Blessed Maria Theresa Chiramel
Blessed Maria Theresa Chiramel Mankidiyan, the servant of GOD and founderss of the Congregation of Holy Family, known as Mother Maria Theresa Chiramel and she was a Syro-Malabarese Catholic Nun. She was declared venerable on June 28, 1999 and was beatified on April 9, 2000 by Pope John Paul II. She was the fifth person from India be beatified. She sacrificed herself for others, with a preferential love for the poorest of the poor and so practicing the evangelical virtue of charity in heroic degree.
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Childhood and Getting Baptism
Name: Maria Theresa Chiramel
Born: April 26, 1876, Puthenchira
Mother: Thanda Chiramel
Mission Work: Puthenchira, Thrissur
Died: June 8, 1926, Kuzhikattussery
Honored in: Roman Catholic Church
Beatified: April 09, 2000
Her feast day: June 08.
She used to fast four times a week and prayed the rosary several times a day. By the age of 10, Thresia promised Jesus that she would belong to Him alone for life. "From childhood my soul agonized with an intense desire to love GOD". By the age of 11 she was helping teach younger students the catechism. In 1888, her beloved mother died when she was 12 years old. She had no formal education as her mother died in her elementary school education, however, emerged as a great educationist and social reformer. She always worked for the poor and the sick and especially the downtrodden in the society and she dedicated herself to prayer in her church, to the service of the poor and sick and to the comfort of lonely people in her parish.
Spiritual Life of Maria Thresia
|Maria Theresa Chiramel|
She saw them frequently in her visions and received guidance in her apostolate, especially for the conversion of sinners. She prayed for sinners, fasted for their conversion and visited them and exhorted them to repentance. Her ascetical and penitential practices are reminiscing of the extreme rigor of the ancient hermits and monks. She received several mystical gifts like prophecy, healing, aura of light, sweet odour. And like St. Teresa of Avila she had frequent ecstasies and levitations. On Fridays people used to gather to see Maria Thresia lifted high and hanging in the form of a crucifix on the wall of her room.
Like the well-known Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, she too bore the stigmata, carefully hiding it from public view. Perhaps to help her keep humble amidst such mystical favours, the Lord let her be tormented by diabolical attacks and vexations (again like Padre Pio) almost all through her life. She was repeatedly submitted to exorcism between 1902 and 1905 by Father Joseph Vithayathil, the parish priest of Puthenchira, acting under orders of the bishop, who wondered if she was simply a play thing of the devils. Thresia submitted to the bishop's orders with exemplary humility, but the exorcisms seem to have made some people regard Maria Thresia as a dubious saint, even as Saint Mary Magdalene, was eventually identified with the unnamed sinful woman in the Gospel (Luke 7: 36-50) on the presumption that a possessed person must be a sinner.
Did you know? Amy Wilson Carmichael who belongs to Australia, came to India in 1903
|Holy Family Convent|
Father Joseph Vithayathil
In 1903 she requested permission to build a house of prayer and retreat, but Apostolic Vicar Mar John Menacherry, the Archbishop of Trichur refused the request, and recommended that she test her vocation, as a child she was known as Thresia. After 1904, she wanted to be called Mariam Thresia as she believed that she was asked to add "Mariam" to her name by the Blessed Virgin Mary in a vision.
Foundation of the Congregation of the Holy Family
|Statue of Maria Theresa|
The new congregation grew under the guidance and nurturance of Mother Maria Thresia. She built, in less than twelve years, three new convents, two schools, two hostels, a study house, and an orphanage. Today, the Congregation of the Holy Family has 1584 professed Sisters, serving in Kerala, in the mission areas of North India, in Germany, Italy and Ghana, with a total of 176 houses in 7 provinces and 119 novices.
After Maria Thresia
|Grave of Maria Theresa|
Maria Theresa Chiramel Quotations
I do strongly believe that GOD will not ask us to suffer anything beyond our capacity.
You must have the awareness that you are in the presence of GOD.
Don't talk too much. What is the advantage of it? You talk as if you were honest and just. Only GOD knows the inside and outside.
Death will catch hold of us like a thief. Nobody knows at what age and when it happens. When we die, we have to leave everything here on earth.
Love one another; help one another.
Suffer all the difficulties patiently and without murmuring.
Have you ever been to Devasahayam Pillai mountain?