Senior Catholicos His Holiness Mar Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews 11 Bava entered enternal rest Thursday, January 26 at 5.20 pm (IST) at the age of 92. Mortal remains to be interred at Horeb Dayara, Shasthamkotta on Saturday. Three days of lamentation declared by the Church.
News by The Hindu, January 26, 2006:
KOTTAYAM: The former Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews II passed away on Thursday at the Catholicate Palace here where he was leading a retired life since November last. He was 91. The end came at 5.20 p.m.
The body of the former Catholicos will be moved to the Old Seminary here, where he was a student of theology, for the laity to pay their homage. Later, it will be moved to Mar Elia Cathedral in the heart of Kottayam town. According to the official spokesman of the Church, the last journey from Mar Elia Cathedral will begin at 3.30 p.m. on Friday to his final resting place at the Horabe Diara in Sasthamkotta in Kollam district. The body will be interred in a specially constructed crypt on Saturday morning.
The former head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church stepped down from the high office on October 31 after handing over his crosier to Baselius Mar Thoma Didymus I, citing old age and ill health.
Ever since, he was staying at the Catholicate Palace in Devalokam near here. He was the sixth Catholicos of the East after the reinstatement of the Catholicate in Malankara in 1912 and the 89th successor to the Holy Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ.
Born to an agriculturist family as the son of Idikkula and Annamma of Puthusherazhikathu Puthenveedu at Perinad (Kollam district) on January 30, 1915, Mathew had his primary education at a local school and later had his early religious training at the Old Seminary in Kottayam and Basil Diara in Pathanamthitta.
He later joined the Bishop's College in Kolkata for his Bachelor of Divinity programme and had his post-graduation from the General Theological Seminary, New York.
He was ordained as sub-deacon in 1938 by the then Catholicos of the East Baselius Geevarghese II and three years later on May 25, 1941 as a priest of the Orthodox Church. It was during his stay at the St. George's Diara in Othara, which he helped to build, that he earned a name as a devout and able priest and endeared himself to all who came into contact with him and earning himself the pet name `Angel Achan' (Father Angel).
Under the special interest of the then Catholicos Baselius Geevarghese II, Fr. Mathew, then only 38 years old, was consecrated as Bishop in 1953 with the name Mathews Mar Coorilose, making him one of the youngest bishops in the Christendom.
Mar Coorilose was elected Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan on April 29, 1991 when his predecessor Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews I stepped down.
A widely travelled man, the former Catholicos was respected as a voice of ecumenism and moderation.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Finance Minister Vakkom Purushothaman and the former Minister R. Balakrishna Pillai are among those who condoled the demise.
Mar Joseph Powathil, Metropolitan of the Changanassery Archdiocese and chairman of the Inter-Church Council for Education, said the demise of the spiritual leader was a personal loss to him.
He had the opportunity to closely enjoy his affection, fraternal relationship and friendship.