Supreme Head of Kerala-based Mar Thoma Church passes away

South India

Joseph Mar Thoma was undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer at the Believers Medical College Hospital in Thiruvalla for the past few days.

Dr Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan (89), the supreme head of Kerala-based Mar Thoma Church and India’s voice in the global ecumenical movements, has passed away. He breathed his last at 2.40 on Sunday morning.

Consecrated as the Metropolitan of the church on October 2, 2007, Joseph Mar Thoma was undergoing treatment at the Believers Medical College Hospital in Thiruvalla for the past few days after his health condition deteriorated due to pancreatic cancer. His health had worsened in the past week. The anointing service was held last Monday at the request of the Metropolitan.

The Marthoma Syrian church is a reformed oriental Syrian church based in Kerala. The Marthoma Christian community community members believe they are the descendants of St. Thomas, one of Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles. The indigenised church also runs many educational and health institutions in the country.

Born on June 27, 1931, as the son of Puthoor Mariamma and Lukochen, Joseph Mar Thoma's official name was PT Joseph and parents called him Baby. He was born in in the Maramon Palakunnath family, the ancestral home of Abraham Malpan, the father of the reformation movement of the Malankara Church and the first four Metropolitans of the Mar Thoma Church.

He was ordained as Deacon in 1957, and was consecrated as Episcopa in 1975. He had served as the vice-president and president of the National Council of Churches. In connection with the 80th Birthday of Metropolitan, Church inaugurated a project for the critically ill cancer/kidney and heart patients irrespective of their caste and religion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inaugurated his 90th birth anniversary celebrations in June this year said Mar Thomas Metroplitan was a remarkable personality who served humanity and worked hard to improve the lives of the epoor and downtrodden. He was blessed with abundance of empathy and humility, Modi added.

In his condolence message, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that Joseph Mar Thoma fought against social evils throughout his life. "All through his life, Joseph Mar Thoma charted a different path for the upliftment and empowerment of the backward sections of the society. The work he has done to rehabilitate the children of Mumbai’s red street and the steps he has taken to bring the transgender community to the mainstream will be remembered," the Chief Minister said (with inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: The Week




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