Catholicos of the East

 His Holiness Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II 

Life and Career

Early life and ordination

His Holiness was born on 30 August 1946 as the second son of K. I. Iype of Kollannoor house, Mangad near Pazhanji in Kerala, India. His mother Kunjeetty belongs to Pulikkottil family.

H.H was named as Paul after his grand father and was baptized in Pazhanji. H.H did his preliminary education at the Mangad Church School till his 7th standard. His high school education was conducted at the Pazhanji Government High School, which was established by Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysisus II. His Holiness attended church services regularly and became an altar boy at a young age.

From his childhood, His Holiness showed keen interest in spiritual matters. His parish church, St. Marys Orthodox church was the nerve center of his spiritual growth. At the age of 13, H.H was selected by his parish priest to participate in the ‘washing of feet’ service, celebrated by His Grace Paulose Mar Severios Metropolitan. When the Metropolitan invited him to join priesthood , it marked a turning point in the life of young His Holiness.  The influence of his parents, especially that of his mother who hails from the famous Pulikkottil family, played a great role in molding his early life. Even from his childhood, H.H use to learn Syriac chants and prayers and was very keen in attending the church service.

His uncle Iyyukkutty also inspired him for the priestly services. The affection bestowed by him encouraged His Holiness and inspired him to dedicate himself for clergical services. His Holiness studied for pre-university and B.Sc. in Physics at St. Thomas College. In 1969, His Holiness enrolled at the Theological Seminary in Kottayam for his theological studies under the discipleship of Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios, Fr. T J Abraham Malpan, and Fr. Koruthu Malapan. H.H completed theological studies in GST from Orthodox Theological Seminary and BD from Seramboor University. After accepting the holy orders, H.H joined C.M.S College, Kottayam and took his M.A in Sociology.

In 1972, His Holiness was ordained for the first stage of diaconate in Parumala Seminary. H.H was ordained as a full deacon at Koratty Zion Seminary. On 21 June 1973, Dn. Paul was ordained as a priest. Fr. Paul celebrated the first Holy Qurbana at Mangad St. Gregorious Church, served the Mooleppat Mar Basalios Mar Gregorios Church for a short while.


On 15 May 1985 Ramban Paul was ordained as a Bishop with title Paulose Mar Milithios at the age of 38 at Puthiyacavu St. Mary’s Church by Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I. H.H is the first Metropolitan after Parumala Thirumeni and Puthenkavil Geevarghese Mar Philexinos to be ordained to Bishopric below age of 40. Four other Bishops, Mathews Mar Epiphanios, Philppose Mar Eusabius, Geevarghese Mar Ivanios and Thomas Mar Athanisius were also ordained along with Mar Milithios.

A new diocese for the Church, Kunnamkulam was formed on 14 April 1985 with some of the churches of Talappally Taluk of Kochi diocese and some neighboring churches. The newly ordained Bishop Mar Milithios was appointed as the diocesan Metropolitan of the newly formed diocese of Kunnamkulam. When H.H took over the charge on 1 Aug 1985, there was no diocesan headquarters or any Aramana. Initially the new Metropolitan lived in an annexed room of Arthat Church. With determined efforts and cooperation of his fellow believers of his diocese H.H was able to construct a beautiful diocesan centre with a chapel in the vicinity of Arthat church for Kunnamkulam diocese within five years.

Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan

The Holy Episcopal Synod and the Managing Committee nominated him as the successor to the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan on 27 Sep 2006. Paulose Mar Milithios was enthroned as the new Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan at a solemn ceremony at the St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s church at Parumala on Monday, 1 November 2010. Thomas Mar Athanasius was the chief celebrant for the Holy Qurbana of the ceremony. H.H succeeds Baselius Mar Thoma Didymus I who abdicated office at the age of 90. H.H is the eighth Catholicos of the East since the establishment of the Catholicate in India in 1912 and the 21st Malankara Metropolitan. The enthronement came almost a year before the Church officially launched the centenary celebrations of the establishment of the Catholicate in India (in 1912), an assertion of the Church’s nationality, autonomy.


To contact the Catholicos’ Office 

Catholicate Aramana

Devalokam P.O, Kottayam

Kerala, India


Tel: 04812578499, 04812578500



  “At the inception of Catholicate in Malankara the first Catholicos was named as Paulose I. Now at  the centenary of the Catholicate the Catholicos is again being called Paulose, precisely Paulose II.  This is not a coincidence, but a great plan of God


– Fr. Dr. K.M. George, Principal of Orthodox Theological Seminary




Full List of ‘Catholicos of the East’

First Catholicos of the East:        His Holiness Baselios Paulos I (15th September 1912 – 2nd May 1913)

Second Catholicos of the East:   His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese I (30th April 1925 – 17 December 1928)

Third Catholicos of the East:      His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese II (15 February 1929 – 3 January 1964)

Fourth Catholicos of the East:    His Holiness Baselios Augen I (22 May 1964 – 8 December 1975)

Fifth Catholicos of the East:        His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I (27 October 1975 – 27 April 1991)

Sixth Catholicos of the East:       His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews II (1980 – 2006)

Seventh Catholicos of the East:  His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymos I (10 September 1992 – 1st November 2010)

Eighth Catholicos of the East:     His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II (current Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan) — (1st November 2010 onwards)


Adapted from:

(Click links to read more) (A letter from Pope Francis to the Catholicos)