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about-alphonsa-church

ST. ALPHONSA PILGRIM CENTRE – GENESIS AND GROWTH

No sooner had Sr. Alphonsa been dead in an odour of sanctity on 28 July 1946 and her mortal remains interred than her renown as a saint spread far and wide. People irrespective of persuasion and denomination visited her tomb with prayers of intercession. Every supplicant was overwhelmed by the luminous aura and the numinous aroma that suffused the air there, and every prayer was answered. Before long, Mar Sebastian Vayalil, Bishop of Palai, initiated the canonization process.

          The Holy See appointed Very Rev. Fr. Fortunato as the first Postulator in 1951. Rev. Msgr. J.C. Kappen was the Vice Postulator. The first Diocesan Court vested with the responsibility to carry out a critical study of Alphonsa’s life was constituted on 2 December 1953. The second Diocesan Court set up on 12 November 1955 was charged with the examination of her close associates and the evaluation of the miracles attributed to her. The court accomplished the mission betimes.

          The saint’s mortal remains were exhumed, examined by a team of medical experts and inhumed in a sealed steel casket on 13 April 1957.

          The third court started functioning in 1960. At a joint session of the three courts the relevant official documents were signed in 1962. The Apostolic Court inaugurated in 1980 met in 146 sessions. Eventually, the Court concluded that Alphonsa had devoted her entire life to the practice of heroic Christian virtues and she was proclaimed ‘Venerable’ on 9 November 1984. Pope John Paul II declared her ‘Blessed’ at the concelebrated mass at Kottayam on 8 February 1986. Following her canonization by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on 12 October 2008, the tomb of the Saint became an international pilgrim centre. Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Thadathil took charge of the St Alphonsa Shrine Church and Pilgrim Centre as the first Rector on December 8, 2008. Rev. Fr. Augustine Perumattam and Rev. Fr. Abraham Erimattam were the spiritual directors. Rev. Fr. Thomas Chillackal, Rev. Fr. Mathew Arackaparampil and Rev. Fr. George Pullukalayil were appointed assistant rectors. Rev. Fr. Mathew Kurisummoottil,  Rev. Fr. Thomas Kalathipullatt, Rev. Fr. Mathew Munduvalayil, Rev. Fr. Michael Narikkatt, Fr. Vincent Kalariparampil and Fr. John Mattam served as spiritual directors and Rev. Fr. George Kavumpurath, Rev. Fr. Thomas Kalachirayil and  Rev. Fr. Joseph Manianchira as assistant directors at the Centre for quite some time. Very Rev. Joseph Thadathil was transfered as Vicar of St. Mary’s Church Kuravilangad on 7th February 2015. The New Rector Very Rev. Fr.Berchmans Kunnumpuram took charge on the same day.

At present the following Rev. Fathers are serving in Pilgrim Centre.

Very Rev. Fr. Berchmans Kunnumpuram (Rector)

Rev. Fr. George Pazheparampil (Administrator)

Rev. Fr. Kurian Varickamackal  (Asst. Rector)

Rev. Fr. Michael Narikatt  (Spritual Director)

Rev. Fr. Joseph Pampara (Spritual Director)

Rev. Fr. Vincent Kalariparampil (Spritual Director)

The People who presented the plea for Beatification and Canonization

Postulators:     Rev. Msgr. Fortunato Shippiyoni OFM, (1952-1957)

                        Rev. Fr. Antonio Kairali OFM, (1957-1989)

                        Rev. Fr. Giovani Rolguera OFM, (1989-1996)

                        Rev. Fr. Luca De Rosa OFM, (1996-2008)

Vice Postulators:  Rev. Msgr. J.C.  Kappen (1951-1968)

                        Rev. Msgr. Thomas Moothedath (1968-1987)

                        Rev. Fr. George Mandapathil (1987-1989)

                        Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Pangottil (1989-1994)

                        Rev. Dr. Thomas Moolayil (1994-1997)

                        Rev. Fr. Francis Vadakkel (1997-2008)

Assistant Vice Postulators:

Rev. Fr. Joseph Thazhathel

Rev. Fr. K.C. Joseph Kalariparampil

Rev. Fr. Paul Pallathukuzhy

Rev. Fr. Thomas Kalathipullatt

Rev. Fr. Mathew Thondamkuzhy

Rev. Fr. Abraham Thuruthiyil

Rev. Fr. Joseph Kaduppil

Rev. Fr. Johnson Pulleett

Rev. Fr. Jacob Pottakulam

Rev. Fr. Jose Vallanatt

Rev. Fr. Mathew Kuttiyanickal

Rev. Fr. Mathew Mathilakath

Rev. Fr. Mathew Arackaparampil

Now that the canonization process is over, there is no longer the need for a Postulator or a Vice-postulator. Subsequent to the canonization the Cause of St Alphonsa was reorganized. The chapel where St Alphonsa’s tomb is situated has been declared St Alphonsa Shrine and Pilgrim Centre with a Rector and his assistants to look after it.

ST. ALPHONSA – CHRONOLOGY OF MEMORABLE EVENTS

Birth                        :     19 August 1910

Family                     :     Muttathupadathu, Kudamaloor, Kerala

Baptism                   :     27 August 1910 at Kudamaloor Church

First Holy Communion  :         27 November 1917

Confirmation           :     21 January 1925 at Muttuchira Church

Postulant                 :     2 August 1928

Investiture               :     19 May 1930 at Bharananganam Church

Teacher                    :     1932-33 at Vakakkadu School

Perpetual Vows       :     12 August 1936

Eternal Rest             :     28 July 1946

Burial                      :     29 July 1946

Proclaimed Servant of God     :         2 December 1953

Proclaimed Venerable    :         9 November 1984

Beatification            :     8 February 1986

Issuance of Death Semi-centennial Memorial Stamp: 19 July 1996

Canonization           :     12 October 2008

Thanks Giving         :     9 November 2008

Release of Canonization Memorial Stamp: 16 November 2008

Inauguration of Birth Centennial: 23 August 2009

Issuance of Commemorative Coins: 23 August 2009

Conclusion of Birth Centennial: 12 August 2010