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Bp. Jacob Mar Theophilos OIC
Jacob (Yakoob) Mar Theophilos was born on 26th February 1891 as the first son of Abraham Tharakan and Achamma of Kalapurackalveedu. After completing matriculation from MD High School, Kottayam, he became a teacher in MD High School itself. He longed to lead a life of priesthood by his own religious tradition and by the inspiration of MA Achen (Fr. P. T. Geevargis Panickerveettil, later Archbishop Mar Ivanios), who was then Principal of the MD High School. Mar Theophilos received his sacred order of the Diaconate from Metropolitan Vattasseril Mar Divannasios. MA Achen took Mar Theophilos, his deacon, to Serampore when he (MA Achen) took up an assignment as Professor of the Serampore University

Deacon Yakoob stood with Archbishop Mar Ivanios in the founding of Bethany Ashram and later in embracing the Catholic Communion through the Re-union Movement. One of the first members of the Bethany Congregation was Fr. Yakoob OIC. He was the Guru (Master) of the Novices. He was ordained priest in 1924 and was elected and ordained Bishop after the name Yakoob Mar Theophilos.

Mar Theophilos gave full support to Mar Ivanios in all his pioneering endeavours, especially the Reunion Movement. Though other Bishops backtracked from the decision of the Synod of Parumala held in 1926, Mar Theophilos endorsed it with full conviction and commitment. Thus he became one among the first five members of the Re-union Movement on September 20, 1930. When the Syro-Malankara Catholic Hierarchy was established in 1932, he was appointed the first Metropolitan of Tiruvalla. His Aramana (Bishop's residence) was a small two storied building named Cherupushpagiri, situated in the place where now stands the Pushpagiri Medical College. In 1933 Mar Theophilos visited Rome and paid his respects to Pope Pius XI, who was an instrument in the hands of the Lord in 1930 to receive the Malankara community into the Catholic Communion. Jacob Mar Theophilos blessed the new Bishop’s house on 24 November 1934. Many churches, schools and the St. Joseph’s press were started by him. With the mission to spread the faith and to strengthen the Re-union Movement, he formed “Sakshyasangam” ("Group of Witnesses")

Due to ill health, he handed over the administration of the Eparchy to Mar Severios and took rest in Pushpagiri Clergy Home. Mar Theophilos OIC left for his heavenly abode on 27 June 1956 and his mortal remains were laid to rest at St. John's Cathedral, Tiruvalla.

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