Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara
The foundation stone for a chapel was laid in Mannanam, near Kottayam, in 1831. The visionary priest who was the first common Prior of the indigenous religious order, The Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. This was canonically started as a religious community in 1855, under the guidance of Archbishop Bernardine Beccenelli, the Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly, as its vicar provincial. Fr. Chavara was appointed a special Vicar General for Syro Malabar Christians in the Vicariate of the Verapoly, by Archbishop Beccenelli. He served his last seven years of his life at St. Philomina’s Church, Koonamavu and superior of the monastery. He died on January 3, 1871 at Koonamavu and was buried there. He was canonized on November 23, 2014. His tomb at St. Philomina’s Church is maintained impeccably. The rooms where the saint lived are preserved, keeping the original furnishings. St. Philomina’s Church was raised to the status of Archdiocesan Pilgrim Centre considering its historical and religious relevance.
Venerable Fr. John Vincent of Jesus Mary OCD
The Spanish Carmelite missionary, Fr. John Vincent of Jesus Mary OCD evangelized Kerala for 17 years, having landed at Verapoly Archdiocese in the year 1900. After spending four years in spiritual ministries in the island of Varapuzha, he was appointed the parish priest and vicar forane of Mount Carmel Church, Chathiath during 1911-1912. Called back to Spain for higher responsibilities, he died there on February 27, 1943. Saint Pope John Paul II elevated him to the status of Servant of God and later to the status of Venerable on January 12, 1996.
Venerable Fr. Aurelian OCD
The Spanish Carmelite missionary who lived in India for more than 50 years trained over 1,500 priests in Kerala as a theologian, professor and spiritual director. He was born at Archunduaga, Basauri near Bilbao Province in Spain. He arrived in India on October 9, 1912. Fr. Aurelian was the spiritual director (1914-44), vice rector (1934-44 and rector (1944-56) of the St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Aluva. His mortal remains are preserved at the Immaculate Conception Church, Manjummel. He died on November 16, 1963 at Aluva. He was elevated to the status of Servant of God on December 17, 1980, and that of Venerable on March 26, 1999.
Venerable Fr. Zacharias OCD
The Spanish Carmelite missionary spent 45 years in Kerala, teaching and forming the priests of Kerala at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary Carmelgiri, Aluva. Fr. Zacharias came to India in 1912. He served the Church and society as a missionary, writer, social worker, bridge-builder between religions and Churches and above all as an instrument of God’s compassionate love to everyone. He was well versed in Western and Indian culture, religion and philosophy. He died on May 23, 1957 at Aluva. His mortal remains are preserved at the Immaculate Conception Church, Manjummel. He was elevated to the status of Servant of God on January 14, 1987, and that of Venerable on January 27, 2014.
Servant of God Mother Eliswa Vakayil
The foundress of the first indigenous congregation for women in Kerala, the Third Order of the Discalced Carmelite Sisters, that came into existence on February 13, 1866 at Koonamavu, Mother Eliswa Vakayil established the first convent school, boarding house and orphanage for girls in Kerala Church. After 24 years of foundation, the congregation was divided into two branches according to the Latin and Syro Malabar rites – the Congregation of Teresian Carmelites (CTC) and the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC). She died on July 18, 1913. She was declared a Servant of God on May 30, 2008.
Servant of God Fr. Theophane OFM Cap.
The Capuchin sage, son of a Marthomite turned Catholic, was born on July 20, 1913 in Kodungalloor Kottappuram of Trichur district. Following schooling at St. Albert’s High School, Ernakulam, he joined the Diocesan Seminary of Verapoly. Later, he had his second calling to join the Capuchin friars. He revealed God in his words, deeds and thoughts to everyone he came across during his lifetime. He died on April 4, 1968. He was elevated to the status of Servant of God on January 1, 2005. His mortal remains are entombed at St. Bonaventure Capuchin Friary at Ponnurunni, Vyttila, Kochi.</br></br></br></br>
Servant of God Fr. George Vakayil
Born at Koonamavu on September 12, 1883, he was a saintly parish priest at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Maradu in the Archdiocese of Verapoly, and was popularly known as ‘Achan Punyalan.’ He died on November 4, 1931. His death anniversary is observed as a day of remembrance on November 4 every year. Fr. George Vakayil was declared as Servant of God on September 1, 2013 at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Maradu, Moothedam by His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Francis Kallarakal, Metropolitan Archbishop of Verapoly.
Servant of God Mother Teresa of St. Rose of Lima
The foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa (CSST), Mother Teresa led a God-centred life. She worked wholeheartedly in the service of the poor and the illiterate. She arrived in Ernakulam in April 1887, at the behest of Archbishop Leonard Mellano, the last Vicar Apostolic of Malabar and the first Archbishop of Verapoly, to start an English medium school for girls and also to found a convent for religious Sisters. The congregation was founded on April 24, 1887. She died on September 12, 1902. She was elevated to the status of Servant of God on August 22, 2015.