Friday, 5 October 2012

Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara

He was born Kuriakose Chavara on February 10, 1805, at Kainakary, Kerala, India, the son of Iko (Kuriakose) Chavara and Mariam Thoppil. He was baptized on February 17, 1805, at Chennamkary Parish Church in Alappuzha.


In his childhood,he attended the village school. There he studied language and elementary sciences. He entered the seminary in 1818 in Pallipuram where Father Thoma Palackal was the Rector. He was ordained on November 29, 1829, at Arthunkal and presided over the Holy Qurbana (Eucharist) for the first time at Chennamkary Church.
Carmelite life

Desirous of living in a religious community, Chavara joined with two other priests, Fathers Thoma Palackal and Thomas Porukara, in order to live in a community following Carmelite spirituality. The name of the community was the Servants of Mary Immaculate of Mount Carmel. The foundation for the first monastery at Mannanam was laid on May 11, 1831, and the trio took vows to form a religious community. Chavara took the additional name of "Elias", from the Carmelite tradition of his having been their founder. Palackal and Porukara died in 1841 and 1846, respectively.

Chavara became Prior General of the congregation in 1855, and under his administration the group became affiliated as a Third Order institute of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. From that point on they used the postnominal initials of T.O.C.D.
Service to the Church

Chavara became Vicar General for the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in 1861. He defended the ecclesial unity of the Church, which was threatened by schism due to the consecration by Thomas Rochos of Nestorian bishops. He worked to renew the faith in the church. He was a man of prayer with a devotion to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary.

He was also a social reformer,an educationist and had played a major and significant role in educating women and people of lower sections of society.He first introduced the system called "A school along with every church" which was successful in making education and knowledge available for everyone for free. Thus schools in Kerala are also called 'pallikudam'('palli' means church).


Geography of Indian

Geography of Kerala


                                                                                                                               
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