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.