Mor Baselios Yeldho Maphrian
- Mor Baselios Yeldho Maphrian
(1593? – 1685)
By: Dr. Mani Rajan Corepiscopo
Yeldho was born in the famous Hadhai family in Karakosh village near Mosul, Iraq. Karakosh village was earlier known by the names Bakudaida or Kooded. At a very young age he joined Mor Bahnam Monastery near Kooded.
In 1662, Patriarch Esau II (Quamsheh) consecrated Ramban Yeldho as a Maphrian. Mor Mathai Dayoro in Mosul town was his head quarters. The Governor of Mosul incarcerated Yeldho Bava along with Very Rev. Rambans Geevarghese and Isaac over matters regarding the renovation work done in Mor Mathai Dayoro and they were made to pay a huge amount as fine.
In 1677 Geevarghese Ramban was consecrated Metropolitan under the name Mor Dioscorus by Yeldho Bava for the Jaseera diocese. Soon he was installed as the successor of Mor Yeldho Maphriano by Patriarch Abdul Masiha I. In 1684 the Patriarch consecrated the holy chrism in Saffron (Kurkhuma) Dayoro and spoke about the necessity of metropolitans going to Malankara. Mor Yeldho Bava who attended this holy functionvolunteered for the service despite his old age (91 years).
Mor Yeldho proceeded to his head quarters to make preparations for the journey (Aphrem, 1964; Varghese, 1998; Kurian Corepiscopo, 2003). He was accompanied by his brother Jamma, two monks from Mor Bahanam Dayoro, Jocko and Mathai and Mor Ivanios Hidayathulla Episcopa. Of these five only three, Mor Yeldho Maphriano, the Episcopa and Ramban Mathai arrived at Malankara. He was one of the illustrious Syrian fathers who came down to guide the Malankara Church in turbulent times.
The saintly Bava and his associates who started from Basra in 1685 arrived at Tellicherry. Fearing persecution from the Portuguese they went to Pallivasal incognito. There must have been other travelers in their journey towards Pallivasal. There are several stories of miracles that happened during the saint’s hazardous trip to Kothamangalam. They encountered a tiger on the way ready to pounce. When the Bava raised his cross and prayed the tiger ran away. When they reached Pallivasal his fellow travelers chose to stay near the present power house which was the usual place of halting. The Bava suggested it was better to shift their camp to a farther area. They did accordingly. During midnight there was a heavy downpour and in the ensuing flood many people along with those who put up camp in the first mentioned place were washed away. The next day he offered Qurbono in Pallivasal. Many people opine that the place gained the name Pallivasal because the Holy Father had stayed there.
They reached Kozhipalli after traversing a forest. He enquired a Chakkala Nair tending cattle if there was a church nearby. The man expressed his inability to lead them as he could not abandon his cattle. The Bava drew a circle and the goats were made to stand inside the circle. Nair was amazed to see the cattle remaining inside the boundary line. He then informed the Bava his sister was in throes of labour pain. He wanted some water blessed by him to ease her pain. For that he got ready to climb a coconut tree. But the tree inclined before him and the Bava blessed the tender coconut water. He went to give it to his sister who had an easy delivery after drinking the blessed water.
Even now the eldest member of Chakkalakkudy Thekkalakkattu Nair family leads the perunnal procession holding the lamp. The Holy Bava was led to Kothamangalam Cheriyapally that day (it was established on 13 Kanni 1455). On reaching there he sat down on the north-western side of the church. The date of arrival was 7 Kanni 1685. On his arrival it is believed the church door opened by itself and the bell began to toll. It was the culmination of ultimate sacrifice, endurance and obedience. It was as indefinable as the glorious entry through heavenly portals.
Mor Hidayathulla Episcopo was consecrated Metropolitan by Yeldho Bava on 14 Kanni (Yacoub, 1958). He fell ill due to his extreme old age and tedious journey. He received the last sacraments of anointment with holy oil and extreme unction on 19 Kanni, thirteen days after his arrival at Kothamangalam. The saintly father left for his heavenly abode on Saturday, 3pm on 19 Kanni. At the time of his death the huge granite cross in the church compound was miraculously lit up. He was entombed in the sanctuary of Mor Thoman Cheriyapally on 20 Kanni 1685. The Church celebrates his feast on 3 October with spiritual grandeur. According to Bull No. E 265/87 of the year 1987 he was declared a saint by H. H. Patriarch of Antioch, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.