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Most Rev.Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Metropolitian (Mar Thoma XX)
Enthroned October 23, 1999.

Alexander Mar Thoma

(Mar Thoma XIX)

Joseph Mar Thoma

(Mar Thoma XXI)
Ordination June 3, 1944.
Consecration May 23, 1953.
Personal details
Born April 27, 1918

Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan is the longest reigning bishop in India, probably in the world. Completed Template:How Long Ago as a bishop.[1] He is now the senior Metropolitan Bishop of the Mar Thoma Church and is living in the Aramana (bishop's house) at Maramon, Kerala, India. He is affectionately addressed and referred to as Chrysostom Thirumeni, Valiya Thirumeni, or simply Thirumeni. He is also known as the bishop with a golden tongue and so at the time of consecration, he was given the episcopal title Mar Chrysostom.

Philipose = Aramaic and MalayalamPiyliypaos. EnglishPhilip.

Early life

Adanga purathu family

Sree Devi who lived in the fourteenth century was the niece of the King of (Kalloopara) Edappally. She married Avira from Kalloopara Sankaramangalathu and settled at Adangapurathu house. Their son Thomma was ordained as a priest by the Malankara Mooppen (head of the Malankara Church in those days) at Ankamali. He returned to Kalloopara and was its vicar. From that time onwards, continuously there were priests from this family. Mar Chrysostom is the twenty third in that line.[2]

Early days

Dharmishton (Mar Chrysostom) was born on April 27, 1918. His father was Vicar General Very Rev. K.E. Oommen, Kalamannil, Adangapurathu, Kumbanad, Kerala, India. Sosamma, Nadukke Veettil, Karthikappally was his mother.[3]


After studying at Maramon, Kozhencherry and Eraviperoor schools, he joined Union Christian College, Aluva, Kerela, India. After graduating, in 1940, he joined the Ashram in Ankola with P.J. Thomas. He was there till 1942. Then he decided to go for theological studies at United Theological College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


He was ordained as Deacon of the Mar Thoma Church on January 1, 1944 and Kasseessa on June 3, 1944. He was ordained as Ramban on May 20, 1953.


Realizing the need for three more bishops for the Mar Thoma Church, the Church Mandalam (representative assembly) in 1950, decided to consecrate three more bishops. Rev. Philip Oommen was one of those who were selected.


On May 23, 1953, Juhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan assisted by Mathews Mar Athanasius Episcopa ordained Rev. Philip Oommen as episcopa and was given the episcopal title, Philipose Mar Chrysostom . Rev.M.G.Chandy (Alexander Mar Theophilus) and Rev. P.Thomas ( Thomas Mar Athanasius) were also ordained on the same day.

In 1954, Mar Chrysostom joined St. Augustine's College, Canterbury, United Kingdom to further his theological studies.

Suffragan Metropolitan

He was designated as Suffragan Metropolitan in May 1978.

After Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan stepped aside from the daily administration of the Church due to physical ailments on March 15, 1999 Mar Chrysostom was designated Officiating Metropolitan.


Malankara throne


Malankara Throne

After the great swearing in 1653 it became necessary to appoint a bishop. For this purpose a special chair was made and Mar Thoma I the first bishop of Malankara Church was enthroned. This throne, used for the consecration of Mar Thoma I , is in the possession of the Mar Thoma Church and is kept at Tiruvalla, It has been used in the installation of every Mar Thoma Metropolitan, to this day, so that the continuity of the throne of Mar Thoma is ensured. This was the throne used for the consecration of Mar Thoma XX, Philipose Mar Chrysostom Metropolitan.


Mar Chrysostom was installed as Metropolitan on 23 October 1999, when Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan was made Valia Metrapolitan. (Senior Metropolitan)


During his ministry, Thirumeni has been in charge of different dioceses in Kerala and was also Missionary Bishop for many years. He was President of the National Christian Council of India and attended the Assembly of World Council of Churches at Evanston in 1954 and at Upsala in 1968. He has been president of the different organizations of the Church and the governing councils of different colleges. He attended the Second Vatican Council and has thus made very valuable contributions to the ecumenical cause. He has deep concern for the upliftment of the backward communities. Through a registered organization named STARD (South Travancore Agency for Rural Development) he has helped economically backward communities of South Travancore to improve their lot and achieve self-reliance.

Navathy Home Project

Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan completed 90 years on April 27, 2008. As part of the celebration Mar Thoma Church devised a project, Navathy Home Project, to support and enable 1500 families in India, irrespective of cast, creed or religion, to build a home of their own. (Malayalam - navathy – ninetieth anniversary). Cost of each home was Rs.60,000. (US$1400). Each house consisted of a sit out, a drawing room, a bed room, a kitchen, a dining room and a toilet. Mar Thoma Church members donated so much that the project was a great success, that it extended from India up to Mexico.

Valia (senior) metropolitan

On 28 August 2007, Thirumeni announced his resignation as supreme head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on grounds of old age and ill-health [1]


The administrative acumen of His Grace is far beyond what words can express. He is a spiritual leader, dynamic enabler, prolific orator, voracious reader, pungent writer, tactful negotiator, valiant defender of the law, compassionate at heart and a wonderful team man. He respects diversity of opinion, but would not easily budge or compromise ethical principles. He retains his lovable ness, humility and simplicity. He is a person with golden tongue, acceptable to all people irrespective of cast, colour or religious commitments.

Longest reigning bishop

He is the longest reigning bishop in India, probably in the world. Completed Template:How Long Ago as a bishop.


Date of Birth: April 27, 1918
Ordained as Deacon: January 1, 1944
Ordained as Kasseessa: June 3, 1944
Ordained as Ramban: May 20, 1953
Consecrated as Episcopa: May 23, 1953
Designated as Suffragan Metropolitan: May, 1978
Designated as Officiating Metropolitan: March 15, 1999
Installed as Metropolitan: October 23, 1999
Designated as Valia Metropolitan: October 2, 2007

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  2. Joseph Panicker, Kalloopara Palli charitram. (A History of the Kalloopara Church) Page 60.
  3. Adangapurathu Kalamannil

For further reading

    1. Eapen, Prof. Dr. K.V. (2001). ‘’Malankara Marthoma Suryani Sabha Charitram’’. (History of Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church). Pub: Kallettu, Muttambalam, Kottayam.
    2. Mathew, N.M. ‘’Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram’’, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume 1.(2006), Volume II (2007). Volume III (2008) Pub. E.J.Institute, Thiruvalla
    3. Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church. (2006). "His Grace the Most Rev Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom."
    4. Zac Varghese Dr. & Mathew A. Kallumpram. (2003). ‘’Glimpses of Mar Thoma Church History’’. London, England. ISBN 81/900854/4/1

See also

External links