Feast: 28th July
Family Unit Meeting: Third Saturday
St. Alphonsa, the first native woman saint of India, who lived as an unknown simple Clarist nun within the four walls of the Franciscan Clarist convent at Bharananganam, in Kerala, is now known all over the world. Her extraordinary power of intercession before her beloved Spouse Lord Jesus Christ, made her dear to everyone. Alphonsa, born on 19th August, 1910 as the fourth child of Joseph Muttathupadath and Mary Puthukkari, belonged to the parish of Kudamaloor. A chronic victim of physical suffering, constrained to live under the rigorous discipline of a community life, her life was dominated by an impulsive desire to practice the severest austerities and mortifications.
Her acceptance and love for suffering and her growth in the path of sanctity through such suffering and pain opens up the depth of her relationship with and in Jesus Christ and this became for her an experience of the redemptive value of suffering when joined to His suffering, thus making her a perfect example of death to self and life to Christ and in Christ. This is what in fact makes her worthy of the honour of the altar universally. St. Alphonsa had a short life span of only 36 years and she died on 28th July, 1946. Her life was marked by unwavering faith and heroic resignation to the trials of life. In a letter to her spiritual father, on 30th November, 1943, she confided the following: “Already from the age of seven, I was no longer mine. I was totally dedicated to my divine Spouse. Your reverence knows it well“.