Annakutty confided to a fellow nun what she did to avert marriage

What-she-did-to-avert-marriage

After she had joined the Clarist convent, Annakutty confided to a fellow nun as follows regarding what she did to avert marriage.
“I have told this only to one person before, that is to Fr. Louis. I was thirteen and they fixed my marriage as a matter of course. My heart rebelled against marriage because I wanted to become a nun. But what could I do? I hit upon a plan. I thought that if I could disfigure myself in any manner, suitors would no longer seek my hand in marriage and I would be free to pursue my own plans. I spent the whole night in prayer. I was weeping.

 

At one side of our house there was a pit in which the chaff after the harvest was burnt off. As soon as I got up in the morning, I went there. Standing at the edge of the pit, I introduced one leg into the smouldering fire. My leg sank into the pit and I was knee-deep in the fire. I blundered about the pit for sometime in my frantic effort to get  out of the pit which had a wall around it. My hair which was loose got singed at the end and my clothes caught fire. In the normal course I would have sunk neck-deep in the pit and would have been burnt to death. I do not know how I managed to clamber up the wall to safety. God’s providence got me out of the pit. When I rubbed my legs, the skin peeled off. The anklets I was wearing were red-hot now.
I went back to my room and changed my clothes. I pulled the lower edge of the loin cloth so low as to cover my feet. I did not want any one to see my feet. Mother had contracted a fever and was lying in bed. She asked me why I had changed my clothes. I said my feet had got burnt slightly. That very moment I collapsed on the floor and became unconscious. Mother came to me in haste. Seeing my serious condition, she started to cry aloud and hearing her cries a lot of neighbours crowded at the court-yard. Somebody started out to fetch my uncle who was not at home then.

 

Mother could be heard exclaiming that but for the guardian angel, her daughter would have become a pile of ashes. The anklets I was wearing had to be removed and a goldsmith worked hard at them to file them off. Hearing about this accident, my teachers and my class-maters came to see me. A doctor came and prescribed a course of treatment. Infection set in on the affected part in either leg and the pus discharge had an awfully bad smell. The people at home had to suffer a lot on account of me. Hearing about the accident my father came to see me. He could not stand the sight. He burst into tears the moment he saw me. The doctor came every day; he cleaned the wound and applied fresh bandages. He carefully separated my toes which had become one mass because of  the infection and dressed them individually. Oh how terribly I suffered! I offered that pain to Jesus, whose help I sought for the fulfillment of my heart’s wish.
Thanks to the treatment, the infection was brought under control and the wound started to heal in about 90 days. One day mother asked me how I could have fallen into the fire. I said I had gone there to collect charcoal with which to clean my teeth but that I slipped at the edge of pit and fell in. Mother told me that actually the devil had pushed me in. She narrated an incident in support of this theory. She said that a few days before a man who seemed to be possessed had come to her  dancing all the way and told her in a threatening tone; “You have a daughter. You decorate her, you are proud of her. I will get her, I will get her.’’
When my legs healed, Mother took me to the Shrine at Parel, Changannacherry, in fulfillment of a vow she had made. I remember  the frightened reaction of the people there when they saw my disfigured foreleg.  They moved away in disgust or fear. This made my mother weep. She got me to serve the nercha food. Though my legs were all right now, it took several months of ayurvedic treatment for me to walk normally.’’