Pope Benedict XVI will declare Bl. Alphonsa, the first woman saint of India at a canonization ceremony in St Peter’s Square, Sunday 12 October. Two Malayalam language television channels (Jeevan & Kairali) will broadcast live the event starting at 10 am Rome time (1.30 pm IST). About 10,000 pilgrims have come from India to participate in the Vatican event. Starting with a vigil service on Saturday, three-day celebrations will conclude with a thanksgiving Eucharist on Monday morning.
The Reserve Bank of India will honour the Kerala-born Sr Alphonsa with a special commemorative coin.
Sister Alphona was born in Kudamaloor near Kottayam on August 19, 1910 as the fourth child of Joseph and Mary Muttathupadath, in the parish of Kudamaloor, Palai diocese. A person who suffered various physical ailments since childhood, she opted for a religious life and took her perpetual vow in 1936.Her tomb at Bharananganam, near the convent where she spent her religious life, is visited by large number of devotees. Click teh link below to see a 42-minute video with Malayalm devotional songs on Sr Alphonsa and English language commentary on her life and times by Webindia123.com
Sr Alphonsa was declared Blessed by the late Pope John Paul II in 1986 and last year Pope Benedict XVI signed the decree approving the miracle that took place through her intercession, paving the way for her canonization.
The Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) was founded in Kerala, India, on December 14, 1888, by Bishop Charles Lavigne of Kottayam Diocese, Kerala. At present the Congregation has about 7,000 members spread out in 19 provinces and three regions in seven countries.
Other shorter YouTube links for a quick dekho on the life and times of St Alphonsa.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4yeFpEoEGc&NR=1 CNS tv Eng
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbUwT99HuFU&NR=1 NDTV Eng
India Video Org – Music background
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18fmCuZLq7A ASIAnet Malayalam