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Pope to canonise Kerala nun in 2008

india Updated: Jun 05, 2007 18:58 IST

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The Vatican has cleared the canonisation process of Sister Alphonsa.

Pope Benedict XVI has approved the canonization on June 1 and Sister Alphonsa would be India's first Catholic saint.

"Our hearts are filled with joy as one of a member of our congregation is being elevated to sainthood," said Sister Gorethi, a nun from the order of Poor Clares.

Though no date have been mentioned, it is expected the Blessed Alphonsa would become Saint Alphonsa in 2008.

Born Anna Muttathupadathu to Joseph and Mary Muttathupadathu on August 19, 1910, near Kottayam, Sister Alphonsa was popular with children.

Nicknamed "Annakutty," she lost her mother early, and was raised by a maternal aunt.

Alphonsa joined the Poor Clares in 1927 and received her postulant's veil in 1928. She also taught at a school in Vakakkad.

Throughout her life, Sister Alphonsa suffered from severe illness, but recovered every time. She died on July 28, 1946.