Tiruvalla (Kerala, India), SVM News, August 9, 2007: Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostem Marthoma Metropolitan, the supreme head of the Marthoma Syrian Church of Malabar breaking record as long ruled bishop in India.
He broke the record of Bishop Jerome Fernandez of Kollam Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. 19799 days (54 years and two months) bishop Jerome lived as a bishop. Mar Chrysostem has broken his record on August 6, 2007.
Philipose Mar Chrysostem was born on 27 April 1918 by name Philip Oommen.
He was the son of Rev. K.E. Mamman and Mrs. Sosamma Mamman of Adangappurathu Kalamannil family at Puramattom in Pathanamthitta District of Kerala.
He was ordained as a deacon on 1st of January and as a minister on 3rd of June, 1944. And consecrated as a bishop by name Philipose Mar Chrysostem on 23 May, 1953.
He was in charge of different Dioceses in Kerala and also was Missionary Bishop for many years. He was President of the National Christian Council of India and has attended the Assembly of World Council of Churches at Evanston in 1954, and at Upsala in 1968.
Mar Chrysostem has been President of the different Organisations of the Church and the Governing Councils of different Colleges. He has attended the second Vatican Council and has thus made very valuable contributions to the ecumenical cause. He has deep concern for the upliftment of the backward communities.
On May 1978 he became as designated Saffragan Metropolitan (Assistant to the Metropolitan, the supreme head of the church). And appointed as the designated officiating Metropolitan on 15 March, 1999.
After the death of Alexander Marthoma Metropolitan, the previous head of the church, Philipose Mar Chrysostem installed as Metropolitan on 23 October, 1999.
Marthoma Syrian Church, traditionally believed to have been founded by St. Thomas, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ in the year AD 52.
It is an espiscopal, protestant and Gospel spreading Church, reformed from the Orthodox Syrian tradition about 170 years ago.
Philipose Mar Chrysostom Marthoma is the 20th successor to the throne of St. Thomas. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Still he travels throughout the church as an youngman for all of its important functions.
The church presently has around 1,000,000 members. The majority of the membership of the church is in the southern Indian state of Kerala but it has spread with the 20th Century Indian diaspora to North America, Europe, the Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, this in addition to a sizeable population in the rest of India.
Marthoma Church is in full communion with the Anglican Church, including the Church of South India and Church of North India.
Asia`s largest eight days Gospel Convention called "Maramon Convention" held every year during the month of February under the auspices of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church.