Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara

Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara, one of the founders of the TOCD congregation for men (CMI) and women (CMC), and the first Prior of all monasteries of the CMI congregation was born on February 10, 1805 at Kainakary.  He was the first one to take vows on December 8, 1855. His mortal remains, transferred from Koonammavu where he died, are piously kept in the chapel of St. Joseph's Monastery, Mannanam. He was canonized on November 23, 2014 by His Holiness Pope Francis.

He left behind him a great legacy which many cannot even dream of.  Saint Kuriakose Elias was a great visionary who founded the first Sanskrit School, the first catholic printing press-the first indigenous printing press in India and the first to print Syriac in Keralam. He is one of the first original writers in any regional language in India. His counsels to the Christian families given in the form of a "Testament of a Loving Father" are universally applicable and are relevant to this day. Many of his Malayalam writings were first among the various branches of Malayalam literature.

Essentially a man prayer and intense charity, Saint Kuriakose stayed in close communion with the Lord, amidst his several religious and social activities, permeating his spirituality to all around him, so much so that he was accepted and referred to as a man of God, from his early years.