Pope Francis has called an ordinary public consistory to set the canonization date for six Blesseds, including Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Eufrasia Eluvathingal of the Sacred Heart from India.
Slated to take place June 12, the consistory was announced May 30 and will gather together the College of Cardinals along with Pope Francis in order to discuss the canonization date of the four Italians and two Indians whose causes have been approved to advance by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Born in 1805 in Kainakary, India, Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara was a priest and the founder of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.
Having begun his education under a Hindu teacher who taught him languages, different dialects and basic sciences, Bl. Chavara decided at the age of 10 to study under a parish priest, having felt the call to become a priest himself.
Following his education he entered the seminary at Pallipuram and was ordained a priest Nov. 29, 1829 in Arthunkal. He then spent some years involved in pastoral ministry, but eventually returned to the seminary to teach, and there joined the rector, Malpan Thomas Porukara, in founding a congregation.
After traveling to the Indian province of Mannanam to assist in the construction of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate’s first house, the blessed made his religious profession in 1855 along with 10 other companions, taking the name “Kuriakose Elias of Holy Family.”
Bl. Chavara served as Prior General for all of the congregation’s monasteries from 1856 until his death in 1871. He is remembered for his strong leadership, and is credited for having saved the Church in Kerala from schism in 1861.
The second Indian blessed whose cause has been approved for canonization is Mother Eufrasia Eluvathingal of the Congregation of Mount Carmel, who was born in 1877 in the village of Kattur, now Syro-Malabar, India.
When she was 12 years old, Bl. Eufrasia began attending a boarding school that was attached to the first Carmelite community in India. She entered the Congregation of Mount Carmel in 1897 when she took her headdress and received the name “Eufrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
After making her final vows in 1900, Bl. Eufarisa was appointed as assistant to the Novice Mistress, and although in poor health, was appointed Novice Mistress nine years later. She was eventually named Mother Superior of the community’s convent in Ollur, and came to be known as the “Praying Mother.”
The other four blesseds whose canonization will be set are all Italian, and consist of two priests, a religious and a layman.
Blessed Fr. Giovanni Antonio Farina was the bishop of Vicenza and the founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts.
Italian professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor and founder of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Elizabeth Bl. Ludovico de Casoria, as well as Bl. Nicola da Longobardi, a professed oblate of the Order of Minims, are also slated to be canonized.
The fourth Italian blessed among the group is Amato Ronconi, who was layman of the Third Order of St. Francis and the founder of the Hospital-Hospice for Poor Pilgrims of Saludecio. The hospital is now called the “Beato Amato Ronconi Nursing Home.”