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Baselios Augen I

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Catholicos Baselios Augen I is the first Catholicose of the East of the United Malankara Church (Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church) and remained as the Catholicose of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church after the second split in the church.

Early days

Catholicos Baselios Augen I was born on 26 June 1884 at Perumbavoor, Vengola, to Abraham Kathanar of Chettakulathukara family. He was ordained as deacon by Kadavil Paulose Mor Athanasios. In 1908 he was elevated to the monastic order of Ramban at the St. Mark's Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem. He was consecrated as Metropolitan by name Mor Timotheos on 15 May 1927 at Jerusalem by the then Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, St. Ignatius Elias III. He was appointed as the fourth Metropolitan of Kandanad. In late 1930s he left the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and joined the rival Malankara Orthodox Church. He later became the principal of the Theological Seminary of Malankara Orthodox Church and also held charges of the Kandanad and Thumpamon dioceses.

Church Unity

In 1958 the two factions of Malankara Church, viz; Jacobite and Orthodox, re-united. When re-unified Malankara Association met at Niranam on 17 May 1962, he was chosen as the Catholicos of the East. It was on 22 May 1964 at M.D. Seminary Chapel, Kottayam that he was installed formally as the Catholicos by the visiting Patriarch of Antioch & all the East, H.H. Ignatius Yakub II. Sadly towards the end of his tenure, schism again started in the Malankara Church which resulted in a vertical split after which Mor Baselios Augen I has to continue as the Catholicos of one section only. Whereas the Jacobite Syrians elected Mor Philoxenos of Kandanad and insatalled him as the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan.

Retirement & Death

After a few months on 24 September 1975, Mar Baselios Augen I relinquished his position as Catholicos of Malankara Orthodox Church and a new head was installed for the Church. Barely 2 months later on 8 December 1975, Mar Baselios Augen I died and was laid to rest at Devalokom Aramana Chapel.

Syriac Scholarship

Having stayed at the various Syrian Orthodox monasteries in Turkey and Syria, he came in contact with various Syriac scholars which helped him a great to master the Syriac Church language and its rich traditions. With his expectional scholarship in Malayalam and Syriac languages, he translated into Malayalam the 'Pemkisa(Fenqitho) Namaskaram' 'Prumiyonukal', ' Valiya Nombilae Namaskaram', 'Pattamkoda Shushrusha Kramangal' and 'Pallikoodasha Kramangal'. He also composed the 'Hoothomo' for 'Holy Synods' and the 'State after death'.

Preceded by
H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Geevarghese I
Catholicos of the East
Succeeded by
Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Mathews I
Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church
Catholicos Baselios Paulose II
Jacobite Syrian Christian Church

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