Ignatius Aphrem II
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church
No EI 100/15
December 30, 2015
Apostolic Benediction to our beloved brother in Christ His Beatitude Mor Baselios Thomas I, the Catholicose of India and all our beloved brother Metropolitans, the clergy and the faithful of our Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, Kerala, India.
We are grieved to know about the departure of our beloved brother in Christ His Eminence Thanono Dr Yuhanon Mar Phelexinos Valiya Metropolitan to his heavenly mansion at the age of 74. The passing away of His Eminence is an irreparable loss to the Holy Church. His Eminence was a man of zeal and gentleness simultaneously. We remember with sincerity, how His Eminence fought the good fight to keep the true faith and completed the race of this life and being poured out as a libation for the Holy Church.
The history of the Malabar Diocese is closely related to His Eminence Mor Philexinos Yuhanon. When His Eminence took charge of Malabar, the area was in a high state of deterioration. His Eminence coordinated the works in the diocese and constructed many new churches throughout the diocese. His Eminence gave up everything for the development of Malabar which no body in Malabar or the Holy Church can ever forget. His Eminence was a dynamic person in the reconciliation process between the two factions of the Church, which is an extraordinary achievement in his life. Likewise, we cannot forget his efforts as the first Malayali parish priest to serve in North America.
His Eminence served the Holy Church as the secretary of the Episcopal Synod in India, as the Metropolitan Trustee of the church, the President of the Morth Mariyam Vanitha Samajam, the women’s league; the patron of St. Paul’s Mission of India and divine prison ministry, and as a board member of CASA.
The role of His Eminence in the charitable and educational activities of the Holy Church is praiseworthy. His Eminence started the orphanage, Mor Elias Snehabhavan; the old age home Karunabhavn; St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Higher Secondary School, Mor Gregorios Teacher’s Training College and a lot of other institutions.
His Eminence was an asset to the Holy Church. We share your grief and extend our heartfelt condolence to you all. We implore God’s mercy to wipe every tear from your eyes and to grant absolution of the sins, rest and delight to the departed soul. The words of the psalmist give us comfort, “Let your priests be clothed with righteousness and let your faithful shout for joy. For your servant David’s sake do not turn away the face of your anointed one” (Psalms 132:9,10).
We personally wanted to conduct the Burial Service ourselves but the circumstances do not permit us. Hence we assign our beloved brother in Christ, His Eminence Mor Bartholomew Nathaniel, Metropolitan to represent us in the funeral service. May the grace, the peace and the comfort of Our Lord be with you all. We extend our Apostolic Blessings to you. ܐܒܘܢ ܕܒܫܡܝܐ ܘܫܪܟܐ