Euphrasia Eluvathingal

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Blessed Euphrasia Eluvathingal
Euphrasia Eluvathingal.JPG
Blessed Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, C.M.C.
Born October 7, 1877
Edathuruthy, Thrissur District, Kerala, British India
Died August 29, 1952
Ollur, Kerala, India
Honored in
Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Beatified December 3, 2006, Ollur by Mar Varkey Vithayathil
Feast August 29

Blessed Euphrasia Eluvathingal or Sister Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus C.M.C. (October 7, 1877 – August 29, 1952) was an Indian Carmelite Religious Sister of the Syro-Malabar Church which is an Eastern Catholic Church and a part of the Saint Thomas Christian community in Kerala. Her canonization was announced on April 3, 2014.[1][2] [3] [4] [5]

Early life[edit]

She 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.[6] 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.[1]

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.[6] When she was ten, she entered the boarding school attached to the first indigenous Carmelite community in the Syro-Malabar Church, founded by Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Rev. Leopold Beccaro 1866 at Koonammavu in Ernakulam district.

Religious Life[edit]

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 is said to have had a vision of the Holy Family, at which point the illness she had long felt ceased. Sister Euphrasia made her solemn profession on 24 May 1900,[1] 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.[1]

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."[2][6][7] Mother Euphrasia spent much of her day in the convent chapel before the Blessed Sacrament, to which she had a strong devotion. She also nourished a great love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary.[1] 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.

The bed where Blessed Euphrasia took her last breath in St Mary's convent, Ollur, Thrissur, shown in the museum.

Veneration[edit]

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.

Apostolic nuncio to India Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana and Archbishop Jacob Thoomkuzhy of Syro-Malabar Catholic Archdiocese of Thrissur joined 30 prelates and 500 priests for the beatification events. Ollur parish belongs to Syro-Malabar Catholic Archdiocese of Thrissur, part of the Syro-Malabar Church, one of the two Catholic Oriental-rites based in Kerala. Her feast day is August 29. 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.[9] This confirms Pope's approval of Evuprasiamma' canonisation.[10] The canonisation ceremony is on 23rd of November 2014.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Bl. Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus", Vatican News Service
  2. ^ a b "Praying mother in beatification list". Times Of India. June 30, 2006. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  3. ^ The New, Indian Expres. "Euphrasia sainthood". 
  4. ^ Euphrasia, Eluvathingal. "Euphrasia". The New Indian Express. 
  5. ^ Euphrasia Eluvathingal, Ollur, Thrissur. "Euphrasia sainthood along with Chavara Kuriakose Elias". The Hindu. 
  6. ^ a b c Congregation of the Mother of Carmel "Blessed Mother Euphrasia"
  7. ^ "Cured Catholic cancer patient recalls miraculous intercession of 'praying nun'". Catholic Online. Retrieved 2011-07-06.