Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma

Mar Thoma XX, Mar Thoma Metropolitan
of the Apostolic See of St Thomas
ChurchMalankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church
Installed23 October 1999
PredecessorAlexander Mar Thoma
SuccessorJoseph Mar Thoma
Ordination1 January 1944
Consecration23 May 1953
RankMar Thoma Metropolitan (Ecclesiastical Title of the Head of the Ancient Indian Church)
Personal details
Philip Oommen

(1918-04-27)27 April 1918
Eraviperoor, Thiruvalla, Travancore
Died5 May 2021(2021-05-05) (aged 103)
Thiruvalla, Kerala, India
BuriedS.C.S, Thiruvalla

Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma XX Valiya Metropolitan, (born Philip Oommen; 27 April 1918 – 5 May 2021) was an Indian prelate who served as Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church from 1999-2007 and Valiya Thirumeni (Metropolitan Emeritus) from 2007 until his death. He was the world's longest serving bishop, serving for −67 years, 11 months and 12 days. He was addressed and referred to as Chrysostom Thirumeni or Valiya Thirumeni after his retirement.[1][2] He was also a known humorist. He was awarded India's third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan, in 2018.[3][4][5]

Early life and education

Philip Oommen was born to the Adangappurathu Kalamannil family which is a part of the Shankarapuri family one of the oldest Aristocracy (class) family converted by Thomas the Apostle which has produced several priests. Tirumeni's father was Vicar General K. E. Oommen, Kalamannil, Adangapurathu, Kumbanad, Thiruvalla. His mother was Sosamma of Nadukke Veettil, Karthikappally.[6]

He attended Maramon, Kozhencherry and Eraviperoor schools, and went on to graduate from Union Christian College, Aluva. He was ordained as a deacon of the Malankara Mar Thoma Church on 1 January 1944 and Kasseessa on 3 June 1944. He was ordained as Ramban on 20 May 1952.[7]


In 1950 the Church Mandalam [ Sabha Pratinidhi Mandalam ] (representative assembly) consecrated three bishops, including Philip Oommen. On 23 May 1953, Philip Oommen Ramban was consecrated as Philipose Mar Chrysostom Episcopa. During his tenure he was the president of the National Council of Churches, India and attended World Council of Churches at Evanston in 1954 and Uppsala in 1968. He also attended the Second Vatican Council.[8][9][10]

Status metropolitan


On 23 May 1953, Juhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan assisted by Mathews Mar Athanasius Episcopa ordained Oommen as Episcopa and gave him the episcopal title Philipose Mar Chrysostom. M. G. Chandy (Alexander Mar Theophilus later Alexander Mar Thoma ) and P.Thomas (Thomas Mar Athanasius) were ordained on the same day.

In 1954, Mar Chrysostom joined St. Augustine's College, Canterbury, UK to further his theological studies.

Suffragan Metropolitan

He was designated as Suffragan Metropolitan in May 1978.

Officiating Metropolitan

After Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan stepped aside from the daily administration of the church due to ill-health on 15 March 1999, Mar Chrysostom was designated Officiating Metropolitan.


Mar Chrysostom was installed as Metropolitan on 23 October 1999 when Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan was made Valiya Metropolitan. (Senior Metropolitan)

Valiya Metropolitan ( Metropolitan Emeritus)

On 28 August 2007, Thirumeni announced his resignation as supreme head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church on grounds of old age and ill-health[11]


Indian film director Blessy made a comprehensive biopic called 100 years of Chrysostom, about 48 hours 10 minute long, on Philipose Mar Chrysostom.[12][13]

Navathy Home Project

Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan completed 90 years on 27 April 2008. As part of the birthday celebration, Mar Thoma Church devised a project, Navathy Home Project, to support and enable 1500 families in India, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, to build a home of their own. (Malayalam – navathy – ninetieth anniversary). The cost of each home was Rs. 1,50,000. (US$2400). Each house consisted of a sit-out, a drawing room, a bedroom, a kitchen, a dining room and a toilet. Mar Thoma Church members donated so much that the project was a great success; it was extended from India to Mexico.[14]


On his hundredth birthday, on 27 April 2018, the church officially inaugurated the Project among the Transgender Community.

Padma Bhushan

The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Padma Bhushan Award to Philipose Mar Chrysostom, at the Civil Investiture Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi

The Republic of India awarded the Padma Bhushan to Tirumeni for services to society. It was officially declared on the eve of Republic Day 2018 and he was awarded on 20 March 2018.


Tirumeni died on 5 May 2021 at his residence soon after being hospitalized. He died of natural causes.[15]

Mar Thoma Church Titles Preceded byAlexander Mar Thoma XX Mar Thoma Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church 1999–2007 Succeeded byJoseph Mar Thoma

See also


  1. ^ "Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan". Malayala Manorama.
  2. ^ "PM Narendra Modi wishes Metropolitan Emeritus, Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom on 100th birthday check out pics & anecdotes". financialexpress.
  3. ^ "Padma awards: Kerala bishop who desired the life of a porter". The Times of India. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  4. ^ "നൂറിലെത്തിയ 'നർമത്തിന്റെ ഇടയൻ' ഇനി പത്മഭൂഷൺ പുരസ്കാരത്തിന്റെ തിളക്കത്തിൽ..." Malayalam. Manorama Online. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  5. ^ "India's longest-serving Bishop Philipose Mar Chrysostom passes away in Kerala". Jaikrishnan Nair. The Times of India. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  6. ^ Reporter?, Staff (5 May 2021). "Philipose Mar Christostm, Metropolitan Emeritus no more". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  7. ^ "His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan". marthoma.
  8. ^ "CCA pays tribute to Mar Chrysostom, the longest serving Church and ecumenical leader of Asia, on his birth centenary". cca.
  9. ^ Thobejane, Lethebo (4 May 2021). "Indian prelate and the emeritus Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Philipose Mar Chrysostom dies at the age of 104". Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Chrysostum to step down". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Blessy's biopic on Mar Chrysostom will be 72 hours long". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  13. ^ "Mohanlal, Blessy back again for documentary on Mar Chrysostom". Malayala Manorama. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  14. ^ July 2007, Jacob Chatterjee 03. "Mar Thoma Church releases film documenting its history". Retrieved 6 May 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "ചിരിയുടെ തമ്പുരാന് വിട; ഫിലിപ്പോസ് മാര്‍ ക്രിസോസ്റ്റം വലിയ മെത്രാപ്പോലിത്ത ഓര്‍മ്മയായി". Asianet News Network Pvt Ltd.

Mar Thoma Church.[1]

Further reading