KOCHI: If you thought canonisation of two blessed souls from the state—Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Euphrasia—scheduled to be held on Sunday was wonderful enough, think again. Out of the 30 pious men and women the Catholic Church in India has placed on the path of beatification, 28 are from Kerala, a feat that could well earn it the ‘Cradle of Saints’ epithet in the future.
Catholics in Kerala comprise less than one per cent of the global Catholic population.
Out of 28 revered spiritual men and women, three each have acquired the status of the Blessed (third of four stages of canonisation) and the Venerable (second stage), while 21 are Servants of God (first stage).
The other two Indians on the list with status of The Blessed are Mother Teresa and Fr Joseph Vaz, a missionary who served in Sri Lanka. Interestingly, Devasahayam Pillai is the only layman on the list. All others are bishops, priests, or nuns. The Kerala list includes Fr Zakharias, a Spanish missionary, and two German missionaries —Mother Petra Morningman and Br Fortnatus — who served, died and were buried here. “This is a list of people likely to be canonised. The process cannot be completed within a definite time period. The long list shows the depth of faith of Catholics here,” said Fr Varghese Vallikkat, deputy secretary, Kerala Catholic Bishops Council and director of the Pastoral Orientation Centre.