St. Mariam Thresia – June 08

Mariam Thresia was born in 1876, to a reputable family in Puthenchira, Kerala. Mariam Thresia was born as the third child of Thoma Chiramel Mankidiyan and Thanda from the Mangali family of Thuravoor, on Wednesday 26, April 1876. She was given the name Thresia after St. Teresa of Avila. Since her mother had a deep knowledge of God, She could impart proper faith formation to her child Thresia.

Mariam Thresia always had an inner quest to know more about God and the divine mystery. It led her towards God and interior life who said “From child hood my soul pained with intense thirst to love God” (Autobiography). This thirst might have helped her exclaim that “The knowledge of God is the greatest knowledge than every other knowledge”.

When her mother Thanda died in the year 1888, Thresia was only 12 years old. She adopted the Blessed Mother as her own mother and found consolation in it. After the death of her mother she received all sorrows, pains and hardships with surprising equanimity. She was consoled by the celestial visions, especially those of the Holy Family when she was tortured by the devil with trials and tribulations.

Mariam Thresia had undergone severe diabolic attacks, physical tortures and mental agonies. Eventually she conquered the powers of darkness and exorcised the evil Spirit from the places and the persons while ministering the families. She was blessed with mystical experiences. Jesus would come to her often in different forms from her younger days. The name ‘Mariam’ was added by the Blessed Virgin Mary to her name ‘Thresia’ to make her ‘Mariam Thresia’ on 8 December 1904. Even though the signs of the passion of the Lord had begun to be shown in her from 1905, God imprinted in her the five wounds of Jesus visibly in 1909, thus making her the stigmatic in India. Jesus would celebrate the Holy Eucharist in her room and give her the Holy Communion.

At the time of the blessing of the convent and chapel at Thumbur six Postulants received the veil and seven Novices were given the religious habit. On account of the rush of the people assembled, a portion of the railings of the sanctuary collapsed and fell on Saint Mariam Thresia’s leg as she was kneeling and praying there. She did not take the wound seriously. She was taken to a doctor at the Government Hospital, Chalakudy, who recommended an operation. However, her condition simply worsened. When the wound was declared fatal, she was brought to Kuzhikkattussery on 7 June 1926 and Fr. Joseph Vithayathil gave her the anointment of the sick and the holy viaticum.

The following day the Sisters and the formees of the convents of Thumbur and Trichur came and joined with the Sisters of Kuzhikkattussery and Fr. Joseph Vithayathil and prayed for her. She called all of them near and spoke her last words, “My beloved daughters, why are your hearts troubled like those of people of little faith? Both You and I know that I shall not be relieved of this illness. You should not forget that it is your responsibility as members of this Congregation to foster and nurture it. Behave with sincerity and love your superiors. Love each another, help each another”.

After this farewell note, she entrusted Fr. Joseph Vithayathil the whole responsibility of the congregation. Thereafter at her own request she was laid down on the floor on a mat while her spiritual father and the Sisters knelt down and prayed for her. Saint Mariam Thresia was very peaceful and calm at the moment of intense pain and suffering and submitted to the will of God.

A crown of jasmine flowers was placed on the head of Saint Mariam Thresia and the coffin was decorated with it. The people who believed in her holiness thronged to have a glimpse of the ‘saint’. The whole of Puthenchira attended the funeral of Saint Mariam Thresia. The body was buried with tearful prayers in the tomb specially prepared in the ground of the chapel under construction. The vicar of Puthenchira church, delivered the homily. He concluded his words saying, “though this funeral is conducted in a very simple manner, the time will come when another saint like the ‘Little Flower’ will rise up from this tomb.

The Holy Trinity

Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar, however, in Eastern Christianity there is no specific day set aside to celebrate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The Eastern Churches point out that they celebrate the Trinity every Sunday. Westerners do as well, we just set aside a special feast day for the purpose. In the West, Trinity Sunday, officially called “The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity,” is one of the few celebrations of the Christian Year that commemorates a reality and doctrine rather than an event or person.

Holy Trinity Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday following Pentecost in most of the liturgical churches in Western Christianity. It is a solemn celebration of the belief in the revelation of one God, yet three divine persons. It was not uniquely celebrated in the early church, but as with many things the advent of new, sometimes heretical, thinking often gives the Church a moment in which to explain and celebrate its own traditions; things it already believes and holds dear.

Saint of the Day

On June 6 the Catholic Church honours Saint Norbert of Xanten – who started out as a frivolous and worldly cleric, but was changed by God’s grace into a powerful preacher and an important reformer of the Church during the early 12th century. He is the founder of the Norbertine order.

St Norbert pray for us.

St Francis Caracciolo – June 04

St Francis (1563 to 1608 – Aged 44) was born in Villa Santa Maria, Naples. He was baptized, Ascanio and in his youth, he was said to be known for his “gentleness and uprightness”.

At 22, St Francis suffered from a severe form of leprosy and was expected to die. St Francis made a vow that, should his health be restored, he would give his future life to the service of God as a Priest. St Francis was miraculously cured so, he immediately set about studying for the Priesthood. In 1587, he was ordained and joined the Congregation of Bianchi della Giustizia (The White Robes of Justice), whose role was to help condemned prisoners to die in the peace of Christ Jesus.

St Francis co-founded a new congregation, the Clerics Regular Minor, and in 1593, he was appointed their Superior, a position he held for seven years prior to returning to a simple life of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, hearing confession and doing menial household chores.

St Francis is the Patron Saint of Italian cooks and Naples. His Feast Day is 4th June.

St Francis Caracciolo, Pray for us that we will find peace through our daily work knowing that Jesus Christ is always with us.

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions – June 03

Today, together with the whole Church, we honor twenty-two Ugandan martyrs. They are the first martyrs of Sub-Saharan Africa and true witnesses of the Christian faith. Charles Lwanga, a catechist and a young leader, was martyred in 1886 with a group of Catholic and Anglican royal pages, some of whom were not yet baptized. King Mwanga, who despised the Christian religion, gave orders that all the Christian pages in his service be laid upon a mat, bound, placed onto a pyre and burnt. This took place at Namugongo, just outside Kampala.

Charles was one of twenty-two Ugandan martyrs who converted from paganism. He was baptized November 1885, a year before his death, and became a moral leader. He was the chief of the royal pages and was considered the strongest athlete of the court. He was also known as “the most handsome man of the Kingdom of the Uganda.” He instructed his friends in the Catholic Faith and he personally baptized boy pages. He inspired and encouraged his companions to remain chaste and faithful. He protected his companions, ages 13-30, from the immoral acts and of the Babandan ruler, Mwanga.

Mwanga was a superstitious pagan king who originally was tolerant of Catholicism. However, his chief assistant, Katikiro, slowly convinced him that Christians were a threat to his rule. The premise was if these Christians would not bow to him, nor make sacrifices to their pagan god, nor pillage, massacre, nor make war, what would happen if his whole kingdom converted to Catholicism?

When Charles was sentenced to death, he seemed very peaceful, one might even say, cheerful. He was to be executed by being burned to death. While the pyre was being prepared, he asked to be untied so that he could arrange the sticks. He then lay down upon them. When the executioner said that Charles would be burned slowly to death, Charles replied by saying that he was very glad to be dying for the True Faith. He made no cry of pain but just twisted and moaned, “Kotanda! (O my God!).” He was burned to death by Mwanga’s order on June 3, 1886. Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions on June 22,1964. We celebrate his memorial on June 3rd on the Roman Calendar. Charles is the Patron saint of the African Youth of Catholic Action.

%d bloggers like this: