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His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II (born January 30, 1915 and died January 26, 2006) was the Supreme head of Indian Orthodox Church, which is also known as Malankara Orthodox Church. He was the 89th successor to the Holy Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas and Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan.
His Holiness was born at Perinad in Kollam district of Kerala, and had his religious training at Old Seminary Kottayam and also at Basil Dayara, Pathanamthitta. Later he joined Bishop's College, Calcutta for his B. D. Degree, and studied Theology at the General Theological Seminary, New York.
He was ordained as Deacon in 1938 then as Priest in 1941. It was during his stay at St. George Dayara Othara that Father Mathews made a mark as a devoted and an able priest of the Indian Orthodox Church. He was noted for his spiritual leadership and loving nature and could endear himself to everyone who came in contact with him, and called "Father Angel" at that time. His Holiness, Baselios Geevarghese II, took special interest in the activities of Father Mathews.
On May 15, 1953 he was ordained as a Bishop of Orthodox church at the age of thirty eight. As Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kollam, he was fully responsible for its growth and progress and the number of parishes almost doubled within a short period. Several monasteries and convents were started. A large number of educational institutions and hospitals were established. Several Colleges, Schools, Hospitals and other service institutions were established and administered under his direct control and leadership. He has travelled in various countries including the United States, Canada, Europe, Malaya, Singapore and Gulf countries, and has attended various international meetings and conferences.
It was in 1980 that he was unanimously elected by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association as successor to the throne of Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan. In recent years some of the new schemes started under his directions are found to be of much help and benefit for the community at large. A Civil Service Academy was started at Thiruvananthapuram, to give proper training for candidates appearing for I. A. S.; I. P. S.; I. F. S. and other Central Service Examinations. With a view to provide shelter for the poor, an House Building Assistance project was started. The Community Marriage Scheme is found beneficial for the marriage of poor girls. Human Resources Development and Services Wing is also helpful for the community in general.
As President of the Ecumenical committee in Kerala and also in various other Inter-Church Committees he has shown excellent leadership. He kept in touch with the heads of other churches and promoted Ecumenism. Due to ill health and old age His Holiness voluntarily resigned his position as the Supreme Head of the Indian Orthodox Church on 29 October 2005.
His Holiness died on Thursday, January 26, 2006. His Body is Interred in Mount Horeb Chapel, in Sasthamkotta on 28th.
H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I
|Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan|
| Succeeded by|
H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos I