St. Alphonsa

Alphonsa Muttathupadathu (August 19, 1910 July 28, 1946) is the first Indian woman raised to the veneration of the altar.  She was born as Annakkutty at Kudamaloor, a village in Kottayam district in the Archdiocese of Changanassery, Kerala, India, to Joseph and Mary Muttathupadathu. She was baptized on 27 August 1910 at Saint Mary's Church in Kudamaloor under the patronage of Saint Anna. Anna's mother died leaving 3 months old child. She was raised by her Grandma at Kudamaloor and by maternal aunt at Muttuchira. In 1916 she started school at Arpookara and in the 5th class she was transferred to school at Muttuchira the native village. She received First Holy Communion on November 27, 1917 at St. Marys Church Kudamaloor.She arrived at the Clarist convent at Bharananganam on Pentecost 1927. She received the postulant's veil on August 2, 1928 and took the name Alphonsa. She did her Malayalam higher course in Changanassery for two years (1928-1930).

On May 19, 1930 she received her religious habit at Bharananganam. She had her Novitiate in the Mother House of FCC at Changanassery from 12th August 1935 to 12th August 1936. She took her perpetual vows on 12th August 1936, at the completion of the Novitiate before Bishop James Kalassery. Two days later she returned to Bharananganam from Changanassery. She taught in elementary school, but was often sick and unable to teach.

The faithful spouse of Christ, who lived in the convent at Bharananganam, offered her life as a holocaust on the altar of suffering and was called to the heavenly abode on 28th July 1946 at the age of 36. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 8thFebruary 1986 at Kottayam. Pope Benedict XVI canonized Bl. Alphonsa at St. Peters Square in Rome on Sunday, 12 October 2008.Now she is a model and mediator to the whole FCC and to the people of all walks of life in India and abroad.

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