“This Day You will be with me in Paradise.” The Second Word.

 

 

There is a legend to the effect that when, to escape the wrath of Herod, Saint Joseph, and the Blessed Virgin were fleeing into Egypt with the Divine Child, they stopped at a desert inn.The Blessed Mother asked the lady of the inn for water in which to bathe the Babe.The Lady then asked if she might not bathe her own child, who was suffering from leprosy, in the same waters in which the Divine Child had been immersed.Immediately upon touching those waters baptized with the Divine Presence, the child became whole.her child advanced in age and grew to be a theif.he is Dismas, now hanging on the Cross at the right hand of Christ! Whether the memory of the story his mother told him now came back to the thief and made him look kindly on Christ, we do not know.It might have been that his first meeting with the Saviour was on the day when his heart was filled with compunction on hearing the story of a certain man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell intimation that he was suffering with the Redeemer came to him as he turned his tortured head and read an inscription which bore His name, “Jesus”; His city, “Nazareth”; His crime, “King of the Jews”. At any rate, enough dry fuel of the right kind gathers on the altar of his soul, and now a spark from the central Cross falls upon it, creating in it a glorious illumination of faith.he sees a Cross and adores a Throne; he sees a condemned man, and invokes a King:”Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Our Blessed Lord was owned at Last! Amidst the clamor of the raving crowd and the dismal universal hiss of sin, in all that delirium of  man’s revolt against God, no voice was lifted in praise and recognition except the voice of a man condemned.

It was a cry of faith in Him whom everyone else had forsaken, and it was only the testimony of a thief.If the son of the widow of Nain, who had been raised from the dead, had cried out a word of faith in the Kingdom of One who was seemingly losing His Kingdom; if Peter, who on the Mount of Transfiguration had seen His dace shine like the sun and His garments whiten like snow, had acknowledged Him; if the blind man of Jericho whose eyes were opened to the light of God’s sunshine had been opened anew to proclaim His Divinity, we should not have been surprised.Why, if any of these had cried out, perhaps the timid disciples and friends would have rallied, perhaps the scribes and Pharisees would have believed! But at the moment when death was upon Him, when defeat stared Him in the face, the only one outside the small group at the foot of the Cross to acknowledge Him as Lord of a kingdom, as the Captain of Souls, was a thief at the right-hand of Christ.

At the very moment when the testimony of a thief was given, Our Blessed Lord was winning a greater victory than any life can win, and was exerting a greater energy than that which harnesses waterfalls; he was losing His life and saving a soul.And on that day when Herod and his whole court could not make Him speak, nor all the power of Jerusalem make Him step down from the Cross, nor the unjust accusations of a court-room force Him to break silence, nor a mob crying,”He saved others; Himself He cannot save,” He turns to a quivering life beside Him, speaks, and saves a thief:” No one before was ever the object of such a promise, not even Moses nor John, not even Magdalen nor Mary!

It was the thief’s last prayer, perhaps also his first>He knocked once, sough once, asked once, dared everything and found everything.When our spirits stand with John on Patmos, we can see the white-stoled army in Heaven riding after the conquering Christ; when we stand with Luke on Calvary, we see the one who rode first in that procession.Christ, who was poor, died rich.His hands were nailed to a Cross and yet He unlocked the keys of Paradise and wons soul.His escort into heaven was a thief, May we not say that the thief died a thief, for he stole Paradise?

Oh, what greater assurance is there in all the world of the mercy of God? Lost sheep, prodigal sons, broken Magdalens, penitent Peters, forgiven thieves! Such is the rosary of Divine Forgiveness.

God is more anxious to save us than we are to save ourselves.There is a story told to the effect that one day Our Blessed Lord appeared to Saint Jerome, saying to him, “Jerome, what will you give Me?” Jerome answered,”I will give You my writings,” to which Our Lord replied that it was not enough.”Then,” said Jerome, : what shall I give You? My life of penance and mortification? But the answer was,”Even that is not enough!” “What have I left to give you? cried, Jerome.Our Blessed Lord answered,”Jerome, you can give Me your sins.”

