The Indian Catholic church has received with immense pride and joy the news of the Canonization of Blessed Alphonsa who was born and brought up in India and of India parents, on 12 October 2008.
Born on 19 August 1910 in an ancient devout Catholic family, She was christened Anna and was affectionately called Annakutty. Although her mother died in her infancy she grew up into a girl of highly cultured and loving nature and was always ready to forgive those who offended her. She was indeed a role model for those doing good to others.
It is said that the quality of the harvest is discernible in the seedling (child is the father of man) As a child she read the biography of St Therese of Lissieux and yearned to become a nun and live a saintly life.
Carried off by her beauty many young men wanted to marry her but she would not listen to any proposals of marriage.
On 17 May 1927, she joined the Clarist Congregation (FCC) at Bharananganam and changed her name to Alphonsa of Mary Immaculate Conception. She took the solemn profession of her vows of charity, poverty and obedience on 12 August 1936.
As a teacher and as an ascetic she exhibited infinite patience and quick readiness to suffer and always turned out to be a role model for others. Moreover whenever she was afflicted with repeated spells of sickness and pain, she bore them uncomplainingly and humbly.
She left for her heavenly abode on 28 July 1946. Numerous miracles have taken place through her intercession. His Holiness Pope John Paul II arrived at Kottayam and beatified her on 8 February 1986, which is indeed an historic event.
Now she is going to be canonized in Rome on Sunday 12 October 2008 by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. I am happy to inform you that the three Catholic dioceses of Kottar, Marthandam, and Thuckalay are jointly organizing celebrations in memory of the canonization at St. Alphonsa Church, A.R.P Camp Road, Nagercoil-2 on Saturday 8 November 2008.
We are duty bound to celebrate the remembrance of the first Indian saint grandly on Sunday 12 October 2008. I also solicit your presence at the celebration which will he held on 8 November 2008 and seek the favours of St. Alphonsa.
May St.Alphonsa who has been working innumerable miracles help all the devotees to grow in divine grace and love.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Remigius,
Bishop of Kottar.