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India Gets Two More Saints from Kerala After Sr Alphonsa

The catholic community in Kerala seems to be glad as well as proud when the state-born Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia Eluvathingal were declared as saints by Pope Francis in Vatican, on Sunday.

The canonisation took place during a special mass at St Peter’s Square at Vatican, which was witnessed by large number of devotees, two Cardinals, bishops and clergy and nuns from Kerala. The mass was attended by thousands of devotees from all around the world.

Apart from the two saints, four other Italians, Giovanni Antonio Farina, Ludovico da Casoria, Nicola da Longobardi and Amato Ronconi, were also declared as Saints by the Pope during the canonisation mass here.

There were special prayers and meetings held in every place in Kerala, which could be related to them such as birth place, places where they lived and died.

However, with the new saints, the Syro Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala now has three saints. Sister Alphonsa was the first to be the saint from Kerala, who was raised to the revered rank in 2008.

Meanwhile, as per a report, Pope said, "Today the Church places before us the example of these new saints…They dedicated themselves, without holding back, to serving the least and assisting the destitute, sick, elderly and pilgrims. Their preference for the smallest and poorest was the reflection and measure of their unconditional love of God."

Chavara was a Syrian catholic priest and a social reformer, born in 1805. He was the first Prior General of the first men’s congregation men in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, which is now known as the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate as well as for women, which is known as the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel.

He has played an important role in the education of lower level people during 1980s. He is the founder of the concept of “Pallikudam,” where children were provided free education in a school, which was along with every church. Chavara has begun the system of noon-day meals for children. He is also the founder of the first printing press of the Indian Catholic Church at Mannanam in Kottayam district, from which the first Malayalam daily came out. He died in 1871 in Kochi.

Being known as “praying mother,” Euphrasia belonged to the congregation Carmelites of Mother Carmel (CMC). Born in 1877 in Thrissur, she was known for doing miracles which included the healing of a carpenter from bone cancer, reported by the church as first miracle. She died in 1952.

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