Two Indians from Kerala conferred Sainthood at Vatican
Two Kerala-born Indian Catholics Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia have been canonised by Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square in Vatican.
Pope Francis pronounced them as saints at a special mass held at St Peter’s Square, Vatican. The ceremony included a Latin hymn and a recommendation by a representative of the Congregation for the Saints. Earler, in April this year, Pope had cleared their names for sainthood.
With these canonisation of sainthood, the centuries-old Syro Malabar Church, Kerala now has three Saints, the first being Sister Alphonsa, who was declared a saint in 2008 by the Vatican.
About Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara
- Father Kuriakose Chavara lived in the 19th He was a visionary priest and social reformer whose contributions spread across education, media and social justice.
- He fought for appointing Kerala priests as bishops instead of foreign missionaries and had founded the first Catholic religious congregation for men and women in the country.
- As a social reformer, he believed that intellectual development and education of women was the first step towards overall social welfare.
- He was first to start schools for f weaker sections and introduce the system called “A school along with every church”, which was successful in making free education available for everyone.
- He died in on 3 January, 1871, aged 65.
About Sister Euphrasia
- Sister Euphrasia led a more secluded life, devoted to prayers.
- She was known as a ‘praying mother’ and a ‘saint among nuns’, who, according to followers, had several miracles to her credit.
- She had been a member of the congregation Carmelites of Mother Carmel (CMC), founded by Chavara.
- She died on Aug 29, 1952 at the age of 75 and is buried at Ollur, Thrissur.
To celebrate their sainthoods, prayers and masses were held at churches across Kerala. Christians constitute 23 percent of Kerala’s 33 million population and 50 percent of them are Catholics.