Philipose Chrysostom

Philipose Mar Chrysostom (Mar Thoma XX) Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan, born Philip Oommen, is an Indian prelate and the emeritus Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, and has been a bishop for 67 years, 2 months and 21 days. He is addressed and referred to as Chrysostom Thirumeni or Valiya Thirumeni.[1] He turned 103 on April 2020.[2] He was awarded India's third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan, in 2018.[3][4]

Philipose Mar Chrysostom

Malankara Metropolitan and Mar Thoma XX
Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan/MarThoma Metropolitan Emeritus
Philipose Mar Chrysostom.JPG
ChurchMalankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church
Installed23 October 1999
PredecessorAlexander Mar Thoma
SuccessorJoseph Mar Thoma
Ordination1 January 1944
Consecration23 May 1953
Personal details
Birth namePhilip Oommen
Born (1917-04-27) 27 April 1917 (age 103)
Eraviperoor, Travancore, British Raj
ResidenceJubilee Home, Maramon, Kozhencherry, Pathanamthitta

Early life and educationEdit

Philip Oommen was born to Adangappurathu Kalamannil family which has produced several priests. Tirumeni's father was Vicar General K. E. Oommen, Kalamannil, Adangapurathu, Kumbanad. His mother was Sosamma of Nadukke Veettil, Karthikappally.[citation needed]

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.[5]


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.[6][7]

Status metropolitanEdit


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. It was first time in the history of the Church that a Metropolitan become Metropolitan Emeritus.


Mar Chrysostom was installed as Metropolitan on 23 October 1999 when Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan was made Valiya Metropolitan. (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[8]


Indian film director Blessy made a comprehensive biopic, about 48 hours 10 minute long, on Philipose Mar Chrysostom. The documentary may be the longest ever made. [1][2]

Navathy Home ProjectEdit

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.[citation needed]


On his hundredth birthday, on 27 April 2017, the Church officially inaugurated the Project among the Transgender Community.

Padma BhushanEdit

The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Padma Bhushan Award to Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom, at the Civil Investiture Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on March 20, 2018

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.

Preceded by
Alexander Mar Thoma

(Mar Thoma XIX)

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

(Mar Thoma XXI)

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ "His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan". marthoma.
  6. ^ "CCA pays tribute to Mar Chrysostom, the longest serving Church and ecumenical leader of Asia, on his birth centenary". cca.
  8. ^ "Chrysostum to step down". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2016.

Mar Thoma Church.[1]

Further readingEdit

  • 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 linksEdit