India to have a new saint: Sister Mariam Thresia, "like Mother Teresa of Calcutta"
Pope Francis announces the canonization date during the ordinary public consistory: October 13th. The Indian nun was a mystic and dedicated her life to the Lord to serve the poor and the sick.
New Delhi (AsiaNews) - India will soon have a new saint: Sister Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan, founder of the congregation of the sisters of the Holy Family. Pope Francis decided this today during the ordinary public Consistory held in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace. Together with the Indian nun, the pontiff gave the green light for the canonization of five other blesseds. The ceremony with which they will be raised to the altar of the saints will take place next October 13th.
The Indian religious of Kerala is known for her charitable works, above all for her preferential ove for the poor. For this reason, many see in her a marked resemblance to Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Sr. Mariam Thresia was declared venerable on June 28, 1999 and beatified April 9, 2000 by Pope John Paul II. Born in Puthenchira (Kerala) on 26 April 1876, the blessed died in Kuzhikkattussery (also in Kerala) on 8 June 1926. On 12 February last Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree recognizing the miracle attributed to her, thus paving the way for her canonization.
Of noble origins, the Blessed lived a life of penance, prayer and fasting. At 10 years of age she disobeyed her parents who wanted her to marry, choosing instead a life of austerity and simplicity. She slept on the gravel of her home garden, rather than in a bed , because "I cannot sleep comfortably, if Jesus was hung on the Cross with three nails".
From the age of 12, after the death of her mother, she dedicated herself to the care of the sick and the dying, consecrating her life to the Lord. In 1909 she received the stigmata and the bishop ordered that she be subjected to exorcism. Throughout her life she kept the wounds secret, so as not to draw attention to herself.
The religious was a mystic. She spent whole days in meditation and prayer, or decorating and cleaning the church altar. Her entire existence was tormented by demons and she offered her sufferings for the remission of the sins of the world. She led a life of austere penance, continuing to visit the sick and poor of every social and religious background until his last days.
The congregation she founded in 1914 today has about 2 thousand nuns and 200 novices. The order manages schools, hospitals, nursing schools, high schools, hostels, homes for mentally and physically disabled, social centers and homeopathic clinics.