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Blessed Rani Maria Vattalil | Saint of the day
Thursday, 25 February 2021

Mariam Vattalil was born at Pulluvazhy, Kerala, India, on 29 January 1954 as the second of seven children to Paily and Eliswa Vattalil. Her baptism was celebrated at the Church of Saint Thomas on the following 5 February with her name being chosen in honour of the Mother of God. She joined the Franciscan Clarist Congregation at Kidangoor and assumed the religious name of “Rani Maria”.

From 1985 to 1992 she spent time in a convent in Kerala and received a degree in sociology. She was later transferred to Udainagar, Madhya Pradesh and arrived there on 18 May 1992. It was here she became vocal in matters of social justice which led to her gruesome assassination on 25 February 1995 by Samundar Singh, a hired hit man of the rich landlords who were angry with her work among the landless labourers. The murderer got into the bus in which she was travelling along with a rich landlord Jeevan Singh. Samundar Singh asked the bus driver to stop the bus and got out of it to break a coconut on a rock by the side of the road. The Hindus believe that they should break a coconut before they start any auspicious or religious work which reminds one of what Jesus said (John 16: 2), “Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God.”

True to this Samundar Singh stabbed Rani Maria more than fifty times and left her on the wayside bleeding. Samundar Singh was forgiven by Rani Maria’s family and she was beatified on 4 November 2017 in Indore.

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