Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sister Alphonsa of Kottayam

From The Times of India:
"The Catholic Church in India will have its first woman saint on October 12 when Pope Benedict XVI canonises Sister Alphonsa of Kottayam, Kerala, 62 years after she died.

Till now, all eyes had been on Mother Teresa’s sainthood process. Sister Alphonsa’s name came up suddenly in March this year. It was then realised that the Kerala nun had been in line for sainthood long before Mother Teresa died in 1997.

The sainthood will be announced at a ceremony at the Vatican for which preparations are on in full swing.

Born Anna Muttathupadathu in 1910 in Kudamaloor, near Kottayam, Sister Alphonsa lost her mother at an early age and was brought up by her maternal aunt. The family wanted to marry young Anna off, but she was keen on following the religious path. She assumed the name, Alphonsa, after joining the Franciscan Clarist convent in Bharananganam in 1927.

Sister Alphonsa died when she was 36 after a prolonged illness and a life of immense suffering. She had accidentally stepped on burning embers and badly burnt her feet and legs up to her knees. But the incident also earned her a reprieve from the marriage. After joining the convent, she had bouts of haemorrhage, malaria, pneumonia and even tuberculosis and was mostly confined to bed.

Her beatification was ordained by Pope John Paul II in February 1986. In June 2007, Pope Benedict XVI authorized her canonization after he approved a miracle attributed to her. After lengthy deliberations, the Vatican identified the healing of a one-year-old boy in Kerala, Jinil, who could not walk because of a congenital disability. Jinil began walking the day his parents took him to Sister Alphonsa’s tomb for prayers. Sister Alphonsa will be the second Christian saint from India after Gonsalo Garcia and the first woman."


From The News Tribune:
"Christian leaders hailed the move to canonize Sister Alphonsa, a nun from southern India, saying it would provide solace to Christians who have been victims of violent attacks by Hindu mobs in eastern and southern India in recent months.

The Vatican's canonization procedures require that two miracles be attributed to the candidate. After the church confirms one miracle, the person is beatified - and put on the road to sainthood.

In 1986, the church credited Sister Alphonsa with healing a boy with a club foot, said Dominic Vechor, chancellor of the Palai Diocese in Kerala.

The second miracle attributed to the nun, Vechor said, also involved healing the club foot of a baby boy, Jinil Shahji. Shahji, now 10 years old, has traveled to Rome with his family to watch Sunday's ceremony, Vechor said.

It was through her own feet that Sister Alphonsa, who was born in the southern Indian state of Kerala in 1910, expressed her religious devotion. According to a Vatican biography, she stepped on hot coals to burn and disfigure her feet to escape an arranged marriage and become a nun."


From The Australia:
"Many Indian clergy and pilgrims are expected to attend the special mass at the Vatican for Alphonsa Muttathupadathu, who died in 1946, aged 36.

She is the second Indian to be elevated to sainthood. The first, 16th-century martyr Gonsalo Garcia, was canonised in 1862. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who died in 1997, was beatified in 2003 - the first step to sainthood.

Christians account for 2.3per cent of India's billion-plus, mostly Hindu, population."


From Fox News:
"Christian leaders hailed the move to canonize Sister Alphonsa, a nun from southern India, saying it would provide solace to Christians who have been victims of violent attacks by Hindu mobs in eastern and southern India in recent months.

"We can draw certain spiritual consolation from her canonization. This means we have one more saint in heaven who is from India and whom we can approach to intercede," said Dominic Emmanuel, a spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India."


1 comment:

god said...

there are many indian womens who are much greater and bigger(in religious) then alphonso but they are not greddy of getting any position,they do good work any forgot it and dont beleive in showoff by their reilgious peoples... true saint not FAKE