Kerala Church finalizes plans for Rani Maria beatification

Sister Rani Maria died of 41 stab wounds on the side 22 years ago.

 
Kochi: 

The Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala has planed a series of programs to celebrate the Nov. 4 beatification of Sister Rani Maria, a Franciscan Clarist missionary nun murdered in Madhya Pradesh 22 years ago.

Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly and the Franciscan Clarist Congregation are jointly organizing the programs with involvement of other two Catholic rites in the state—Syro-Malankara and Latin, said press release from the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly.

As part of the program relics of the nun will be brought to the Major Archbishop’s House in Ernakulam from Indore, where the ceremonies of beatification are palnned.

It will be then taken in procession to Perumbavoor, her place of birth, on November 15. A thanksgiving Mass and related ceremonies will be held at Pulluvazhy on November 19.

Beatification is the penultimate stage in the four-phased canonization process in the Catholic Church. Rani Maria’s cause of canonization began in 2003 and she was declared a Servant of God four years later.

The nun was 41 when Samandar Singh, hired by some landlords, stabbed her inside a bus on February 25, 1995. She was on traveling to Indore, the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh state, en route her native place in Kerala, southern India. The attacker followed her when she ran out of the crowded bus and continued to stab her. She died on the roadside at Nachanbore Hill, near Indore.

She was buried at Udaingar in Dewas district where she had worked among poor landless agricultural laborers and others to fight for just wages and other rights. This upset the landlords.

As part of her beatification process, on November 18, 2016 Bishop Chacko Thottumarikal of Indore supervised the opening of the slain nun’s tomb and shifted the mortal remains to a church.

Rani Maria was born on January 29, 1954, as the second of seven children of Paily and Eliswa Vattalil at Pulluvazhy, a small village near Kochi, Kerala’s commercial capital. She was baptized on February 5, the same year and was given the name Mariam.

She joined Franciscan Clarist Convent at Kidangoor near Palai in 1972 and made her first profession on May 1, 1974, and chose the name Rani (queen) Maria. She began her mission in northern India in Bijnore in 1975 and then came to Udainagar in 1992.


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