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India's Eastern Church gets ready for fourth canonization

Blessed Mariam Thresia focused on peace and reconciliation of families in southern state of Kerala

India's Eastern Church gets ready for fourth canonization

The pictures of five saintly people hang in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square on Oct. 11, ahead of their canonization ceremony on Oct. 13. India's Blessed Mariam Thresia (fourth from left) belongs to the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church. (Photo supplied)

Published: October 11, 2019 10:18 AM GMT

Updated: October 11, 2019 10:21 AM GMT

Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry and some 50 bishops of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church are in Rome for the canonization of Blessed Mariam Thresia, the fourth saint from the Church based in India's Kerala state.

Blessed Mariam Thresia, founder of the Holy Family Congregation, will be canonized on Oct. 13 along with four other Blessed people.

"Preparations for the canonization have reached the final stage in the Vatican," said church spokesman Father Antony Thalachelloor.

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Representatives of the federal government and Kerala state and close family members of the saint are also are scheduled to attend the ceremony, the priest told ucanews from the Vatican.

"It will be a proud moment for the entire Church in India," Father Thalachelloor said.

Blessed Thresia will become the fourth saint from the Syro-Malabar Church. The others from the 4-million-strong Church are St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, St. Euphrasia and St. Alphonsa.

Some 50 bishops from the Church's 37 dioceses were already at the Vatican in the first week of October for their ad limina apostolorum visit. It is a customary visit that all Catholic bishops must undertake every five years.

Father Thalachelloor said an image of Blessed Thresia was installed on Oct. 10 in St. Peter's Square along with the pictures of four others due to be canonized.

The others to be canonized are Blessed John Henry Newman from England, Blessed Josephine Vannini from Italy, Blessed Irmã Dulce Pontes from Brazil and Blessed Marguerite Bays from Switzerland.

Father Thalachelloor said a special prayer meet will be held at Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome on Oct. 12. Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will lead the prayer program.

The saintly nun was born in Puthenchira village of Kerala's present Trissur district on April 26, 1876. She began the Holy Family Congregation in 1914 by becoming its first member. She died on June 8, 1926, and was declared venerable on June 28, 1999.

The nun, "with indomitable energy and utter trust in divine providence," built in less than 12 years three new convents, two schools, two hostels, a study house and an orphanage, a Vatican document said. She worked with families to bring peace and reconciliation. 

Pope John Paul II, who later became a saint, beatified her in 2000. Pope Francis formally approved her canonization on July 1 this year.

Church officials from Kerala handed over some part of the nun's bones to the Vatican as relics in a monstrance.

The day after the canonization, Cardinal Alencherry will offer a thanksgiving Mass along with Syro-Malabar bishops in the Vatican.


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