His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Paulos II – the Supreme Head of Indian Orthodox Church is visiting Mangaluru on 13th and 14th April 2016 in connection with the consecration of the newly renovated St. Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church, Kottara Chowki here
Mangaluru: Addressing the media persons during the press meet held at Mangalore Press Club, Fr Eldho M Paul- Vicar of St Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church said, ” HH Moran Mar Baselios Paulos II, the Supreme Head of Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church with a following of more than two and half million faithful will be visiting Mangaluru on 13th and 14th April 2016 in connection with the consecration of the newly renovated St. Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church, Kottara Chowki, Mangaluru. HH is the 91st Successor on the Apostolic Throne of India (St. Thomas, the Apostle of India).”
Fr Eldho further said, “HH will be welcomed when he arrives at the Bishop’s House near Nanthoor on 13 April 2016 at 5 pm, from where he will be taken in a procession to St Gregorios OS Church for an interaction with other clergy during that evening. Next day, 14 April morning there will be prayers starting at 7.30 am followed by Mass at 8.30 am con-celebrated by HH. Following the Mass there will be a formal function at 11 am, where His Holiness will address the gathering. Other guests of honour for the occasion are : Fr Aloysius Paul D’Souza-Bishop of Mangaluru Catholic Diocese; Mohan Monoraj- Bishop of CSI Church-Mangaluru Diocese; State Minister-Ramanath Rai; MLA JR Lobo; AB Ibrahim-DK Deputy Commissioner; and Sashidhar Hegde-area corporator”. Gerison George- Trustee and Raju M Ulahannan -Secretary were also present during the press meet.
About HH Moran Mar Baselios Paulos II :
H.H. was born on 30th August, 1946 in a traditional Syrian Christian family at Kunnamkulam in Thrichur District of Kerala State, India. He was ordained as Deacon in 1972 and as Priest in 1973. Noticing his pious and holy life, the Indian Orthodox Church Parliament (known as Malankara Association) elected him to Metroploitan-ate and was consecrated as Metropolitan (Arch Bishop) in 1985 at the age of 39 years by name Paulos Mar Melithios. Again, the Church Parliament in 2006 unanimously elected His Grace as the Catholicos Designate.
On 1st November 2010, following the abdication of his predecessor His Holiness Baselios Mar Thoma Didimus First, Metropolitan Paulos Mar Milithios was enthroned as Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan (Catholicos is the Spiritual Head of the Church and Malankara Metropolitan is the Administrative Head of the Church, both combined in one person).
About The Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Syrian Church :
The Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Syrian Church traces its origin to as far back as A.D 52 when St. Thomas, the disciple of Jesus Christ came to India came to India and established Christianity in the South Western parts of the sub-continent. At least from the fourth century the Indian Church entered into a close relationship with the Persian or East Syrian Church, which is also believed to have been founded by St. Thomas from the first century itself. From the Persians, the Indians inherited East Syrian language and liturgies and gradually came to be known as “Syrian Christians.” And Syrian Christians remained as “one church” till Fifteenth century.
In the sixteenth century Roman Catholic missionaries came to Kerala. They tried to unite the Syrian Christians to the Roman Catholic Church and this led to a split in the community. Those who accepted Roman Catholicism are the present Syro-Malabar Catholics. Later, Western Protestant missionaries came to Kerala and worked among The Syrian Christians. This also created certain divisions in the community. In the seventeenth century, the Church came in to relationship with the Antiochene Church, which again caused splits. As a result of this relationship, the Church received West Syrian liturgies and practises. The Church entered into a new phase of its history by the establishment of the Catholicate in 1912.
Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Syrian Church is an ancient, autonomous ( independent) and autocephalous( Self-headed) national Indian Church whose Supreme Head is His Holiness The Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, with Head Quarters at Catholicate Aramana, Devalokam, Kottayam, Kerala, India. The Church is now spread over, not only in all the States of India, but also in all the continents throughout the world. The church is administered as 31 Dioceses altogether with 28 in India and 3 outside India with more than 2000 Parishes. The parishes are managed under these Dioceses based on their geographical locations by the Diocesan Metropolitans and the currently it has more than 2.5 Million members.
The Holy Church trains its clergy in the spiritual strength and leadership from two of its Theological Seminaries and from its 23 monasteries spread across the country.
Indian Orthodox Church has played a very significant role in the realm of education, medical fields, social upliftment and the development of the downtrodden of the society. With the above objective, the Holy Church runs many educational institutions, including Engineering, Medical institutions, about 30 specialist hospitals and also looks after thousands of homeless children and old people through about 50 destitute homes.
The Church is in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches namely, Antiochene, Alexandrian, Armenian, Eritrean and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches. The Church is in good ecumenical relationship with the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches.