Philipose Mar Chrysostom

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His Grace The Most Revd
Philipose Mar Chrysostom
Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan (Mar Thoma XX)
Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan
Church Mar Thoma Syrian Church
Installed 23 October 1999
Predecessor Alexander Mar Thoma (Mar Thoma XIX)
Successor Joseph Mar Thoma (Mar Thoma XXI)
Ordination 1 January 1944
Consecration 23 May 1953
Personal details
Birth name Philip Oommen
Born (1918-04-27) April 27, 1918 (age 97)
Eraviperoor, Travancore
Nationality Indian
Residence Jubilee Home, Maramon, Kozhencherry, Pathanamthitta

Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan born Philip Oommen on 27 April 1918 is the Valiya (senior) Metropolitan Bishop of the Mar Thoma Church. He has been a bishop for 62 years, 6 months and 4 days, which makes him the longest-serving bishop in India. He is addressed and referred to as Chrysostom Thirumeni or Valiya Thirumeni.

He is also known as the bishop with a golden tongue due to his uncanny ability to communicate theological doctrines with people through humor in ease. At the time of consecration, he was given the episcopal title Mar Chrysostom.

Early life and education[edit]

Philipose Mar Chrysostom was born on 27 April 1918.[1] His father was Vicar General K. E. Oommen, Kalamannil, Adangapurathu, Kumbanad. His mother was Sosamma of Nadukke Veettil, Karthikappally.[2] He did his schooling at Maramon, Kozhencherry and Eraviperoor schools, and went on to graduate from Union Christian College, Aluva. During his early childhood days, the independence movement was very active and the youth engaged in different social movements. These movements reflected in his decision to join in evangelistic activities in Ankola Aashram along with the Revd P. J. Thomas.

He was ordained as a deacon of the Mar Thoma Church on 1 January 1944 and Kasseessa on 3 June 1944. He was ordained as Ramban on 20 May 1953.


Realizing the need for three more bishops for the Mar Thoma Church, the Church Mandalam (representative assembly) in 1950 decided to consecrate three more bishops; Oommen was one of those selected. During his Bishopship, he was the president of National Council of Churches, India and has attended World Council of Churches at Evanston in 1954 and Uppsala in 1968. He also attended the Second Vatican Council. He has a deep concern for the upliftment of the community and renders valuable services to the ecumenical cause.

Status metropolitan[edit]


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

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

Suffragan Metropolitan

He was designated as Suffragan Metropolitan in May 1978. After Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan stepped aside from the daily administration of the Church due to physical ailments 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 Valia Metrapolitan. (Senior Metropolitan)

Valiya (Senior) metropolitan

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[3]

Navathy Home Project[edit]

Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan completed 90 years on 27 April 2008. As part of the celebration Mar Thoma Church devised a project, Navathy Home Project, to support and enable 1500 families in India, irrespective of cast, 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, that it extended from India up to Mexico.

Longest reigning bishop[edit]

He is the longest reigning bishop in India and has completed 62 years, 6 months and 4 days as a bishop.

He is now 97 years and 7 months old.

Preceded by
Alexander Mar Thoma

(Mar Thoma XIX)

Metropolitans of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church
Succeeded by
Joseph Mar Thoma

(Mar Thoma XXI)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bishops | Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar". Retrieved 2015-08-30. 
  2. ^ "The Joseph Family Website - Home". Retrieved 2015-08-30. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • Eapen, K. V. (2001). Malankara Marthoma Suryani Sabha Charitram. (History of Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church). Pub: Kallettu, Muttambalam, Kottayam.
  • Mathew, N. M. Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume 1 (2006), Volume II (2007), Volume III (2008). Pub. E.J.Institute, Thiruvalla.
  • Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church. His Grace the Most Rev Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom, 2006.
  • Zac Varghese & Mathew A. Kallumpram. Glimpses of Mar Thoma Church History. London, England, 2003. ISBN 81-900854-4-1.
  • George C. Abraham. A Golden Tongue to Glorify his Master- Wit and Wisdom of Mar Chrysostom, Dawn India Books, Thiruvalla, India, 2002.

External links[edit]