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His Beatitude Baselios Poulose II Catholicos of the East

His Beatitude Baselios Poulose II was born on 12 June1914, as the second son of Mrs. Elizabeth and Rev. Fr. Joseph Puthussery, at Cherai. The spiritual atmosphere in his home deeply influenced the young Poulose. P.J. Poulose, his official name on records, completed his secondary education from the Rama Varma High School, Cherai. After completing college education at CMS College, Kottayam and Union Christian College, Alwaye, Poulose joined Manjinikkara Mor Ignatius Dayro. Mor A Yulius Elias, the Apostolic delegate of the Holy See of Antioch, Patriarch to Malankara, ordained Poulose as Deacon at Kottayam Valiapally in 1933. He was ordained Kassisso (Full Priest) again by Mor Yulius at Manjinikkara Dayro in 1938. Fr. Poulose served as the Vicar of various churches all over South India for many years. On 19 October 1952, Patriarch H. H. Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem I ordained Kassisso Poulose as Metropolitan with the name ‘Mor Philoxenos’ at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Homs, Syria.

Fulfilling the wishes of countless people of faith in India, the Patriarch of Antioch, H. H. Moran Mor Ignatius Yaqub III consecrated Poulose Mor Philoxenos as the Catholicos of the East, under the title ‘Mor Baselios Poulose II’ on 7 September 1975 at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Demascus. His Beatitude was officially elected as the Malankara Metropolitan at the meeting of the church delegates held on 26 December 1975 at Thuruthissery. His Beatitude made history by consecrating Mor Saverious Zakka, Archbishop of Baghdad, as the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East on September 14, 1980. This was the first time in the annals of the Syrian Orthodox Church that a Catholicos from Malankara officiated the ordination of a Patriarch of Antioch. His Beatitude along with H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka Iwas visited the Pope H.H. John Paul II in June 1984 to sign the agreement between the Syrian and Roman Churches.

After serving the Malankara Church as Metropolitan for almost 44 years and as the Catholicos of the East for 21 years, His Beatitude joined the Heavenly Choir on Sunday the 1 September 1996 at the age of 83. The funeral service of Bava Thirumeni on the following day, was attended by thousands of people; a testimony to the affection and esteem that He
commanded in the Church and in the society at large. In accordance with His last wish, the mortal remains of the Catholicos Mor Baselios Poulose II were interned in a tomb in Malecruz Dayro near Puthencruz, in Ernakulam District. His Beatitude was widely revered for his simplicity, his ascetic life and spartan routine. He was a true Indian citizen in culture, a true Antiochean in tradition and a true Christian in faith. His profound scholarship in Sanskrit helped him know and retain the ethos of Indian culture. Bava Thirumeni was a great scholar in Theology and in Syriac, and an appealing orator in Syriac, English and Malayalam.

Bava Thirumeni was also a true lover of nature and enjoyed walking across the farm, nursing plants. The humility and hospitality of this great visionary was experienced by all who visited His Beatitude. His noble and exemplary life will be an eternal source of inspiration to generations.

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