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Pope to confer sainthood on two Blessed from Kerala Sunday

Pope to confer sainthood on two Blessed from Kerala Sunday

Thiruvananthapuram: In a jubilant moment for the Christian community in India, two beatified candidates from Kerala Fr Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia will be conferred sainthood by Pope Francis at Vatican Sunday.

With their canonisation, as the finale of the long-drawn stage-by-stage process is known in Catholic parlance, the centuries-old Syro Malabar Church will have three Saints, the first being Sister Alphonsa, raised to the revered rank in 2008.

According to Church sources here, the Pope will declare Chavara and Euphrasia as Saints during a special mass at St Peter's Square at Vatican.

A large number of devotees, two Cardinals and clergy and nuns from Kerala have already left for Vatican to witness the event. Special prayers will also be held in Catholic churches across the state to mark the occasion.

Two places closely associated to the lives of Chavara and Euprhasia at Mannman in Kottayam and Ollur in Thrissur respectively have already been in the grip of spiritual fervour for the last several days.

Founder of the congregation Carmalites of Mary Immaculate, Fr Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871) was more than a spiritual leader of Syro Malabar Catholic community, that traces its roots to the legendary visit of Saint Thomas the Apostle to the Kerala coast to preach Gospel in India.

Historians and church chroniclers consider him as a social reformer who gave a thrust to secular education of not only Catholics but also to other communities, especially the depressed classes.

The Canonisation procedures in his case began long back and was declared a Venerable in 1984 and beatified in 1986 during the reign of Pope John Paul II, who visited Kerala that year.

Sister Euprhasia was a spiritual person who chose to live in the confines of a convent in Thrissur helping the people who came seeking her support.

"Euprasiamma" to the members of the local community around her convent, she brought spiritual solace to the people who approached her through prayers and wise counsel.

Euphrasia, who died in 1952, was declared Servant of God in 1987 and beatified in 2006 after the approval of a miracle attributed through her intercession by the Vatican panel set up to consider her case for Sainthood.

Apart from the church delegation, an official delegation from India led by P J Kurien, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, will be attending the Canonisation in Vatican.

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