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Bl. Kuriakos Elias Chavara

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Birth: 1805
Death: 1871
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Kuriakos Chavara, of Kainakary (Alleppey), India, was ordained a priest of the Syro-Malabar Rite at the age of twenty-four. He subsequently co-founded with two other priests a new religious congregation, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, undertaking a wide-ranging apostolate of priestly formation, retreats, publishing of Catholic literature, catechesis, and the care of the dying. Father Kuriakos promulgated a greater uniformity in the celebration of the Syro-Malabar liturgy by writing a book on the proper celebration of the Syro-Malabar Mass. In 1861 a Chaldean Rite bishop visiting India began usurping authority over the Syro-Malabar Catholics by falsely claiming to have a papal mandate to take control from the vicar apostolic. Firmly opposing this schismatic prelate, Father Kuriakos led a spiritual crusade to reaffirm papal authority over the Syro-Malabar Rite and the authority of the legitimate bishop. Father Kuriakos' zeal was the fruit of his intense spiritual life forged in the many hours he spent praying before the Blessed Sacrament and being nurtured by his filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.


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