Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The "mother who prays", aka Eluvathingal Sister Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart, is saint. The announcement has been made public after the Pope Francis' decision, who this morning held the ordinary public consistory for the canonization of Sister Euphrasia and five other blessed. The Pope decreed that the blessed will be enrolled among the saints on November 23 2014, the Feast of Christ King of the Universe.
The new saint was born Rosa Eluvathingal on 7 October 1877 in a Syro-Malabar Catholic Nasrani family in the village of Kattoor, near the city of Thrissur in Kerala, India. Rosa was the eldest child of wealthy landowners, Cherpukaran Antony and Kunjethy Eluvathingal. She was baptized on 25 October 1877 in the Mother of Carmel Church in Edathuruthy. Her mother was a devout Syrian Catholic, who taught her to pray the rosary and to participate in the Mass. At the age of nine, Rose is said to have experienced an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which led her to make a commitment never to marry, and to commit her entire life to God.
As she grew older, Rose desired to enter the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel, who follow the Rule of the Third Order of the Discalced Carmelites. Her father opposed this as he wanted to arrange a marriage for her with the son of one of the other prosperous families in the region. Seeing her resolve, her father finally relented, and himself accompanied her to the convent. When she was ten, she entered the boarding school attached to the first indigenous Carmelite community in the Syro-Malabar Church, founded by Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Rev. Leopold Beccaro 1866 at Koonammavu in Ernakulam district.
In 1897, Mar John Menachery, the first native Bishop of Thrissur, established a Carmelite Convent in Ambazakad (now belonging to the Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Irinjalakuda). On May 9 he brought from Koonammavu all who belonged to his Diocese including Rosa. The next day Rosa was received as a postulant, taking the name Sister Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and was admitted to the novitiate of the congregation on 10 January 1898. The constant ill health she experienced, however, threatened her stay in the convent, as the Superiors considered dismissing her.
Sister Euphrasia made her solemn profession on 24 May 1900, during the blessing of the newly founded convent at Ollur. After she took her perpetual vows, she was appointed assistant to the Novice Mistress. Though frail in health, Euphrasia exhibited rare moral courage, and a very high sense of responsibility and in 1904 she was soon appointed Novice Mistress of the Congregation in which position she worked for nine years. In 1913 she was made Mother Superior of St. Mary's Convent, Ollur, where she was to live the rest of her life, serving as Mother Superior until 1916.
Despite these duties, she endeavored to lead a life of constant prayer and of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, becoming known by many people as the "Praying Mother." Mother Euphrasia spent much of her day in the convent chapel before the Blessed Sacrament, to which she had a strong devotion. Mother Euphrasia died on August 29, 1952 at the Ollur Convent. Her tomb at the convent has become a pilgrimage site as miracles have been reported by some of the faithful.
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 5, 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 3, 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 3 April 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 will be in November, 2014.