This Article is taken from the book The Seven Last Words, Written by Fulton J.Sheen.

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Joseph, The Man of Prayer.

A Beautiful Article Written by one of the Famous writer Fulgence Hurhuria in his Book, St Joseph, The Silent Missionary.

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Francis L.Filas, SJ, writes:” Joseph’s dignity required that he be proportionately holy; Joseph’s holiness grew out of the fact that the saint possessed such dignity.”

Now, what is meant by holiness? It refers to freedom from all that is evil, to a supernatural likeness to God, and to the possession of sanctifying grace, evangelical perfection: Perfect freedom from sin, intimate union with God, all ruled by the supreme norm of truth.

The Gospel of St Mathew gives explicit testimony to Joseph’s Holiness when it calls him a ‘just man’ (Mt 1:19), or ‘right minded”.The narrative of his life reveals his magnificent character even more pointedly.Among the great virtues he manifested are his unwavering faith, deep humility, consummate prudence, virginal chastity and instant obedience.These are the effects appearing on the surface, as it were, that connote an underlying love of God which brings the saint to a high order of sanctity” (Joseph Most Just, Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, U.S.A. 1956, p. 42. 18).

Joseph’s heart, as a matter of fact, was so habitually absorbed in God, that his whole life was a continual prayer. His soul thus receiving a daily increase of virtues produced abundant fruits for eternal life. Joseph’s faith was deeply rooted in God and was in continual union with Him through prayer. He offered his Maker nothing special, neither bull, nor goat, nor lamb, just his whole being for the love of Him with his ordinary daily deeds, thereby sanctifying himself. God was so pleased with Joseph, that He elevated him to the dignity of the spouse of the Mother of God and the foster father of the Divine Master. No saint had such a privilege.

The cause of Joseph’s holiness was obviously his prayer life — a perfect example of a person who has understood its importance, its significance, and its advantages, has immersed himself in it. We may safely believe that it was with this holy exercise that he began and sanctified his days, his actions, his every move. Indeed, it is not for nothing that Joseph is honored as a father, model, and formator of the contemplative souls. St Bernadine of Siena says that he had received the gift of prayer to a very high degree. St Teresa relates that she always noticed that those who prayed to St Joseph with confidence made rapid progress in mental prayer. Is it for nothing then that the Church invokes him as a formator and master of contemplation?

It was the prayer that helped Joseph keep himself habitually in the presence of God, whereby he was frequently favored with heavenly communications. And in a special way, he was made known the mysteries of the incarnation, suffering, death, and resurrection of his foster son Jesus, and thus so to say, the redemption of humankind. Not only his mind and heart, but his whole person was entirely filled with the continual providence and presence of God in recollection, so much so that even his daily labor could cause him no distraction. He was thus able to follow the inspirations of grace and accomplish in all things the designs of God.

It was not only the habitual thought of God that regulated the life and actions of Joseph; rather, God Himself was present before him in the person of Jesus Christ. Most truly might he exclaim with St John: “We saw His glory, the glory as it were, of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). After the Blessed Virgin, St Joseph was the first human being to see the newborn Messiah.he spent thirty years of his life with Jesus, Living with Him under the same roof, sharing his meals with Him, watching Him at play, prayer, and work.Even sleep did not interrupt the Holy Patriarch’s union with his ‘son’, Lord, and Master, Jesus Christ.

You can find such Article in the Book St Joseph, The Silent Missionary.  Available Now!

The Book touches on St Joseph's life actually makes up for what is lacking in sacred scripture concerning him.

Surrogacy and The Church.

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What is Surrogacy?

It is a method or agreement whereby a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person, who will become the newborn child’s parents after birth.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Techniques that entail the disassociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral” [CCC #2376].

