Order of St. Thomas (award)
The Order of St. Thomas is the highest honorary award given by the Indian Orthodox Church and named after St. Thomas the Apostle who founded the Church in India. It is reserved for heads of states and churches and awarded by the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, who is the primate of the Indian Orthodox Church and successor to St. Thomas the Apostle. The award is usually presented at large public gatherings held at different locations of importance to the Indian Orthodox Church within India.
1. Gyani Zail Singh, President of India (1982)Edit
During the Catholicate Platinum jubilee celebratory meeting held at Kottayam Nehru Stadium on 12 September 1982, the chief guest Gyani Zail Singh, President of India, was awarded the Order of St. Thomas by Catholicos His Holiness Baselios MarThoma Mathews I. Dignitaries from several Churches around the world were present at the meeting including Catholicos of All Armenians Vazgen I and Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II. Dr. P. C. Alexander, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India and Union Minister C. M. Stephen were among the guests at this immense meeting. Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios, Catholicos Designate Mathews Mar Coorilos, Governor of Andhra Pradesh K. C. Abraham, Michael Bosco Duraisamy of Salem representing the Pope of Rome, Metropolitan Emilianos representing the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Metropolitan Nathaniel of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Vladimir of Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Sairadhariar of Armenian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Nestor of Romanian Orthodox Church, Bishop Josif Velichki of Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Bishop Ambrosius of Finland, Kerala state minister R. Balakrishna Pillai and Chief Editor of Malayala Manorama Mr. K. M. Mathew were also present on the occasion.
2. Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (2000)Edit
On 19 November 2000, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople His All Holiness Bartholomew I was awarded the Order of St. Thomas by Catholicos His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews II at Parumala Seminary.
3. Karekin II Nersessian, Supreme Patriarch & Catholicos of all Armenians (2008)Edit
On 6 November 2008, the Supreme Patriarch & Catholicos of all Armenians His Holiness Karekin II Nersessian was awarded the Order of St. Thomas by Catholicos His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymos I at Mammen Mappila Hall, Kottayam. The dignitaries who were present at the public meeting included Armenian Ambassador to India Ashot Kocharian, Catholicos Designate Paulos Mar Milithios, Thomas Mar Athanasius of Chengannur, Knanaya Catholic Archbishop Mathew Moolakkatt of Kottayam and Priest Trustee Rev. Dr. Johns Abraham Konat among others.
4. Abune Paulos, Patriarch of Ethiopia (2008)Edit
On 30 December 2008, the Patriarch of Ethiopia His Holiness Abune Paulos[unreliable source?] was awarded the Order of St. Thomas by Catholicos His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymos I at Parumala Seminary. During his visit to India, Abune Paulos was also the chief guest at the centenary celebrations of Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement (MGOCSM).
5. Aram I Keshishian, Armenian Catholicos of Cilicia (2010)Edit
On 27 February 2010, the Armenian Catholicos of Cilicia His Holiness Aram I Keshishian was awarded the Order of St. Thomas by Catholicos His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymos I at Kolencherry St. Peter's College Auditorium. The dignitaries who were present at the public meeting included Union Minister K. V. Thomas, Catholicos Designate Paulos Mar Milithios, Philipos Mar Chrysostom of Mar Thoma Church, Yohannan Yosef of Chaldean Church, Dr. Yakub Mar Irenios, Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius, Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos, Armenian Archbishop Sebo Sarkesian, Armenian bishop Nareg Alemisian, Rev. Mesros Sarkesian and Priest Trustee Rev. Dr. Johns Abraham Konat among others.
6. Abune Mathias, Patriarch of Ethiopia (2016)Edit
On 24 November 2016, the Patriarch of Ethiopia His Holiness Abune Mathias was awarded the Order of St. Thomas by Catholicos His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulos II at the chapel of Orthodox Theological Seminary (Old Seminary), Kottayam. Abune Mathias was the chief guest for the bicentennial memorial feast of Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius I who established the Old Seminary in 1815 and the twentieth memorial feast of renowned theologian and philosopher Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios.
