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Priest dies trying to save woman

Former official for Saint Alphonsa cause and his maid electrocuted

Priest dies trying to save woman reporter, Kochi

February 18, 2011

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A former assistant vice postulator, who had a role in the canonization of St Alphonsa, India’s first woman saint, was killed yesterday while trying to save the life of a woman who’d become entangled in a power line. Father Mathew Thondamkuzhy, parish priest of St. George Church Lalam in Kerala’s Palai diocese, died while trying to save his domestic help, Vicar General Father George Choorakkat said. The 63-year-old woman, Achamma George, became entangled in the high-voltage power line while working in the church grounds. Father Thondamkuzhy, who was 72, rushed to try and save the woman after hearing her cries for help, said Father Choorakkat. “He tried to use a plastic rod to save her, but was also electrocuted,” he added. Electricity Board engineers found the two bodies when they went to switch off a transformer before doing maintenance work. “We found the bodies in a partially charred state,” said Uthup Varghese, one of the engineers. Father Thondamkuzhy once served as an assistant vice postulator for the cause of Saint Alphonsa who became India’s first woman saint and the first canonized saint of the Syro-Malabar rite. As assistant vice postulator he helped the vice postulator in preparing documentation, collecting artifacts and investigating reported miracles that were used to elevate the nun to sainthood. IB13340.1641

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