KOTTAYAM: HH Baselios Marthoma Didymus I, affectionately known as Valiya Bava Thirumeni, passed on to the next episode of his sojourn towards the Kingdom of Heaven. The demise was at 7:35 PM today at St. Gregorios Hospital, Parumala.
HH Valiya Bava was leading peaceful retired life at the Catholicate Palace, Devalokam, Kottayam, after abdicating his insignia as Catholicose and Malankara Metropolitan on October 30, 2010. HH Baselios Marthoma Paulose I, the reigning Catholicose was present with Valiya Bava, when the Angel of the Lord arrived with the divine command to take with him the High Priest of God to the ‘Abode of Lights’, set apart for the saintly faithful of Christ. His Holiness was 94 years old.
HH Valiya Bava had been admitted at the Intensive Care Center of St. Gregorios Hospital, Parumala, for the last couple of days. It was the will of God that the sage, who served Him as High Priest for the last 48 years, be called unto eternal peace from the very blessed place, where the tomb of St. Gregorios, the declared saint of Malankara, is situated. An urgent Holy Episcopal Synod had been convened at Parumala Seminary to decide upon further actions to be taken. The funeral will be at the Mount Tabore Dayara Chapel, Pathanapuram, where HH Valiya Bava Thirumeni had been a monk for the last 76 years.
Funeral services will begin at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, May 28th at the specially prepared tomb at Mount Tabore Monastery Chapel, Pathanpuram.
The mortal remaining of HH Valiya Bava Thirumeni is at present at the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam and will be moved to the Catholicate Palace, Devalokam, Kottayam, the seat of the Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicose of the East. Scores of faithful as well as political, cultural and community leaders will pay their homage tomorrow to the departed successor of St. Thomas, the Apostle of India.
It was on October 31, 2005 that HH Baselios Marthoma Didymus I assumed the throne of St. Thomas as the Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan. HH Valiya Bava completed 5 full years as Catholicose and Malankara Metroplolitan and consecrated 14 bishops during his reign, an all-time record by any Catholicoi in Malankara. HH Valiya Bava was the 7th Catholicose of the East and 20th Malankara Metropolitan. Metropolitan H.G. Thomas Mar Thimotheos was elected to succeed HH Baselios Marthoma Mathews II at the Malankara Association convened at Parumala in 1992. It is highly graceful that he will succeed his predecessor HH Mathews II into the afterlife as well at Parumala.
HH Valiya Bava Baselios Marthoma Didymus I was born on October 29, 1921 as the fourth son of Mr. Ittiyavira Thomas, Mulamoottil, Nedumpram, Thiruvalla and Mrs. Sosamma Thomas, Chiramel, Mavelikkara. His name as layperson was Mr. C.T. Thomas.
Mr. C.T. Thomas joined the Mount Tabore Monastery, Pathanapuram in 1939 as disciple of the great visionary, LL HG Thomma Mar Dionysius, who was also his Diocesan Metropolitan (Niranam Diocese). He joined the St. Stephen’s High School, Pathanapuram to continue with his education, where he was destined later to become the Head Master. He continued his higher education towards Masters at the Christ Church College, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in English literature. Eventually he was to become Head of the Department of English at the St. Stephen’s College Pathanapuram and later the Vice-Principal as well.
Meanwhile Mr. C.T. Thomas had grown to be a pious monk priest, who was one of the unanimous choices to be consecrated as bishop. Catholiocose HH Baselios Augen I elevated Rev. Fr. Thomas Remban to the bishopric with the name HG Thomas Mar Thimotheos on August 24, 1966 and Metropolitan Thimotheos was assigned with the Diocese of Malabar. The renowned young Metropolitan was very happy to accept the most backward diocese of Malankara Church in the 1960s and he guided the Malabar Diocese to its current state and glory.