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St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara

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St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara

Saint  Kuriakose Elias Chavara

St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara is a native of India, born at Kainakary in Kerala on 10th February 1805 of an indigenous family. He had his formation in the religious Institute of the place, was ordained Priest on 29th November 1829 and became a religious on 8th December 1855 worked among and for the people of his country. He was engaged in apostolic activities all along his native land and his days full of merit came to a close at Koonammavu on 3rd Jan. 1871, lamented an admired by all.

Fr. Chavara was a true apostle of the renovation of the Christian life of Malabar. He was the initiator of the organized works of charity in Kerala. He started the first Catholic Printing Press in Kerala, founded schools not only for the Catholics but also for those belonging to other religious and esp. for those belonging to the lower castes. He was a true apostle of the sanctity of family life. He worked unceasingly for the spiritual renewal of the family, formulating norms and rules for leading an upright life. He was the reformer and organizer of the Syro malabar liturgy.

He was a man of Prayer in whom contemplation and action was blended so beautifully well. He founded the first indigenous religious congregation for men at Mannanam. He was much aggrieved at the absence of a religious congregation for women in the apostolic Church of St. Thomas. He longed for a house of sanctity where the girls of this land could learn spiritual matters and grow up as good Christians. His long cherished desire and the results of his several attempts, in 1866 on Feb 13, with the co - operation of Fr. Leopold Beccaro, Carmelite missionary, the first Carmelite convent of the sisters was inaugurated at Koonamavu, under the name "Third order of the Discalced Carmelites''. The motive of starting such an institute of religious life was not only for the self sanctification but also to help others in both spiritual and material matters. The congregation which began with 4 candidates is grow with 6300 members work in different part of the country and abroad. By this the Kerala women who were for the life confined to the kitchen at home, were brought to the limelight for the service of womenfolk. We do involve today in education, Pastoral social work, and healing ministry.

Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara (CMC Founder )

1805 Feb . 10 Birth at Kainakary
1829 Nov. 29 Ordination at Arthunkal
1831 May 11 Establishment of first Indigenous Religious Congregation for Men at Mannanam with Fr. Thomas Palackel and Fr. Thomas Porukara.
1855 Dec. 8 Canonical erection of the CMI Congregation and Religious Profession of Fr. Chavara and others
1861 Raised as the Vicar General of Syrian Catholics by Bp. Bernardine Baccinelli
1866 Feb. 13 Establishment of First Religious Congregation for the women(CMC) at Koonammavu with the help of Fr.Leopold Beccarro OCD
1871 Jan . 03 Death at St. Philominas Monastery, Koonammavu
1984 April 07 Declared as Venerable by Pope John Paul II
1986 Feb. 08 Declared as Blessed by Pope John Paul II
Jan.03 Feast of Bl. Kuriakose Elias Chavara
2014 Nov. 23 Canonization of Kuriakose Elias Chavara by Pope Francis.