Abimalek Timothy

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Metropolitan Timotheus of Malabar

Mar Abimalek Timotheus (born August 28, 1878 in Mar Bischo near Urmia , † April 30, 1945 in Trichur ) was a metropolitan of Malabar and India of the autocephalous East Syrian "Church of the East" .

Abimalek (Awimelk) d'Qelaita, son of the priest Isai, did not come from one of the traditional bishop families of the "Church of the East". He was trained by the Anglicans in Urmia , also in English, appointed priest and archdeacon in his original church , and from 1903 worked as a teacher at the Anglican school in Van . At the request of Syro-Malabars he was on December 15, 1907 with the consent of Metropolitan Eskhaq Khnanisho by Catholicos Mar Benyamin Shimun XXI. ordained in Qudschanis to the Metropolitan of India ( Malabar ), more closely for the Thomas Christians of the East Syrian rite who were separated from the Roman Pope , the "Melusians" who arose in the second half of the 19th century . Only after overcoming some resistance, including from the Catholic side, was he able to reach India. From February 1908 he officiated in Trichur (Kerala) and looked after the approx. 8000 Melusians. He lifted the compulsory celibacy of priests and initiated a return to the pure East Syrian rite, free from Latin foreign infiltration. Letters from the early years complain of health problems and open hostility on the part of the locals who wanted a bishop of their own rite, but not a die-hard "Nestorian". Above all, the new bishop ordered the removal of (Christ, Mary and saints) statues from the church buildings that had arisen in Catholic times caused a nuisance. The hoped-for support, including financial support, of his work by the Anglicans largely failed to materialize and led to permanent estrangement from their former pupil. But Mar Timothy managed to legally separate the Melusians from the Catholic Syro-Malabars and organize them as a separate church.

In the election and ordination of the Catholicos Patriarch Shimun XXIII. In 1920 Mar Timotheus, although the senior metropolitan, was not involved. In order to soothe his anger, he was officially taken on in October of the same year as the caretaker of the still underage Mar Shimun XXIII. ordered. However, since he could not gain any lasting influence against his biological family, he became permanently estranged from both. In the 1920s he stayed temporarily in Mosul and Baghdad. In 1923/24 he traveled to England and then the USA to obtain support for the Assyrian cause . His attempt to act as a representative of the Catholicos Patriarch in the USA was thwarted by the influential Lady Surma d'Mar Shimun († December 7, 1975), and he had to return to India. In 1926 he founded the Mar Narsai Press in Trichur to print books in the Syrian language and script.

The successor of the man who died in 1945 was Mar Thomas Darmo after a long vacancy in 1952 , who in 1968 became the anti-Catholicos of Shimun XXIII, who lived in the USA. order and founded today's " Old Church of the East ".

On September 29, 2019, Catholicos Gewargis III spoke . Mar Timothy holy.


  • JF Coakley: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission and the Consecration of Mar Abimalek Timotheus of Malabar . In: III ° Symposium Syriacum 1980 . Ed. by R. Lavenant (OCA 221). PIO, Roma 1983, 203-212.
  • JF Coakley: The Church of the East since 1914. In: Bulletin of the John Rylands Library of Manchester. 78, 3, 1996, 179-198. Online: THE CHURCH OF THE EAST SINCE 1914 IE COAKLEY (PDF; 1.6 MB)
  • Mar Aprem [Mooken]: Mar Narsai Press , ibid. 171-178.
  • Theodore d'Mar Shimun: The History of the Patriarchal Succession of the d'Mar Shimun Family . Modesto 2008. ISBN 978-1-4363-1219-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Sainthood for Mar Abimalek Timothy. In: Times of India. September 28, 2019, accessed January 30, 2020 .