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
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
Feast of St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara
Canonization of Kuriakose Elias Chavara by Pope Francis.
Important Sayings of St.Chavara
· Children, you are God’s gift in the hands of your parents.
· The children who have a love of God and fear of God will love and respect their parents.
· Trust your mother; God will hear the prayers of the mother as yours.
· Food is for the body, so is wisdom for the intellect.
· Go to school regularly and recall to mind what is taught during the week.
· Laziness fosters evil habits.
· Let your friends be those who love God.
· The day in which you have not done any good to your fellowmen will not be recorded in your book of life.
· Keeping bad books is like hiding fire in hay.
· Regular reading of good books and meditating on them will illumine the mind.
· Attain punctuality by means of a regular time table.
· You angels will be turned to devils, if you fall into evil situations.
· You ought to reach home before evening and take part in evening prayers.
· Desire that others love you, and not that they fear you.
· Take special care to keep modesty while you sit, walk or lie down.
· You are to forgive and forget the wrong doings of others.
· Tell me who your friends are and I will tell who you are.
· What you earn by deceit and theft will melt like snow.
· Idleness is the mother of all vices and would induce one to the habit of drinking.
· Both stinginess and extravagance are equally sinful.
· Had you not lighted the lamp during the day time, you could have lit it during the night.
· Do not insult or trouble the poor.
· God decides your vocation and it is for you to choose it.
· If your parents have left any obligation of restitution, fulfill it with diligence and devotion.
· Even if you are grown in age and maturity, you have to respect your parents and submit to them.
· Do not hate your own brethren.
· It is the duty of children to look after their parents.
· Do not cause for your parents to shed tears on account of you.
· The humble man is the greatest among men.
· Since you belong to God, you have to give yourself back to God.