Catholic teaching understands that children cannot be manufactured with the technology and distributed via a market.children come as a gift from God via a sexual relationship, within the context of the marriage of a couple, both husband and wife being committed to responsible parenthood, instead of being procured as a product or thing.Any reproductive procedure for creating a child in the laboratory to the use of another person as a surrogate to carry the child through pregnancy is unacceptable.

The fact that certain individuals will not be able to become biological parents is a painful one, but the church claims this is one off the hard truth that we must endure if we believe that children are gifts with their own inherent dignity, rather than things we have the right to purchase in the open market.

This short article was written by Dt Jeanette Pinto which is taken from the Book I’m Pro-life Are you?

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Why did Jesus say “I Thirst”

 

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This is the shortest of the seven cries.Although it stands in our language as two words, in the original it is one.At the moment when Our Saviourresumes His sermon, it is not a curse upon those who crucify Him, not a word of reproach to the timid disciples at the border of the crows, not a cry of scorn to the Roman soldiers, not a word of hope to Magdalen, not a word of love to John, not a word of farewell to his beloved Mother.it is not even to God at this moment! Out from the depths of the Sacred Heart there wells through parched lips one awful word: “I thirst!”

He, the God-Man, Who threw the stars in their orbits and spheres into space, Who “swung the earth a trinket at his wrist,” from Whose fingertips tumbled planets and worlds, Who might have said, “The sea is Mine and with it the streams in a thousand valleys and cataracts in a thousand hills,” noW asks man — man, a piece of His own handiwork — to help Him. He asks a man for a drink! Not a drink of earthly water, that is not what He meant, but a drink of love. “I thirst” — for love!
The last word was a revelation of the sufferings of a man without God; this word was a revelation of the sufferings of God without a man. The Creator cannot live without the creature, the Shepherd without the sheep, the thirst of Christ’s love without the soul-water of Christians.
But what has He done to be entitled to my love? How much has God loved me? Oh, if I would know how much God has loved me, then let me sound the depths of meaning of that word “love”, a word so often used and so little understood, Love, first of all, means to give and God has given His power to nothingness, His light to darkness, His order to chaos, and this is Creation. Love means to tell secrets to the one loved, and God has told in the Scriptures the secrets of His Nature and His high hopes for fallen humanity, and this is Revelation. Love means also to suffer for the one loved, that is why we speak of arrows and darts of love — something that wounds — and God is now suffering for us on the Tree of the Cross, for “greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friend.” Love means also to become one with the one loved, not only in the unity of flesh but in the unity of spirit, and God has so loved us as to institute the Eucharist, that we may abide in Him and He in us in the ineffable unity of the Bread of Life. Love wishes also to be eternally united with the one loved, and God has so loved us that He has promised us His Father’s mansions, where a peace and a joy reign which the world cannot give and time cannot take away, and this is Heaven.

Certainly, love has exhausted itself. There is nothing more than Christ could do for His vineyard than He has done.Having poured forth all the waters of His everlasting Love on our poor parched hearts, it is no wonder that He thirsts for love.If Love is reciprocal then certainly He has a right to our love.Why do we not respond? Why do we let the divine Heart die of thirst for human hearts?

This Article is taken from the book The Seven Last Words.

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Do Muslims believe in angels?

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Belief in angels is a major component of Islamic belief.The Qur’an says,” The Prophet [Muhammad} believes I what has been revealed to him by his Lord, and so do the faithful.each one believes in God and His angels.His Books and the prophet” (Sura 2.285).Belief in the angels is included in the characteristic of piety (Sura 2.177).Although angels are generally considered to be invisible, they are said to have been created from light and to have wings (Sura 35.1).The angels are “bearers of {God’s} throne” and sings God’s praised {Sura40.7}.They are also active as intermediaries between God and Human being, begging forgiveness for those who have fallen {Sura 42.5}.

