Bp Sebastian Adayanthrath
Rome, the eternal city is getting ready to canonize another saint from India along with four others, one among them is a Cardinal who came from Anglican faith and became a strong supporter of Catholic faith, Cardinal Newman. Blessed Mariam Thresia lived a century ago but in a time when women where shut in their homes, this nun who was supposed to live in their convent praying and doing their daily chores, she walked into their homes and became their apostle in their journey of life. We should also remember that it was a time when the Church kept away from the peripheries of society widows, people with mental illness, persons with disabilities, children who lost to their parents due to plague etc. she became their mother, counsellor and above all their friend. She was not afraid of anyone. She was a genius of her own time, she could very well understand the path the church of Jesus Christ, that it should walk the talk and a replicable model for the society.
During the Ad Limina visit the Holy Father has expressed his joy in raising Mariam Thresia to saint hood. St. Peters square is getting ready for that big event. Banners are being unfolded with the pictures of five saints, stage set up for Mass and sisters and friends arriving from India. They are seen around the square shopping around for religious articles and visiting various churches. The climate is getting cold but the hearts are warm. The music is ready including the Malayalam song. This lady who lived for only 50 years bring lasting effect to the heart of the Church, asking everyone especially the religious to go back into the root which manages the health of the society family.
One of the genius of this modern saint is that she structuralized her ministry/ congregation of the Holy Family, so that the ministry may outlive her. God gave her a short life like Saint Alphonsa and Saint Francis of Assisi. But that was no reason for her to flower her life to the utmost. Her life was distraught with attacks from evil spirit, shaken by the absence of God in some of the critical moments of her life and the dark nights of the soul. It was due to the inspiring and consoling presence and advise given by the spiritual director, she could withstand the great vacuum she felt in her own heart. She deeply believed in the prayer thy kingdom come. She believed that our own spirituality and intimacy with God should create a just world and in her own words, healthy families with God fearing people. She believed that we are created in the image of God and we should not allow anyone to manipulate us or take us away from the presence of God. She is the right saint for our times, since our families are facing whether it is the east or west innumerable pressures to identify themselves with values which are not helping them to lead a sane life. Here is a saint with sanity, internal health and above all someone who loves the family and who would like to intercede for our families.