“I have taken this seat as per the rituals and groups of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church, regardless of numerous hardships. God favor you my youngsters” – His Holiness Abune Matias, Archbishop of Ethiopia. Abune Mathias (conceived Teklemariam Asrat; 1941) is an Ethiopian patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church since 2013. His full title is “His Holiness Abune Mathias I”, “6th Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia”, “Diocese supervisor of Axum” and “Ichege of the See of Saint Taklehaimanot”.
Teklemariam Asrat was brought into the world in 1941 in Tigray region, in the region of Agame, in Sebuha province. Teklemariam was appointed as an elder in 1954 by Abune Markos, the then Archbishop of Eritrea. Minister Teklemariam served in a few limits at the Chohé religious community, in Tembien region of Tigray, where he remained for the vast majority of the resulting 14 years. In 1963, he was appointed as a cleric and priest at Chohé. Presently known as Abba Teklemariam, he left the cloister to additional his schooling in Addis Ababa and served in the Holy Trinity Cathedral from 1971 to 1976. During this time, the public authority of Emperor Haile Selassie was toppled, and the then Patriarch Abune Tewophilos was captured and consequently executed by the Derg military system.
Following the enthronement of Patriarch Teklehaimanot to supplant Patriarch Tewophilos, Abba Teklemariam was delegated to fill in as the Patriarchal Vicar to the new Patriarch and worked as his nearest helper. In 1978, as the Derg distinguished the senior Archbishops and Bishops with the fallen Imperial government, it requested that all the senior hierarchs go into retirement. Thus, Patriarch Abune Tekle Haimanot needed to bless 14 new priests to fill the opening left by the resigning hierarchs. Abba Teklemariam was in this manner blessed as the new minister of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and the Holy Land in 1978 and embraced the new episcopal name and title of Abune Mathias. While serving in Jerusalem he was raised from Bishop to Archbishop.