They are guardian angles: God “has power over His creatures, and appoints guardians to watch over them.When creatures, and appoints guardians to watch over them.When death comes to one of you, our messengers take away his souls”{Sura 6.61}.each person is said to have two angels ‘who keep the account, one sitting on the right, one on the left.” These angels will report every word on the day of judgment {Sura 50:16-28}

The Qur’an mentions four archangels: Gabriel, Michael, Israfil, and the Angels of Death, sometimes called Azrael.gabriel is the one who reveals God’s word to the prophets and who revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad {Sur 2.97}.Presumably, Gabriel is the angels who reveal God’s plan to Zechariah and to Mary {Sura 19.7-9,17-21}.Islamic tradition also names Gabriel as Muhammad’s guide when he ascends to heaven.Azrael, the angels of death, is the one who sounds the trumpet on the last day, the day of resurrection.On that day eight angels will carry God’s throne when he comes for judgement {Sura 69.15-18}.

According to the Qur’an, human being rank higher than the angels, because God has given them the gift of knowledge {Sura 2.30-33}.When God” asked the angels to bow in homage to Adam, they all bowed but Iblis” {Sura 2:34}, who said, “I am better than him.You created me from fire and him from clay” {Sura 7.12}.So Iblis is thrown into hell with all those who follow him {Sura 7.13-18}.This story is similar to the tradition about the fall of Satan.

 

This excerpt is taken from the book: Some-Outstanding Women of India.Available Now!

101 Question and Answers on Angels and Devils Cover

 

 

 

Why are these different styles of crosses?

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The cross that we know best has a longer vertical piece and a shorter crosspiece.This is called the Latin cross because it becomes popular in the Latin-speaking parts of the Church a few centuries after Christ.Although the Latin cross and the crucifix are two of the most common forms of crosses, there are other forms as well.

Each has a slightly different history and message, but they all represent the crucifixion of Jesus.Here are some examples.

Latin Cross

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celtic

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For more information about Catholic signs and symbols, Order your copy now!

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The evil eye- what is that? Is it a demon?

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The evil eye is not a specific demon but a quality that makes human beings demonic.In many cultures people who are thought to have the ability to cast the evil eye are greatly feared and various amulets are worn to protect people from their evil power: Even the Jewish Talmud, compiled between 200 and 500 CE, recommends wearing a little scroll of the priestly blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 around one’s neck as a protection against the evil eye.

In the Bible evil is the sin of envy.the envious person sees the prosperity of others and strikes them with the evil eye.In Jesus’s story about the labourers in the vineyard, those who worked the whole day are envious of those who worked only an hour and received the same pay.The vineyard owner asks them:”is your eye evil [i.e., envious]  because I am generous?” ( Matt 20:15). So in Jesus list of the evils that come from the human heart, the evil eye is often translated as “envy” (see Mark 7:22).But while those who have too little are prone to envy, there is a corresponding affliction in those who have much. What they have is never enough, so the evil eye in them is greed and miserliness. The law warns the people not to be greedy (to have an evil eye) in their actions toward the poor in the sabbatical year when they are supposed to forgive all debts (Deut 15:9). If they are stingy and neglect to do this, God will hear the cry of the poor and punish the greedy. Tobit gives a similar warning to his son Tobiah: “Give alms from your possessions and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it” (Tob 4:7, 16).

The Book of Proverbs even warns against eating with an evil-eyed person; his stinginess will make the food indigestible (Prov 23:6-8). Such people are so greedy that they are stingy with themselves, not only refusing to give to their neighbors but also neglecting themselves (Sir 14:8-10).This effect of the evil eye is described as devouring one’s own flesh. When the people are attacked and besieged by their enemies, even the most refined among them will devour their own children and will have an evil eye against their surviving loved ones, snatching even this horrible food away from them (Deut 28:54-56). The evil eye is truly demonic!

