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Pope declares bishop venerable

Worked for spiritual renewal, now takes next step to sainthood reporter, Kochi

April 5, 2011

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The founder of the Sisters of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament congregation (SABS) Bishop Thomas Kurialassery has been declared venerable by Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope signed the decree on April 2, said Sister Benjamin Mary, vice-postulator for Venerable Bishop Kurialassery. “I’ve been working as vice-postulator for the last seven years. This news makes us happy and proud as he founded the Adoration congregation,” the 70-year-old sister said. Born on January 14, 1873, Venerable Thomas Kurialassery was ordained a priest on May 27, 1899 and consecrated bishop on December 3, 1911. He was based in the Southern Indian state of Kerala. The prelate worked for spiritual renewal and his apostolic activities were inspired by devotion to the Holy Eucharist. He founded the SABS congregation in 1908 and died in Rome on June 2, 1925. His mortal remains were brought back to Changanacherry in 1935 and interred in the Metropolitan Cathedral Church. Sister Mary said the cause of beatification was started in 1983. “We are witnessing a regular flow of pilgrims where his mortal remains are kept. Hundreds of people visit the cathedral church and offer prayers,” she said. Forty-three witnesses were examined and 100 documents were submitted illustrating his heroic virtues, Sister Mary said. “Now with one convincing miracle, he will be elevated as Blessed and we are all looking forward to that day,” she added. Sister Rose Kate, mother general of the congregation expressed her happiness at the founder’s elevation. Following Sister Alphonsa, the first Indian woman saint, a dozen clergymen from Kerala, are undergoing the process of canonization. Prominent among those who are a step closer to attaining sainthood is Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara. The priest was declared “Blessed” along with Sister Alphonsa in 1986. IB13868.1648
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