselios Paulose II

1975-1996

Ordained as Catholicose on 7 September 1975  --  Died on 1 September 1996

Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III

CATHOLICOS OF INDIA

(The title for the local head of the Syrian Church of Malankara(India) was changed to 'CATHOLICOS OF INDIA' as per the Church constitution adopted in 2002 )

80.  

Mor Baselios Thomas I

2002

Ordained as Catholicose on 26 July 2002  

Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference Materials:-

1.     Chediyath Geevarghese:  "BarEbraya Sabhacharithram", 1990

2.     Dr. D Babu Paul:   "The Saint from Kooded", 1985

3.     Christine Chaillot:   “The Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and all the East”, 1998

4.     Patriarch Ignatius Aphram I Barsoum, translated by Matti Moosa:   “History of Syriac Literature and Sciences”, 2000

5.     Hollerweger Hans:   “Living Cultural Heritage – TURABDIN”, 1999

6.     Chronological list of Patriarchs of Antioch published in the ‘Syriac Orthodox Resources’ web site

 

 Chronological order of the Catholicos/Maphriyono's of the East

METROPOLITANS OF SELEUCIA
(Following are the list of bishops who worked for the unity of the Syrian Church in the Persian Empire)
  Papa bar Aggai 285-326/7 He was the first bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon who tried to bring all churches in the Persian Empire under a single authority
  Shimun (Simon) Bar Sabbae 326/7-344 Martyred by order of Persian King Shapur II
  Shahdost 344-345 Martyred
  Barbashmin 345-346 Martyred on January 9th
  Thomooso 364/5-372/3  
  Qayuma 372/3-380  
       

CATHOLICOS OF SELEUCIA/EAST

(officially assumed this title in A.D. 410)

1. Mor Ishaq (Isaac) 399-410/2  
2. Mor Ahai 410/2-414/5  
3. Mor Yaballaha I 414/5-420  
4. Mor Mana 420 Deposed from the Catholicate
5. Mor Dadyeshu 421-450  
6. Mor Babowai 450-484  
  The Catholicate fell into heresy after Mor Babowai    
       

GREAT' METROPOLITANS OF THE EAST

(Bishops ordained for the rejuvenated Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite) church in the Persian East)

  Mor Ahudemeh 559-575 The first 'Metropolitan of the East' after it had been usurped by the Nestorians.   Died on Aug 2, 575
Mor Khameeso 578-609
  Mor Samuel 614-624  
       

MAPHRIYONO OF THE EAST

(Assumed this title since A.D.629)