St Basil, a fourth-century doctor of the Church, wrote a homily against the evil eye of envy and greed. He declares that demons use this evil eye for their own purposes. He warns that envy, not only of someone’s wealth but even of the wisdom and virtues of others, is demonic. The cure for this is to become honorable ourselves: doing good, a with justice, enduring with patience. The acquisition of n virtue is Basil’s defense against the evil eye.

This Excerpt is taken from the book: Some-Outstanding Women of India. Order Now!!!

101 Question and Answers on Angels and Devils Cover

Devasagayam Pillai, Servant of God.

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Lay Apostle and Martyr (1712-1752).

 

Devasagayam was born at Nattalam, near Nargercoil, Tamil Nadu, (India), in 1712 in a Hindu Nair family and his full name was Nilakandan pillai.History does not give any clear information about his parentage.It is common;ly believed that his father belonged to a Potti-Brahmin or Nair caste of Travancore.It is fairly certain that he was the scion of a rather well-to-do family and enjoyed a high social status.

Young Nilakandan had his primary education in his village school where he learned Malayalam, Tamil and sanskrit.being an intelligent youngster, he studied Hindu philosophy, especially the Upanishads. He was trained also in martial arts. Although he had inherited great wealth, he did not have the pomp and show usually associated with the rich. His own servants and the needy of the area always found in him a friend and benefactor. In due time he married a young Nair girl, Bhargavi Amma. Their married life was quite happy.

Disaster struck Neelakandan’s family in tragic events like sickness, loss of property, money etc. All his cattle were destroyed and natural calamities took away some of his relatives. They were convinced that it was all due to the anger of God and hence offered special pujas (Sacrifice) to placate the anger of the gods and goddesses. But Neelakandan found no peace in his mind. King Marthanda Varma of Travancore made him his minister and asked him to supervise the work and act as the trustee of the new temple which was dedicated to god Neelakanda Swami. The minister put his heart and soul into the work and did it with exceptional dedication and honesty.

India had commercial relationship with the Middle East as well as East Asian countries. Hence many commercial centres came up in the coastal region. The Dutch wanted to capture some of them and in 1741 they attacked Eraniyal, one of the most important commercial centres. King Marthanda Varma rose to the occasion and in the ensuing battle the Dutch lost at Colachal.

Neelakandan Pillai was introduced to the Catholic faith by Eustachius de Lannoy, a Dutch military officer, apprehended as a prisoner by King Marthanda Varma during the Colachal war. Subsequently Marthanda Varma took De Lannoy into his army and, with his help, modernized his army.

In 1745 Nilakandan Pillai was baptized by Fr Giovanni Baptista Buttari, sj, the parish priest of Holy Family Church, Vadakkankulam. His baptismal name was Devasagayam (Tamil rendering of the biblical name Lazarus, which means, God’s help). From then on, he walked 18 miles every day to attend the Holy Mass. He prayed for the conversion of his wife. After a period of doubt and hesitation she too received baptism from Fr Baptista Buttari and was christened Theresa (Tamil: Gnanappu).

Around this time, a persecution broke out against the Christians and a few Christians gave up their life for Christ and thus became martyrs. However, Devasagayam Pillai survived. He refused to perform the duties of his former faith and freely mixed with the Christians, who were considered as untouchables and unclean. This was a grave offence in Travancore. To add to this the new Christians started preaching the Christian faith and many became Christians. On 23 February 1749, Devasagayam Pillai was arrested and was taken to the court where Brahmins accused him of blasphemy against the Hindu gods. For these offences the king Marthanda Varma gave order to shoot him. He was shot dead on 14 January 1752 at Kattradimalai (now Devasagayam mount) after three years of imprisonment and cruel torture, which he bore with firm faith, deep love and great courage for Christ. Devasagayam Pillai was 40 years old at the time of his martyrdom. He had lived as a Christian only for seven years and three of these, he had to undergo constant persecution. After his death, the soldiers threw his body in the open for dogs to eat. But the body remained untouched for seven days. Some merchants found the revered body of Devasagayam Pillai and informed the parish priest of Kottar, Tamil Nadu. The parish priest with the help of some of the faithful buried him in front of the main altar of St Francis Xavier’s Church, Kottar.

