Kottayam: Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom, the senior-most metropolitan of the Thiruvalla Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, passed away at a private hospital on early Wednesday.
He was 104 years old and was suffering from old age problems.
The country honoured 1918 born with a Padma Bhushan in 2018.
Last week after he was not keeping well a Covid Antigen test done turned out positive, but an RT-PCR was negative.
He was ordained as a priest in 1944 and became a bishop in 1953 and went on to head the Church as its Metropolitan in 1999 before voluntarily stepping down in 2007
Though officially retired, the bishop used to take part in Church services and for his convenience, he moved around in a wheelchair and was always dressed in his official attire.
The Valiya Metropolitan, as he was popularly known, was remarkable for his rich theological knowledge and inborn sense of humour.
Condolences have started pouring in.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the passing away of the beloved Metropolitan is going to be a loss for all, as he portrayed humanity, and was the strength of the weak and downtrodden.
"He was known for his progressive thoughts and actions. And to live beyond 100 years in itself is considered to be very lucky and he not only lived beyond 100 but used his life for the well being of others," said Vijayan.
PM Modi has also expressed his condolence through a tweet that said "Saddened by the demise of His Grace The Most Rev. Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan. He will be remembered for his rich theological knowledge and many efforts to remove human suffering. Condolences to the members of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church,"
Former Congress president and congress MP from Kerala's Waynad tweeted heartfelt condolences ." His kindness received love and affection from all communities. He will be fondly remembered" he said.
The last rites of the Metropolitan will be held at the Church headquarters on Thursday.