Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, Nov 5 (UNI) Indian Orthodox Church's Calcutta diocese Metropolitan His Grace Stephanos Mar Theodosius passed away in Muscat early this morning after a brief illness, a church spokesman said today.
The 84-year-old Metropolitan was on a visit to Muscat in connection with the functions to be organised by the church there on the occasion of 105th death anniversary of Parumala Mar Gregorios, the first canonized saint of Indian Orthodox Church.
St Thomas Mission's Superior Fr Raju Thomas told UNI that the body of Metropolitian would be brought here by a special chartered flight tomorrow. The funeral is scheduled to take place at Bhilai on Thursday noon, he added.
Indian Orthodox Church supreme head Catholicos of the East Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos-I and Metropolitans of other dioceses would attend the funeral, he added.
Metropolitan Theodosius was well known for his service in pastoral, educational, humanitarian and social fields. For the last 60 years as a priest and Bishop, he was instrumental in establishing several educational institutions and mission centres in the remote areas in northern India.
He founded the St Thomas Mission of north Indian region in July 1972 . Later, the mission activities were spread out in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Nagaland.
Born on October 2, 1924, he was ordained as a priest in 1947 and was consecrated as Bishop in 1975. He became the Metropolitan of diocese of Madras in 1976 and later headed the Calcutta diocese since 1979.
Malankara Orthodox Church is an ancient church of India and it traces its origin to A D 52 when St Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, came to India and established christianity in the south western parts of the sub-continent.
The St Thomas Christians or the Syrian Christians exist at present in different churches and denominations. But a major section of the parent body of St Thomas Christians which has maintained its independent nature constitute the Orthodox Church under the Catholicate of the East with headquarters at Devalokam, in Kottayam district of Kerala.