Saint from God’s Own Country: Sister Mariam Thresia’s life and times
The canonisation of the founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family at St Peter’s square will make her only the fourth Indian to be declared a saint by the Vatican.Updated: Oct 13, 2019 13:05 IST
Sister Mariam Thresia from Kerala’s Thrissur district will be ordained a saint by Pope Francis in the Vatican on Sunday, 19 years after she was beatified.
The canonisation of the founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family at St Peter’s square will make her only the fourth Indian to be declared a saint by the Vatican.
Before her, St Alphonsa, St Kuriakose Elias Chavara, St Euphrasia have been ordained a saint. St Alphonsa was the first from the country to receive sainthood in 2008.
Here is more about Mariam Thresia’s life:
Sister Thresia was born as Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan on April 26, 1876, in Thrissur district’s Puthenchira and belonged to the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.
She was the third of five children, two boys and three girls, of Thoma and Thanda. She was baptised seven days after her birth on May 3, 1876, in the parish church of Puthenchira. She was given the name Thresia after St Teresa of Avila.
Mariam Thresia made a vow to remain chaste in 1886. She rose in the religious hierarchy through sheer sacrifice and dedication and founded the Holy Family Congregation in 1914.
The Congregation of the Holy Family has over 1,500 sisters, serving in Kerala, north India, Germany, Italy and Ghana, with 176 houses in seven provinces and 119 novices.
She died on June 8, 1926, from a wound on her leg at Kuzhikkattussery of Thrissur district.
Sister Thresia was declared venerable on June 28, 1999, and beatified or Blessed on April 9, 2000, by Pope St John Paul II in Rome.
Pope Francis had authorised a decree on February 12 recognising a miracle through her intercession, which cleared her for sainthood, and on July 1, he decided October 13 as the canonisation day.
The miracle attributed to Thresia is that “she saved the life of a baby born prematurely in Amala Hospital in Thrissur in 2009”.