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India

Remembering India's St Alphonsa

The Times of India delves into the story of St Alphonsa, the first person of Indian origin canonized.

Updated: July 26, 2011 09:14 AM GMT
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Remembering India's St Alphonsa
Saint Alphonsa birth centenary commemorative coin released by the Reserve Bank of India
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Though the origin of Christianity in India dates back to 52 CE, when St Thomas, an apostle of Jesus Christ, came to the sub-continent, it was only in 2008 that a person of Indian origin was recognised by the Catholic Church as a saint. (Mary Joseph, Times of India) A saint is someone who has demonstrated holiness and sanctity by leading an exemplary, virtuous life. Such a person is usually, but not always, recognised after death by others as someone who lived a Divine life and who is in the Divine presence even after death. ... When Annakutty or 'Little Ann' was three months old, her mother died, entrusting Annakutty to the care of her sister Annamma Muricken. Annakutty's aunt brought her up with discipline. The family played a key role in her faith formation and love for Christ as all members attended regular evening prayers, observed weekly abstinence and participated in the Eucharistic celebration. Soon, Christ became a reality for Annakutty and the urge to pledge her life in His service became strong. She joined the Franciscan Clarist Congregation and became a nun. She subsequently received the postulant's veil and took on the name Alphonsa. She suffered a series of ailments, including liver problems, and once remarked: "I feel that the Lord has destined me to be an oblation, a sacrifice of suffering... I consider a day in which I have not suffered as a day lost to me". FULL STORY People's Saint (Times of India) PHOTO CREDIT Pratheep P S on Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0

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