Kerala Church celebrates Canonizations of Fr Chavara and Sr Euphrasia
The Catholic Church in India is set to celebrate the canonization of Fr Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the co-founder of the Carmalites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) and Sister Euphrasia Eluvathinkal of the Congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC), who will be elevated as Saints at a function to be held in Vatican on November 23, 2014. Vatican recognised that miracles happened through their intercession. Fr Chavara was declared Servant of God in 1984 and as Blessed in 1986. Sr Euphrasia was declared Servant of God in 2002 and as Blessed in 2006.
Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC)
The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) has decided to ask the State Government and the Central Government to send an official delegation to Rome to attend the function. A team of bishops, priests, laymen and religious men and women will also attend the ceremony. The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church will celebrate a thanks-giving Holy Mass in Vatican on November 24.
It is expected that Pope Francis will address and bless the delegation from India after the mass by Mar George Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamali. The celebration of the canonization has to be a celebration of Kerala. “A thanks-giving mass will also be celebrated and a public meeting will be held at the Rajagiri campus, Kakkanad on November 29. A circular will be issued to all the parishes in this regard,” KCBC President Cardinal Baselios Cleemis said.
When asked about the differences of opinion between the Latin Catholic Church and the Syro-Malabar communities over the resting place of Fr Chavara, Cardinal Cleemis said that all places associated with Fr Chavara are considered sacred by the Catholic Church.
Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara
Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara was the co-founder and first Prior General of the first congregation for men in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, now known as the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate and of a similar one for women, the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel. He was born on February 10, 1805, at Kainakary, Kerala in a Saint Thomas Christian family. He died on January 3, 1871, aged 66, at Koonammavu, of natural causes.
In 1955, Mar Mathew Kavukattu, Archbishop of Changanacherry, received instructions from Rome to start diocese-level procedure towards the canonisation. On April 07, 1984, Pope John Paul II approved the Servant of God, Kuriakose Elias Chavara's practice of heroic virtues and declared him "Venerable". He was beatified at Kottayam on February 08, 1986, by Pope John Paul II, in the course of a papal visit to India.
On April 03, 2014, Pope Francis authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decrees concerning the miracle attributed to Kuriakose Elias' intercession. On June 12, 2014, the Pope decreed that Blessed Kuriakose Elias be inscribed in the roll call of Saints on November 23, 2014.
Blessed Euphrasia Eluvathingal
Blessed Euphrasia Eluvathingal or Sister Euphrasia of the Congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC) was an Indian Carmelite Religious Sister of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church which is an Eastern Catholic Church and a part of the Saint Thomas Christian community in Kerala. She was born Rosa Eluvathingal on October 07, 1877 in a Syro-Malabar Catholic Nasrani family in the village of Kattoor, near the city of Thrissur in Kerala, India. She died on August 29, 1952 at the Ollur Convent.
Mar Joseph Kundukulam, the Archbishop of Thrissur instituted the Diocesan Tribunal for the Cause of Mother Euphrasia in 1987 by declaring her 'Servant of God'. On July 05, 2002, Pope John Paul II, recognized her heroic virtue of Euphrasia, declaring her 'Venerable'. A miracle attributed to her intercession and approved by the Vatican in June 2006 concerned the apparent healing of a carpenter from bone cancer. On December 03, 2006, she was beatified in St. Anthony's Forane Church, Ollur, Thrissur, with the declaration of the Major Archbishop, Varkey Vithayathil on behalf of the Pope Benedict XVI.
On April 03, 2014, Pope Francis authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decrees concerning the miracle attributed to Evuprasiamma' intercession. This confirms Pope's approval of Evuprasiamma' canonisation. The canonisation ceremony is held on November 23, 2014.
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