The people of the locality always considered him a true and authentic martyr and often visited his tomb and received many favours through his intercession. At the request of people and clergy some attempts were made in the second half of the eighteenth century to introduce his cause of canonization. Unfortunately, the documents were lost in transit but nothing came out of it. Later, through the initiative of bishop Arockiasamy, then bishop of Kottar, the process of canonization of Devasagayam Pillai has been taken up. On 7 September 2008 Devasagayam Pillai was declared a Servant of God during a Solemn Mass held at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral Church,Kottar.

“Why should I run away like a coward? Is it not a grace to become a martyr? If Christ gave his life for my sake, why should I not give mine for Him?”

“O Jesus, my Saviour, You suffered in order to save mankind; forgive my sins and forgivce my enemies.Jesus, I offer myself totally to you.Mary my Mother, intercede for me.”  -Last prayer of Devsagayam before his martyrdom.

This excerpt is taken from the book: Fragrances of Holiness in India. Available here.

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Saint Euphrasia Eluvathingal

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Rose was born as the first child of Antony Eluvanthingal Cherpukaran and Kunjethy Chalissery, on17 October 1877 at Edathuruthy, near Trichur, Kerala, (India). As the eldest child, Rose was the darling of everyone, When she grew up she made a total self-surrender to God.But once when she mentioned,”I want to be a nun,” the hopes and aspirations of her father were all of sudden shattered and received fierce and forbidding looks and was blamed for her stubbornness.But she had a mind of her own and would not budge.” I made the vow of chastity at the age of nine, I must and will fulfill that solemn promise”, she said Girls’ education in those days was quite neglected and was generally only up to the 3rd or 4th standard. In most cases, it meant only learning the rudiments of reading and writing. But candidates to the religious life had to undergo elaborate training in a boarding school at their tender age. The discipline of the boarding school would serve as a test of their aptitude for the religious life.

Rose entered the boarding school attached to the Carmelite convent at Koonammavu, near Ernakulam, in 1866. Young Rose loved her life in the boarding school. Learning of Christian doctrine and prayer had a prominent place in their training.

Rose joined the Congregation of Mother Carmel (CMC) in 1896 at Ambazhakad. On 9 May 1897, Rose became a postulant and received the religious veil of the Congregation. And she also took a new name, Sr Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1897 she had a severe attack of rheumatism. However, she was cured of the illness and resumed her duties without allowing herself any exception. On 10 January 1898, she received her religious habit. Along with her sacrifices, incessant prayers, sufferings and bodily ailments, she also experienced the devil’s powerful temptations, criticisms, rash judgments, and misunderstanding. She suffered a veritable martyrdom for the holy souls in purgatory and for the conversion of sinners.

On 24 May 1900, Sr Euphrasia made her religious profession at the Carmelite convent, 011ur, near Trichur. After her profession, Sr Euphrasia was assigned to help the novice mistress and the infirmarian. She had a special inclination to do very humble duties since she saw in them God’s will. As she was sickly and weak she was sent to Ambazhakad for a short period of rest. Illness became her constant companion. She fell a victim to fever and felt severe pain all over her body. Although there seemed to be no hope of complete recovery, she returned to 011ur and resumed her work.

