About H.G Joseph Mar Pachomios

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Metropolitan Joseph Mar Pachomios

The late Metropolitan Joseph Mar Pachomios, of blessed memory, the former Metropolitan of Kandanad and the pioneer of Catholicate Centers, was born to Poovathumkal Iype Varkey and Annamma Valiyakattayil on June 19, 1926 at North Mulakulam. He had his schooling at St. Joseph's High School, Piravom. During the school days itself, he was initiated into the study of Syriac language, the Scriptures and priestly rites under the late Malpan Fr. Kuruvila Thomas Poovathumkal, his paternal great uncle. Leaving school, he completed the Intermediate Course at Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta. He did his Post-Graduation in History and Politics at St. Albert's College Ernakulam. He further pursued higher studies in theology at St. Michael's College, Cardiff, England.

He was ordained a deacon by H. H. Catholicos Baselios Geevarghese II on April 8, 1945 and later ordained priest by H.H. Catholicos Baselios Augen I. He served as vicar in the parishes of FortKochi, Ernakulam, Singapore, Malayasia, London, Paranthal and Vayalithara. While serving as the office secretary to Holy Episcopal Synod and vice president of Orthodox Youth Movement, he was elected to the position of Metropolitan by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association held at Niranam in 1974. In due course, he was professed as a Ramban by H.G.Daniel Mar Philoxenos on February 16, 1975 at Puthencavu Church and the next day (February 17, 1975), he was consecrated Metropolitan at a solemn ceremony at Niranam officiated by H.H.Catholicos Baselios Augen I in association with the other Metropolitans of the Church. Initially, he took charge as the Asst. Metropolitan of Kottayam and later, he was appointed Metropolitan of Kandanad. In addition, he served the Church in various other capacities such as: Secretary to the Holy Episcopal Synod, Assistant to the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan, Manager of Corporate Schools under the Church, Chairman of Finance Committee, Member of Marriage Tribunal, Member of the Holy Episcopal Synod's standing Committee, Vice-President of Co-operative credit societies, Member of the Governing Board of Orthodox Theological Seminary, Member of Inter-Church Relation Committee, Vice-President (ex-officio) of Malankara Medical Mission Hospital Kolenchery and so on.

He entered on eternal rest on August 19, 1991 from Cardiac arrest and was laid to rest in the Karmelkunnu church, Mulakulam. JMP Hospital at Piravom was started to perpetuate his blessed memory under the aegis of our parish together with support and participation of other well " wishers. This hospital is presently making great strides in the field of health care in and around Piravom.

One of the modern architects of Malankara Church, Metropolitan Joseph Mar Pachomios can be found in the vanguard along with those Fathers who assiduously and untiringly rowed the "church-canoe's braving the raging waves of sore trials and tribulations to dock it at the port of safety at a time when the prospects of the Church were in the doldrums due to the simmering factional feuds and disputes. As the assistant to the Catholicos and the Malankara metropolitan, he was a productively proactive prop and proxy for the Catholicos Mathews I who gave a new lease of life and vitality to the strife-stricken Church by setting the necessary Warp and Weft to get the church governance back on track. Remember, he daringly took charge as the Metropolitan of Kandanad in a harsh climate when the fuming volcano of Church feuds catastrophically erupted out in the 70ths of the last century wreaking havoc with widespread ramifications making it hard to cope with. For him, Bishopric was not a cornucopia of mirthful opulence or a serene stroll on a floral carpet. On the contrary, it was a laborious trudge on a thorny path, embroiled in the quagmire of endless strife, litigations and disputes. Yes, it was indeed the proverbial woe-betide bed of arrows to sleep in. He harbored no ill will towards the spiteful dissidents who cast aspersions on him. He stoically endured everything with equanimous resilience and fortitude. He always saw about fastidiously upholding the sanctity, decency and decorum expected of the noble position he was holding. Apparently, his reputation as a great scholar in Church history notwithstanding, he was predominantly an ever vigilant sentinel of Malankara Church who guarded against the sordid shenanigans of the prophets of doom. His close acquaintances with other Faiths helped him to showcase the unadulterated quintessence of Oriental Orthodoxy with remarkable aplomb. His unostentatious piety, altruism, candour, sense of humor, contempt for hypocrisy, total dedication and commitment to the cause he espoused, all, endeared him to everyone who came across with him. His mastery over the Syriac language, the in-depth knowledge of rites and rituals and the mellifluous rendering of it conjured up a spell of spiritual rapture translating the devotees to the sublime realms of heavenly bliss. A prolific writer and regular contributor to Malankara Sabha magazine and other periodicals, he authored many books including the biography of Catholicos Baselios Paulos I(Murimattathil Bava).

With spontaneity, sincerity and straightforwardness being his only capital assets, the metropolitan's personal relationships were not dictated by pedantry and pretentiousness, but they were actually hearty bonding and bonhomie. His articles and speeches, delivered with words cast in the mould of real life experiences, kindled the spiritual firmament of the Malankara Church. In preference to his own life, he lived a church-life, overwhelmingly full of inspiring words mightier than swords and redeeming deeds nobler than virtues, writing unforgettable chapters in the annals of Malankara Orthodox Church. We, the parishioners, of Karmelkunnu church are committed to be true to the glorious legacy he left behind him. May God bless us all.