- Thomas, Dr. M. Kurian (November 2016). ആത്മകഥ, പഠനങ്ങൾ, ചിത്രങ്ങൾ [Vattakkunnel Mathews Rabo Catholicos (Vol. I) - Autobiography, Research and Pictures]. വട്ടക്കുന്നേൽ മാത്യൂസ് റാബോ കാതോലിക്കാ (in Malayalam). I. India: MOC Publications, Kottayam. pp. 130–133.
- "Order Of St. Thomas - newspaper reports, pictures and references". www.notknowingyourhistoryisnotknowingyourself.wordpress.com.
- Thottapuzha, Verghis John. "ORDER OF ST THOMAS Award Winners".
- Staff Reporter (6 November 2008), "Armenian Church Head to be Honoured", The Hindu
- Thottapuzha, Verghis John (4 August 2018), "മലങ്കര ഓർത്തഡോക്സ് സഭ പരമോന്നത ബഹുമതിയായ ഓർഡർ ഓഫ് സെൻറ് തോമസ് നൽകി ആദരിച്ചവർ" [List of those conferred with Order of St. Thomas, the highest honorary title bestowed by Malankara Orthodox Church] (PDF), Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church - The Online Official News Bulletin (in Malayalam), India: MOSC Media Department, 31, p. 12
- Staff Reporter (7 November 2008), "Armenian Catholicos Honoured", The Hindu
- "Armenian Catholicos to visit Indian Church". orthodoxchristianity.net. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
His Holiness Karekin II The Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians will visit the Malankara Orthodox Church and her head His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didymus I, The Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan from Nov 5-8. His Holiness Karekin II will be accompanied by His Eminence Archbishop Aghan Baliozian, Primate of the Armenian Church Diocese of Australia, His Excellency Dr. Ashot Kocharian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia in India, etc... His Holiness Karekin II will be confered the Order of St. Thomas by His Holiness the Catholicos of the East, in a function at Mammen Mappilai Hall on 6th.
- "Ethiopian Patriarch visits Malankara Orthodox Church". www.orientalorthodoxy.blogspot.com. 12 January 2009.
The Ethiopian Patriarch was conferred the Order of St. Thomas by the Catholicose on the occasion.
- "The Order Of St. Thomas of the Malankara Syriac Church". www.gmic.co.uk.
- Thevervelil, Tibin Chacko (May 2017). യൂബോൽ സബിനെ - മലങ്കരസഭാ ദിനവൃത്താന്തം [Yubol Sabine - Chronicle of Malankara Church] (in Malayalam). India: Thevervelil Publishers. p. 56.
- Philipose, Rev. Thomas (15 April 2015). "His Holiness the Catholicos of the East to lead Malankara Orthodox delegation on 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide". www.bombayorthodoxdiocese.org. Bombay Diocese of Malankara Orthodox Church.
It may be recalled that the Armenian Catholicos Aram I was conferred with the ‘Order of St Thomas’ in February 2010 by LL Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Didymos I during his visit. ‘Order of St Thomas’ is the most prestigious honor by the Malankara Orthodox Church.
- Thomas, Rev. Abraham (21 April 2015). "HH The Catholicos visiting the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin". www.malankaraorthodox.tv. Ecumenical Relations Dept., Indian Orthodox Church.
His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II was conferred with the Order of St. Thomas the prime honorific title of the Church by the then Catholicos of the Indian Orthodox Church His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymus I.
- Ghazanchyan, Siranush (15 April 2015). "Catholicos to lead Indian Orthodox Church delegation on 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide". www.armradio.am. Public Radio of Armenia.
- "Ethiopian Patriarch arrives". The New Indian Express. 20 November 2016.
- "Patriarch of Ethiopia Visiting Kerala, India". www.ezega.com.
- "ORDER OF ST.THOMAS TO HIS HOLINESS ABUNE MATHIAS PATRIARCH ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX TEWAHEDO CHURCH". www.mosc.in/photo-gallery.