Sunday, November 5, 2017

Another Indian Franciscan - AFFI Member is beatified!


She is the third Indian Franciscan: 1.Br. Gonzalo Garcia OFM, 2. Sr. Alphonsa FCC and Sr. Rani Maria FCC.

          Beatification is one step away from Canonisation, and Sister Maria is the first nun from north India to be Beatified.
          Her killer Samandar Singh, who was in the audience, said “I cannot undo what happened. That was also God’s call. This, too, is God’s call. She was a saint, and now she’ll be declared one too”.
INDORE: "Blessed Rani Maria, pray for us," proclaimed Vatican ambassador Cardinal Angelo Amato on Saturday. And 15,000 Christians repeated the words after him at a local school in Indore, marking the beatification of Sister Rani Maria Vattalil as a martyr.
In the audience, was seated her killer Samandar Singh. Next to him sat the Blessed Maria's sister, Sr Selmi. "I cannot undo what happened. That was also God's call. This, too, is God's call. She was a saint, and now she'll be declared one too," said Samandar who had stabbed her viciously 22 years ago. He was sentenced to life but was released in 2002 after Sister Selmi visited him in jail and asked that he be pardoned.
Beatification is one step away from Canonisation, and Sister Maria is the first nun from north India to be Beatified and the seventh Indian to be beatified after Sister Alphonsa, Fr Kuriakose Chavara, Mother Euphrasia, Fr Joseph Vaz, Fr Gonsalo Garcia and Mother Teresa. The ceremony was held St. Paul's HS School in the presence of Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for Cause of Saints (Vatican), and 45 bishops and five cardinals from India.
Just before Gloria (singing praises of God), Cardinal Amato read out the apostolic letter in Latin, announcing Pope Francis's declaration that Sr Rani Maria be called Blessed and her feast may be celebrated every year on February 25 — the day she was martyred in 1995. The Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops arrived in the form of a procession.
Right after the announcement, a relic and a large portrait of Sister Maria were brought to the altar by the family members, representatives from the church in Kerala and representatives of Sr Rani Maria's Franciscan Clarist Congregation. Cardinal Angelo Amato said, "She's not just an inspiration to Udainagar church but to Catholics across the globe. Her sacrifice has become a beacon of light for missionaries. "
Blessed Ran Maria is the seventh Indian to be beatified
1.     Fr Gonsalo Garcia
2.     Sister Alphonsa,
3.     Fr Joseph Vaz,
4.     Mother Teresa
5.     Fr Kuriakose Chavara,
6.     Mother Euphrasia,
7.     Sr. Rani Maria

The Vatican's head of the Department for Cause of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, declared Vattali, popularly known as Sister Rani, 'Blessed', a stage below sainthood. Sister Rani, then 41, was stabbed about 50 times on-board a bus in Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas district on February 25, 1995
Kerala-born nun Rani Maria Vattali, who was stabbed to death in 1995 in Madhya Pradesh, was on declared ‘Blessed’, a sacred title in the Roman Catholic church order. The Vatican’s head of the Department for Cause of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, declared Vattali, popularly known as Sister Rani, ‘Blessed’, a stage below sainthood.
Cardinal Amato read out Apostolic (Pope’s) letter declaring her ‘Blessed’ in Latin at a Holy Mass at Saint Paul Higher Secondary School’s ground in Indore in the presence of large numbers of clerics and Christians.
Cardinal George Alencherry read out the letter of Pope Francis in English, while Cardinal Telesphore Toppo did so in Hindi at the mass presided over by Cardinal Amato. Selmy, sister of the slain nun, who along with other family members was present at the ceremony, said she was “overwhelmed” at the declaration. An elated Selmy said she will walk on the path shown by her sister.
 “The Blessed title is considered a prelude to beatification of sainthood as was the case with Mother Teresa,” Public Relations Officer of Madhya Pradesh Catholic Church, Father Maria Stephen told. But for canonisation of sainthood, a miracle is required, he said.
All the four cardinals of India – Mar Baselios Cleemis (president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India), Mar George Alencherry (of Syro Malabar Church), Oswald Gracias (Archdiocese of Bombay) and Telephore Toppo (Archdiocese of Ranchi) graced the ceremony.
Sister Rani, then 41, was stabbed about 50 times on-board a bus in Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas district on February 25, 1995. Her attacker Samunder Singh was hired to kill the nun as some landlords in MP’s Indore region were upset with her work on uplift of landless people, he said. Singh was sentenced to life in prison by a court. His sentence was later commuted due to his good conduct in prison, Stephen said. He was also pardoned by Sister Rani’s family. At the ceremont, Singh recalled his brutal act.the beatification of Sister Rani Maria Vattalil as a martyr.
In the audience, was seated her killer Samandar Singh. Next to him sat the Blessed Maria's sister, Sr Selmi. "I cannot undo what happened. That was also God's call. This, too, is God's call. She was a saint, and now she'll be declared one too," said Samandar who had stabbed her viciously 22 years ago. He was sentenced to life but was released in 2002 after Sister Selmi visited him in jail and asked that he be pardoned.
Just before Gloria (singing praises of God), Cardinal Amato read out the apostolic letter in Latin, announcing Pope Francis's declaration that Sr Rani Maria be called Blessed and her feast may be celebrated every year on February 25 — the day she was martyred in 1995. The Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops arrived in the form of a procession.

Right after the announcement, a relic and a large portrait of Sister Maria were brought to the altar by the family members, representatives from the church in Kerala and representatives of Sr Rani Maria's Franciscan Clarist Congregation. Cardinal Angelo Amato said, "She's not just an inspiration to Udainagar church but to Catholics across the globe. Her sacrifice has become a beacon of light for missionaries. "
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