In May 1904 Sr Euphrasia was appointed as novice mistress and continued in that office for nine years. All saw in her an exemplary religious. She exacted meticulous observance of the rules from her novices and was even criticized for being too strict. Later on, she had to suffer much from those who resented her corrections. She wrote to her spiritual director, bishop John Menachery: “I derive immense benefit when I hear anyone speak ill of me. My soul has learnt how to turn every incident into good.” In painful situations, she ran to the Eucharistic Lord and the Blessed Mother for comfort and consolation.
In 1913, she was appointed superior of the Carmelite convent at 011ur, which proved to be for her a martyrdom. But she herself was a living example of observance of the Rule. Though the convent was not financially sound, she saw to it that the Sisters received wholesome food an care. She had a special knack of caring for the sick.

Mother Euphrasia ceased being the Superior in 1916 but continued to stay in the same convent. Slowly her health started deteriorating. She became extremely weak due to a paralytic stroke. She spent hours and hours before the Blessed Sacrament in the Church immersed in prayer and praying the rosary. She had an extraordinary devotion to the passion of Our Lord. She used to say to the visitors: “Gazing at the crucifix, shedding tears of compassion and praying have become the main occupation of my life.”

It was with the utmost eagerness that Sr Euphrasia waited for her end. Even when she had to bear her infirmities of old age, there was no sagging in her zeal. On 26 August 1952, she made her confession for the last time to Fr Louis, cmi. She was paralyzed and being unable to speak, she wrote on a piece of paper, “give me the last sacrament,” which was administered without delay. Sr Euphrasia passed away on 29 August 1952 at the age of 75.

After her death, many miracles took place through her intercession and the cause of her canonization started in 1987. She was declared a Servant of God on 22 October 1988. On 3 December 2006, she was beatified by Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church, at 0llur.

Jesus was the supreme reality in the life of Blessed Euphrasia and she found meaning and value of her life only in her relationship with him. She wrote to her spiritual director: “When I think of the sufferings of the Lord who shed his blood and died on the cross, I feel that a day without any suffering is empty; please pray to God and obtain for me some suffering.”

This excerpt is taken from the book: Fragrances of Holiness in India. Available here.Untitled design (1)

History of the San Thome Church.

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Theodore, a sixth-century visitor from Europe, spoke of the San Thome church as “a church of striking dimensions, elaborately adorned and designed”.

Pilgrims from England, sent by King Alfred, seem to have visited it in the year 883.The world-renowned traveler from Italy, Marco Polo, traveled here in 1292 A.D. and speaks of it in his journals.

There are reports on this church by Oderic of Pordenone(Papal Legate) in 1325, by John De Marignolli in 1349, Nicolo de Conti, another Italian visitor, between 1425 and 1430.

A certain Joseph, from Cranganore, went to Italy and Portugal in 1501.After seeing the splendid churches of Venice, he said that the San Thome Church was comparable in splendor to the church of St John and St Paul in Venice.

However, when the Portuguese arrived in Mylapore, they found the San Thome Church in ruins, except for the small chapel, which contained the tomb of St Thomas.They rebuilt the church in 1523.

In 1893, under Bishop Henrique Jose read De Silva of Mylapore, this structure was demolished and the magnificent ‘Gothic’ church was built.The tomb of St Thomas is at the heart of the structure.

The blessing of the church took place on 1 April 1896 and Bishop A.S. Valente, Patriarch of the East Indies consecrated the main altar.In 1956 the church was declared a Minor Basilica.In the Basilica stands an ancient statue of Our Blessed Mother, Mary.The three-foot-high statue is called “Mylai Matha’ in Tamil or our Lady of Mylapore in England.It was before this statue that the world famous missionary, St Francis Xavier, whose body is exposed for veneration in Goa, used to pray, during his four months’ stay in Mylapore in 1545.

The basilica consists of two structure, the tomb chapel below the Basilica and the Museum-cum-theatre.The new underground chapel, with a separate access outside the church structure, allows pilgrims to pray at the tomb and tourists to visit it without disturbing the functions of the church.

The museum exhibits artifacts connected with St Thomas and the Basilica, and the theatre screens a short video on the life of the Apostle.

For more details information about the Church, Order your copy now.

A close look at the person and personality of St Thomas the Apostle