05/02/2006, 00.00
Send to a friend

60,000 attend beatification of Fr Thevarparampil

The ceremony in Ramapuram, Kerala, was presided over by Cardinal Vithayathil in the name of the pope: let us be inspired by the exemplary life of this Blessed, who ranged himself on the side of the most vulnerable.

Ramapuram (AsiaNews/UCAN) – Around 60,000 people gathered last Sunday 30 April, in Ramapuram, a village in Kerala, for the beatification of Fr Augustinus Thevarparampil. Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil presided over the ceremony and declared the priest, who died 32 years ago, as Blessed, in the name of Benedict XVI. The cardinal read the proclamation of beatification first in Latin and then in Malayalam, the language of Kerala State, southern India. Then bells started to ring out, fireworks went off and the choir chanted the name of the new Blessed.

Fr Thevarparampil, better known as Kunjachan (little priest) because of his small stature, worked and died in Ramapuran, the location of the parish of St Augustine of the diocese of Palai. This is where the beatification ceremony took place: it took four hours and was attended by 50 bishops, 500 priests and 8,000 sisters. Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio of India, was present together with Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi, the chairman of the Indian Bishops' Conference.

Cardinal Vithayathil said: "The exemplary life of Blessed Thevarparampil should inspire us. That is what God expects from us." He said the blessed priest worked for Dalits (Indian outcastes), trying to improve their lives socially, economically and spiritually. This commitment earned him the title of "Apostle of the untouchables".

Fr Thevarparampil was very popular even before his beatification. His tomb, in the parish of the village, has long been a place of pilgrimage for people from Kerala and the rest of India. Born in 1891, the Church has fixed his feast day on 16 October, the day in 1973 when he died. He is the sixth Indian, the fourth from Kerala, to be beatified.

Photos: Ucanews

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Fr Thevarparampil, "apostle of the untouchables", to be beatified
Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life
24/10/2019 17:56
"Apostle of the Untouchables" to be beatified
Catholic music to promote dialogue in Ambon, the city of sectarian violence
17/10/2018 13:29
Maharashtra: police disperse Dalit rally by force


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”