On Friday 15 November we celebrated a special Mass in honour of Kerala’s new saint, Saint Mariam Thresia.
Proclaimed a saint at the same Mass as England’s new Saint, John Henry Newman, Sister Mariam Thresia was born in Puthenchira, in Kerala in 1876. From a young age she devoted herself to God, becoming a religious sister. She and three companions devoted their life to helping the poor, nursing the sick, and visiting the lonely people of the parish, irrespective of religion or caste. Eventually Sister Mariam founded new Congregation of the Holy Family on 14 May 1914.
A group of students worked to prepare and plan today’s special liturgy in honour of Sister Mariam Thresia, along with preparing the hymns in the Malayalam language (spoken in Kerala) – thanks to Derrin and Szymon for playing. This was the first time that we have had hymns and the parts of the Mass sung in Malayalam in school. James Noakes, School Chaplain said: “The work that the students put into the preparation gave us a really amazing and truly inspiring liturgy.”
At Mass we learned from Fr Simon that Sister Mariam Thresia had received the stigmata (the wounds of the Lord’s passion on her body) however he pointed out that it was not for this alone but rather for her holiness and dedicated service to supporting family life through her prayer and work, and the work of her religious sisters, that was the significant sign of her life of holiness.
Thanking the leaders and the large congregation – which spilled out into the foyer, Mr Carney pointed out that our School Chapel is dedicated to the Holy Family of Nazareth, which gives us another connection to Sister Mariam Thresia.
Thank you to Fr Simon for celebrating the Mass, Mrs Heggs, Year 6 teacher from St Patrick’s School for joining us, and to Mr Purohit and the students for organising the Indian party food in the Restaurant which followed after Mass.