Catholicos Didymus I Falls Asleep in Christ

With faith in Christ, and in hope of the resurrection, we announce the falling asleep of our beloved Father in Christ, His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didymus I, the former Catholicos of the East. His Holiness passed away with His Holiness Catholicos Paulose II, and his close aides at bedside on Monday, May 26 at 7:30PM (IST), at Parumala Hospital.

His Holiness will be entombed at the Monastery of Mount Tabor, in Pathanupuram, as he had previously instructed. This is the same monastery His Holiness joined during his teenage years. The specially prepared tomb of Vailya Bava Thirumeni, is in close proximity to the tomb of His Holiness' spiritual father, His Grace Thoma Mar Dionysius, Metropolitan of Blessed Memory.

His Holiness was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on August 24, 1966 as Metropolitan Thomas Mar Thimithios, by His Holiness Catholicos Augen I. He became the first Metropolitan of Malabar Diocese after his consecration, and faithfully shepherded this Diocese for more than thirty years.

In September 1992, the Malankara Association elected His Grace to be the Catholicos-Designate.

On October 31, 2005 His Beatitude was enthroned as Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan, as Didymus I, becoming the 7th Catholicos of the East after its relocation to India, and the 19th Malankara Metropolitan, upon the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas.

Under His Holiness' prayerful reign, His Holiness consecrated 14 Metropolitans of the Malankara Church, and also consecrated Holy Chrism. As the leader of the ancient Oriental Orthodox Church founded by St. Thomas the Apostle, His Holiness offered a fraternal visit to His Holiness Pope Shenouda III of Blessed Memory, in Egypt. Furthermore, His Holiness hosted the spiritual shepherds of our sister Oriental Churches, during their fraternal visit to the Malankara Church - His Holiness Abune Paulos of Blessed Memory, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (2007), His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch & Catholicos of all Armenians (2008), and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church (2010).

During His Holiness' Apostolic Visit to the United States of America in 2006, His Holiness met with His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman, the then Primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

His Holiness' prayerful vision abdicated from the Office of the Catholicos of the East, and presided over the Rite of Enthronement of his successor, the current Catholicos, His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, on November 1, 2010, at Parumala Church.

The Church remained in prayer vigil as Her faithful children received word, His Holiness' health was declining, as His Holiness was admitted in Parumala Hospital. On Monday, May 26 at 7:30PM (IST), Catholicos Didymus I, fell asleep in the Lord.

Upon hearing of the falling asleep of His Holiness Didymus I, His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, Metropolitan issued a memo to clergy and faithful of the Diocese, requesting for prayers to be offered in all our parishes.

The Malankara Church has not lost great father, rather we have gained a great intercessor before the Throne of Christ our God. His Holiness' example of prayer, fasting, and humility offer us a wonderful legacy of holiness we all should follow.

May the memory of our Vailya Bava Thirumeni, His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didymus I, be eternal!

May his prayers for us, be like sweet smelling incense before the Throne of the great High Priest - our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Go in peace Holy Father, and forever pray unto God for us!

Tags: In Memory

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