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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Elevation will boost Indian Catholic community

Two beatified candidates from Kerala, Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia will be conferred sainthood by the Vatican on November 23. The elevations are expected to bring added spiritual strength and joy to the Catholic community in India. The canonizations for November come six years after Sister Alphonsa became the first woman Saint of the country.

The date for elevation of Father Chavara and Sister Euphrasia to sainthood was taken by the consistory of cardinals held in the Vatican.

The date for elevation of Father Chavara and Sister Euphrasia to sainthood was taken by the consistory of cardinals held in the Vatican.

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Fther Chavara, Sister Euphrasia, sainthood, elevation, India


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The date for elevation of Father Chavara and Sister Euphrasia to sainthood was taken by the consistory of cardinals held in the Vatican. In honor of the occasion, prayers were held in churches in Kottayam and Thrissur, which are associated respectively with the two beatified persons to be conferred with sainthood.

In April, the Vatican approved the acts attributed due to intercession of Father Chavara and Sister Euphrasia prior to completing long-drawn out procedures. This is the procedure according to church rule before conferring sainthood.

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Both belonged to Kerala-based Syro Malabar Church, from which Sister Alphonsa also hailed, and both were beatified during the tenure of Pope John Paul II.
 
Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871), born in Kainakari near Alappuzha, was a social reformer and educator of Kerala's Catholic community. Chavara founded the congregation called Carmelites Mary Immaculate, which runs several educational and charity institutions. He was beatified in 1986.

Scores of miraculous favors were reported by the intercession of Kuriakose Elias. Sister Alphonsa, who later became the first saint of India (Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception, F.C.C.), has herself testified in 1936 that Father Kuriakose had appeared to her twice during her illness and relieved her suffering. In 1955, Mar Mathew Kavukattu, arch-bishop of Changanacherry, received instructions from Rome to start diocese-level procedure towards the canonization. On April 7, 1984, Pope John Paul II approved the Servant of God, Kuriakose Elias Chavara's practice of heroic virtues and declared him "Venerable."

Sister Euphrasia (1877-1952), led a pious life of total devotion and hailed from Kattoor near Thrissur in central Kerala. In 1913 she was made Mother Superior of St. Mary's Convent, Ollur, where she was to live the rest of her life, serving as Mother Superior until 1916.

Despite these duties, she endeavored to lead a life of constant prayer and of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, becoming known by many people as the "Praying Mother." Mother Euphrasia spent much of her day in the convent chapel before the Blessed Sacrament, to which she had a strong devotion. She also nourished a great love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mother Euphrasia died on August 29, 1952 at the Ollur Convent. Her tomb at the convent has become a pilgrimage site as miracles have been reported by some of the faithful.

Sister Alphonsa of Bharananganam in Kottayam became India's first home-grown saint when she was canonized on October 12, 2008. The convent she lived in has since then turned into a pilgrim center, visited by devotees from all parts of the world.

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