Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, head of the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church, died early Sunday at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram after battling cancer.

The 90-year old Marthoma community head was undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. He breathed his last around 2.30 AM.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan's death, calling him a remarkable personality who served humanity and worked hard to improve the lives of the poor.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said: "His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan was a remarkable personality who served humanity and worked hard to improve the lives the poor and downtrodden. He was blessed with abundance of empathy and humility. His noble ideals will always be remembered. RIP."

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan too mourned Metropolitan's demise.

"He worked for the liberation and welfare of the homeless and marginalised people in the society.His involvement in rehabilitating children from the Red Street in Mumbai and uplifting transgender persons into the mainstream shows how he battled for the downtrodden," the chief minister said in a statement.

The Marthoma Syrian church is a reformed oriental Syrian church based in Kerala. The Marthoma Christian community community members believe they are the descendants of St Thomas, one of Jesus Christ's 12 apostles.