1. Mor Marutha (Morooso) 629-649 Died May 2, 649
2. Mor Denha I 649-659  
3. Bar Easo 669-683  
4. Mor Abraham (Ibrahim al-Sayyad) 685-686  
5. Mor David 687  
6. Mor Yohannan 687-688  
7. Mor Denha II 688-728  
8. Mor Paulose 728-757  
9. Mor Yohannan II 758-785  
10. Mor Joseph 785-786  
11. Mor Sarbiel 794-810  
12. Mor Simayon 811- ?  
13. Mor Baselios   ?  -830  
14. Mor Daniel 829-834  
15. Mor Thomas 834-847  
16. Mor Baselios II 848-868  
17. Mor Malkeesadek 857-869 Challenger
18. Mor Sevarios 872-883  
19. Mor Athanasius 887-903  
20. Mor Thomas Stylite 910-911  
21. Mor Danaha III 912-932  
22. Mor Baselios III 936-960  
23. Mor Kuriakose 962-979  
24. Mor Yuhanon III 980-988  
25. Mor Ignatius 991-1016  
26. Mor Athanasius II 1027-1041  
27. Mor Baselios IV 1046-1069  
28. Mor Yuhanon Sleeba I 1075-1106  
29. Mor Dionysius Moosa 1112-1142  
30. Mor Ignatius Lazar 1142-1164  
31. Mor Yuhanon Sarug 1164-1188  
32. Mor Dionysius 1189-1203  
33. Mor Gregorios Yakoob 1189-1203 Ordained by Patriarch Michael Rabo
34. Mor Ignatius David 1215-1222 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius III David (1222-'52)
35. Mor Dionysius Sleeba 1222-1231  
36. Mor Yuhanon Ahron 1232-1253  
37. Mor Ignatius Sleeba 1253-1258  
38. Mor Gregorios Bar Ebrayo 1264-1286 The most famous of all the Maphrians, died on July 30, 1286
39. Mor Gregorios Bar Souma 1289-1308  
40. Mor Gregorios Mathew 1317-1345  
41. Mor Athanasius Abraham 1364-1379  
42. Mor Gregorios       - 1361 Challenger
43. Mor Baselios Bahnan 1404-1412  
44. Mor Diascorus Bahnan 1415-1417  
45. Mor Baselios Bar Souma 1422-1455 Consecrated as Maphrian on April 9, 1422
46. Mor Cyril Ouseph Barneesan       - 1458  
47. Mor Baselios Azeez 1471-1487  
48. Mor Baselios Noha 1490-1494  
49. Mor Baselios Abraham 1496-1508  
50. Mor Baselios Blias       - 1523  
51. Mor Baselios Habeeb 1528  
52. Mor Baselios Elias 1533-1552  
53. Mor Baselios Nemet Allah I 1555-1557 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Nemet Allah I (1557-'76)
54. Mor Baselios Abded Al Ghani 1557-1575 Died in June 19, 1575
55. Mor Baselios David Shah Ibin Nur'Adin 1575-1576 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius David II Shah (1576-'91)
56. Mor Baselios Philathose 1576-1591 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Pilate I (1591-'97)
57. Mor Baselios Abded Al Ghani 1591-1597  
58. Mor Pathros V Hadaya 1597-1598 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Hadayat Allah (1597-1639)
59. Mor Baselios Esaya 1626  
60. Mor Baselios Sakralla I 1639-1652  
61.  Mor Baselios Abdul Masih I 1655-1662 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Abdul Masih I (1662-'86)
62. Mor Baselios Habeeb 1665-1674  
63. Mor Baselios Yeldho 1678-1685 Died at Kothamangalam, India.  The Saintly Maphrian is remembered in Tubden since 1987
64. Mor Baselios Geevarghese II 1674- Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Geevarghese II (1687-1708)
65. Mor Baselios Isahac II 1687-1709 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Isahac Azar (1709-'22)
66. Mor Baselios Mathews 1709  
67. Mor Baselios Lazar III 1713  
68. Mor Baselios Mathews II 1714-1722  
69. Mor Baselios Sakralla II 1722 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Shukr Allah II (1722-'45)
70. Mor Baselios Shemuvun (Simon) 1727- Martyred on April 6, 1740 by the Kurds
71. Mor Gregorios Lazar IV 1730-1759  
72. Mor Baselios Sakralla III 1748-1764 Consecrated as Maphrian for India in 1748. In 1751 he reached Malankara and died at Kandanad
73. Mor Baselios Geevarghese III 1760-1768 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Geevarghese IV (1768-'81)
74. Mor Baselios Sleeba IV 1783-1790  
75. Mor Baselios Bishara 1782-1811  
76. Mor Baselios Yavanan 1803  
77. Mor Baselios Kurillos Abd Al Azeez 1811-1816  
78. Mor Baselios Mathew IV 1820  
79. Mor Baselios Elias II 1825-1827  
80. Mor Baselios Elias III Ankas 1827-1838 Later ordained as PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH Mor Ignatius Elias II (1838-'47)
81. Mor Baselios Bahanan IV 1852-1859 Maphriyanate abolished as per the decision of the Universal Synod held in 1860 under Patriarch Ignatius Yakub II

CATHOLICOS OF THE EAST for the Malankara (Indian) Church

(The Maphriyanate was reestablished  by Patriarch Ignatius Yakub III in 1964)

82. Mor Baselios Augen I 1964-1975 Maphriyanate reestablished in Malankara as per the decision of the Universal Synod held in 1964 under Patriarch Ignatius Yakub III
83. Mor Baselios Paulose II 1975-1996  
       

CATHOLICOS OF INDIA

(Assumed the title in 2002)

84.   Mor Baselios Thomas I

2002

 

 

 

 

References:

      1.  Fr. V M Geevarghese Kalloopparambil:  "The Patriarchate of Antioch and the Malankara Syrian Church", 1995Top

2.  Wolfgang Hage: "Syriac Christianity in the East", 1997Top

3.  H.G.Kuriakose Mor Kurillos: "The Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church and The Catholicate of the East", 1990Top

4.  Geevarghese Chediyath: "Sabha Charithra Padanagal", 1996

5.  Geevarghese Chediyath: "BarEbraya Sabhacharithram", 1990

6.  O.S.S.A.E. Publication:  "Catholicate History", 1999Top

7.  D Babu Paul: "The Saint from Kooded", 1985

8.  H.G. Thomas Mor Athanasius (Muvattupuzha): "Relationship between the Orthodox Churches", 1990Top

      9.  Hollerweger Hans:   “Living Cultural Heritage – TURABDIN”, 1999
     10. Christine Chaillot:   “The Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and all the East”, 1998
     11.  Patriarch Ignatius Aphram I Barsoum, translated by Matti Moosa:   “History of Syriac Literature and Sciences”, 2000
     12.  Chronological list of Patriarchs of Antioch published in the ‘Syriac Orthodox Resources’ web site

 

 

 

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