Syriac Orthodox Church in India – 26/7/13
On Friday the 26th July 2002, His Holiness the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas, consecrated the 73-year old Mor Dionysius Thomas as the CATHOLICOS with the title ‘BASELIOS THOMAS I’ at a solemn function held at the St. Peter & St. Paul Cathedral in Mor Ephrem Monastery, Ma`arat Sayyidnaya, near Damascus.
Thus, fulfilling the wishes of multitude of faithful, the Malankara Church received a Catholicos after a gap of six years (Catholicos Mor Baselios Paulose II passed away in 1996). In the Syrian Orthodox Church hierarchy, the Catholicos is second in rank to the supreme spiritual head, the Patriarch of Antioch. On 12th February 2007, the Patriarch of Antioch & All the East of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, decorated the Catholicose of India Aboon Mor Baselius Thomas I with the title of ‘Jacob Baradaeus of Malankara’.
During the sixth century, the Syriac Orthodox Church endured persecution under the Byzantian Empire because it upheld its faith. It was at this time that St. Jacob Baradaeus emerged on the scene. He journeyed all over the East ordaining priests and deacons thus reviving the church from the brink of extinction. Jacob Baradaeus is considered as a great Saint of the Syriac Orthodox Church, but not its founder.
May Lord Almighty shower HIS Grace & Blessing on HIS chosen and let the Holy Spirit guide him in steering the Holy church in coming years.