Memory of HH Baselius Geevarughese II Catholicos
- His Holiness Moran Mar Baseliose Geevarughese 2nd died on 03rd January, 1964 at 04.30 AM after serving Malankara Sabha as a Metropolitan for 16 years, and then as a Catholicose for 34 years and during that time he was also Malankara Metropolitan for 28 years. His last Kalpana for the church was written on 21st December, 1963. It was only few days before his death. Every year our church remembers him at this time with great deal of passion, and deep felt gratitude for the out standing service he gave to our church. This year we remember him more than at any other time in the past as we are celebrating 100th anniversary of the establishment of Catholicate. It is good that our centenary celebrations are beginning with the memory of H.H Geevarughese 2nd as he was the greatest defender and protector of our church and our faith.
During this time of the year, it is customary that I spent a lot of time reflecting on the life of H.H.Moran Mar Baseliose Geevarughese 2nd, who served as the Catholicose and Malankara Metropolitan of our church during a period of turbulent storms that threatened the very existence of our free and independent church. I am helped by the descriptions of him given to me by my uncle Late Very Rev Remban Fr M.C.Kuriakose of Pathamuttam and my grand father Very Rev Fr Alexanthrayose Cor Episcopa and my own personal contact with him on numerous occasions. I have read the books written by Mr Z.M Paret, Dr Samuel Chandanappally, and Mr K.V.Mammen. He began most of the prayers and sacraments singing in private an angelic hymn, �"Melulla Uyarangalil swargeeya malakha mar..", and from that time onward till the end of the service he had an amazing capacity to transfigure himself like an angel. He believed himself that he was in the company of angels praising and worshipping God. He believed in the presence of God in the altar and literally experienced the Glory of the presence of God during the Eucharistic service. Usually by the end of the service he was very excited and thrilled by this divine experience, he was like Moses coming down the Mountain of Sinai after his encounter with God.
He was very much aware of the experience of Job in the hands of Satan. He too experienced tormentation. His enemies wanted to take away all the possessions of his dear church, they ridiculed him by calling him names (Vridhan Punnoose), they questioned his priesthood, they wanted him to be in the witness box in court rooms to be questioned by lawyers. He had no money, and his church was poor. But all along he knew that his God will protect him as he protected Job. Those who knew him well could say that
Geevarughese 2nd Catholicose never did, nor never shall
Lie at the proud foot of his ridiculous tormentors.
With great courage and through inspiration and perspiration he led his people saying
Cheriya attinkkottame bhayappedenda, Christ who was crucified on a Friday could resurrect the following Sunday. The same thing will happen to Malankara Sabha. And, it did happen eventually. He sacrificed his life for our glory today.
During his visit to Scotland to attend an international conference of various church leaders, everyone noted his glorious face and Holiness. During his return to India he visited many Christian churches in Europe and Middle East. All over the places of his visit, they treated him with the honour and respect given to the head of a church.
H.H.Moran Mar Geevarughese 2nd lived with angels in Devalokam, he worshipped God with them and he saw God on numerous occasions and his spirit continues to pray for Malankara Orthodox Church and for its members even now. Thousands of people go to his tomb every year with their petitions and his intercessions continue to help them to overcome their problems. He was indeed a saint. Let us pray to him to pray for us.
Every day, from the rising of the sun in the east till the setting of the sun in the west, members of the Malankara Orthodox Church will remember him till the last breath of their life with deep felt gratitude and love.
DR M.S.ALEXANDER, Leeds, England.
- Dear Dr.M.S.Alexander,
"I am helped by the descriptions of him given to me by my uncle Late Very Rev Remban Fr M.C Kuriakose of Pathamuttam and my grandfather Very Rev Fr Alexanthrayose Cor Episcopa and my own personal contact with him on numerous occasions. I have read the books written by Mr Z.M Paret, Dr Samuel Chandanappally, and Mr K.V Mammen. He began most of the prayers and sacraments singing in private an angelic hymn Melulla Uyarangalil swargeeya malakha mar..., and from that time onward till the end of the service he had an amazing capacity to transfigure himself like an angel.
During the time of revolutions and evolutions and upheavals, great souls, at times, take their birth and guide the common mass to victory and success that make them as heroes and pioneers as historical luminaries. "And those who are wise shall shine like rate brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.", Dan.12: 3. HH will remain as a lodestar on the horizon of our fragmented church, because of the jubilant but grieving role which this great soul undertook for the glory of the Malankara Catholicate, the centenary of which we are going to celebrate in March this year.
Apart from the books and writings you have given above, you may have read the centenary birth anniversary Malankara Sabha special edition on 16-6-1973, in which there are some special articles, particularly one by our HH Vattakunnel Bava that clearly illustrated the prayerful private life that HH continued during this tumultuous period of court cases, failures and dethronement. While they were in Trivandrum church courtyard after the Morning Prayer, HH asked his disciple priest, "Have heard"? "What", exclaimed the disciple inquisitively? "What melodious song which was also sung by the angels and saints, while we were praying". Also it was disclosed further that that was the third time for such an occurrence of Heavenly experience; first time in Parumala church, second one in Kundara church. On many occasions of sacramental celebrations and prayers, HH transfigured himself as an angel of light.
Those who haven't read this special edition, 200 pages, should try to get and read it, so as to get a glimpse of the aspirations and the vicissitude of the life that HH was encountering.
HH was really a man of God, and the saturation of incense smell of fragrance in Parumala church at the time of thirumeni's departure from this world proclaim that HH was a true disciple of Parumala thirumeni, the saint of saints of Malankara.
- Dr. MS Alexander's write up on HH Baselius Geevarughese II Catholicos is apt and well appreciated. Many of us have very sacred memories of this very saintly Bava. Thank you Alex.
Dr. KN Thomas, Kottayam