His Grace Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilose Metropolitan was born on 9th May, 1911 as the sixth son of Korah and Mariamma of Kallupurakkal, Puthanangadi, Kottayam. He completed his B.A degree from Maharaja’s College, Cochin. He studied M.A in St.Augustine of Canterbury, England, T.H.M in Cardiff University, UK, and D.D from Harward University in Chicago, USA.
Priestly Ministry and Ordinations
He became as a deacon in 1929, received from St. Vattasseril Mar Dionysius Metropolitan and anointed as a priest in 1944 by His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II, the Catholicos of the East. On 24th August 1966, at Kolencherry His Holiness Baselios Augen Catholicose consecrated Philipose Mar Theophilos as Metropolitan.
Metropolitan of Ankamali Diocese
He was then appointed as the head of the Ankamali Diocese. Many new schools, orphanages, hospitals etc. were started by him. He laid foundation stones for hospitals at Kothamangalam, Chalad, and Pothanicad. Self employment projects for poor and School for blind at Alwaye were some of his ambitious projects in Ankamali.
Metropolitan of Bombay
On 1st February, 1979, he took over the charge of Mumbai Diocese. He initially established his headquarters near St. Gregorios Church, Chembur in Mumbai before moving out in the year 1988 to the present headquarters at the Orthodox Church Centre, Vashi, Navi Mumbai. This Diocese was spread over the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, a tail portion of Karnataka, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Three years back a portion of Gujarat separated from Bombay and become the part of Ahmedabad Diocese and Goa was attached to Brahmawar Diocese. During the same year on 5th October His Grace took initiative to transfer the Holy Relics of Blessed Alvares mar Julius Metropolitan from the secluded corner of St. Inez Cemetery to the St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Ribander in Goa.
The Architect of Old Seminary
He served as the Principal of the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam (Old Seminary) and was the architect of the revamped Seminary. During His Grace’s period as the Principal, the Seminary entered its modern period. A systematized course of studies was introduced. A new generation of qualified professors of theology and biblical studies took responsibility for running the Seminary. Classes and students’ residence were moved to the new buildings in the campus of the M.D. Seminary at Kottayam. When the Catholicos moved his residence from the Old Seminary to the present Devalokam, theological education was once again brought back to the “Old Syrian Seminary”. In 1964 the Seminary became affiliated to the Serampore University for its B.D. degree course. 1965, the 150th year of its founding, was celebrated on a grand scale in the presence of ecclesiastical dignitaries and church leaders from abroad.
As the President of MGOCSM
The Metropolitan ministered among student Community as the President of the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Students Movement (MGOCSM).His Grace’s Presidential period is known as the Golden Period of MGOCSM. In his tenure, His Grace established student centres at Trivandrum, Kothamangalam and Alwaye. This helped the movement to become self-sufficient. His Grace also started a Charitable project Mar Gregorios Rehabilitation Centre for the blind under the banner of MGOCSM. It is very pleasant see that two of his disciples and coworkers of MGOCSM became the Metropolitans of our Church. Fr.George Kurian, who was the Warden of Student Centre Trivandrum, and former General Secretary of MGOCSM, elevated to the position of Metropolitan under the name Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, and became His Grace successor in Bombay Diocese. Fr. Dr. M.C. Cherian , who was the warden and General Secretary of MGOCSM, became Dr. Zachariah Mar Theophilus, and His Grace became the Metropolitan of Malabar Diocese.
As the Ambassador of the Malankara Church and his works in Ecumenical Field
Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilos was known as the Ambassador of the Malankara Orthodox Church during his life time. Mar Theophilos was one of the one of the associated with the founding of the World Christian Council (WCC). He worked as Secretary of Faith and Order division and central committee member of the WCC. He was the first person from the rank and file of WCC to visit eastern orthodox churches, which bore fruit when those churches took WCC’s membership. Dr. Mar Theophilos was highly honoured by Eastern Orthodox churches. He was the only one special invitee to attend the selection of His Holiness Peeman Patriarch of Russian Orthodox Church. He was given a grand honor when he was invited to attend the Republic day parade of Romania as chief guest along with Romanian President and Romanian Patriarch.
H.G. Philipose mar Theophilos passed away on 28th September, 1997 and was laid to rest in Thrikunnath Seminary, Aluva in Kerala.