Chavara Kuriakose, Euphrasia to be canonised

Blessed Chavara Kuriakose Elias and Mother Euphrasia will be canonised by the Catholic Church later this year after Pope Francis approved the miracles attributed to them.

Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry told reporters here at a press conference that Pope Francis approved the report on the elevation of the two candidates to sainthood and the miracles attributed to them. Though he did not specify a date, the canonisation is expected to take place in October.

A handout said Archbishop Antonius Petti, the promoter general of faith for the causes of saints, Rome, presented Chavara to Pop John Paul II in 1983 ‘‘as a pearl truly Indian and oriental,’’ requesting him for the beatification of the servant of God Chavara. What was said then has been reaffirmed by illustrious persons such as the late John Paul II and R. Venkitaraman, former President of India.

Chavara Kuriakose Elias, a social reformer, publisher, educator and founder of the order of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate was beatified by Pope John Paul II in February 1986. He was born near Alappuzha in 1805 and he founded the CMI on May 11, 1831, and CMC on February 13, 1866. He died at Koonammavu, near here, in 1871.

Blessed Chavara was responsible for introducing noon day meals in schools, a practice later adopted by the Rulers of Travancore.

Mother Euphrasia was a member of the order of the Sisters of the Congregation of Mother of Carmel, founded by Blessed Chavara Kuriakose Elias.

She was beatified by Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil at a public function in Ollur, near Thrissur, in 2006.

A handout distributed at the press conference described Blessed Euphrasia as a humble CMC nun who has personalised prayer heritage of Carmel and lived according to the divine inspirations and rose to the heights of Santiti.

To Blessed Kuriakose is attributed the miraculous cure of a young girl of her squint eye in 2009. To Blessed Euphresia is attributed the miraculous cure of thyroglossal cyst in a boy in 2006.

The two beatifieds moved closer to sainthood six years after another member of the Syro-Malabar Church, Sister Alphonsa of Bharananganam, was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2008.

Blessed Kuriakose’s commemorative feast is on January 3. Mother Euphrasia was born at Kattur, near Thrissur, to the wealthy Elavunthinkal family in 1877 and overcame stiff resistance from her parents to join a religious order and take her vows. Mother Euphrasia was appointed Superior of the St. Mary’s Convent, Ollur, in 1913. Her feast day falls on August 29. She died at the convent at Ollur in 1952 at the age of 75.

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