Pope Francis today declared Fr Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia Eluventhinkal from India as Saints at Vatican.
With their Canonisation, as the finale of the long-drawn process is known in Catholic parlance, the centuries old Syro Malabar Catholic Church has three Saints, the first being Sister Alphonsa raised to the revered rank in 2008.
The two from Kerala were declared as Saints during a special mass at St Peter’s Square at Vatican, Syro Malabar Catholic Church sources said here.
According to church scholars, Syro Malabar Church, which traces its origin to the visit of Apostle St Thomas to the Kerala coast in the first century AD, is one of the 22 Eastern Churches in Full Communion with Rome.
The Pope declared Chavara and Euphrasia as Saints during a special mass at St Peter’s Square at Vatican, a moment shared in elation and spiritual fervour by churches across Kerala where the faithful throng in large numbers for thanks giving service and prayers.
A large number of devotees, two Cardinals, bishops and clergy and nuns from Kerala attended the ceremony at Vatican also.
Three places closely associated to the lives of Chavara and Euprhasia at Mannman in Kottayam, Koonammavu in Ernakulam and Ollur in Thrissur have already been in a jubilant mood for the last several days.
Founder of the congregation Carmalites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), F Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871) was more than a spiritual leader of Syro Malabar Catholic community.
Historians and church chroniclers consider him as a social reformer who gave thrust to secular education of not only Catholics but also of children other communities, especially the depressed classes. Incidentally, one of the first institutions he founded was a Sanskrit school.