Blessed Kuriakose Elias of Chavara
Kuriakose Elias Chavara
Born February 10, 1805(1805-02-10), Kainakary, Kerala, India
Died January 3, 1871 (aged 65), Koonamavu, India
Venerated in Catholic Church
Beatified February 8, 1986, Mannannam by Pope John Paul II
Feast January 3
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Blessed Kuriakose Elias of Chavara was the co-founder and first prior-general of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate and of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel. He was also known as Cyriac Elias.

Blessed Kuriakose of Chavara was born on February 10, 1805, at Kainakary (Kerala, India). His parents were Iko (Kuriakose) and Mariam Thoppil. He was baptized on February 17, 1805, at Chennankari Parish Church in Alappuzha. He attended the village school under the guidance of a Hindu teacher. There he studied language and elementary sciences. He entered the seminary in 1818 in Pallipuram where Palackal Thoma Malpan was the Rector. He was ordained on November 29, 1829, at Arthunkal and first celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Chennankari Church.

The congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (C.M.I.) was started by Palackal Thoma Malpan, Thomas Porukara and the Blessed Chavara. They were assisted by Brother Jacob Kanianthara. The foundation for the first monastery at Mannanam was laid on May 11, 1831. Palackal Malpan and Father Thomas Porukara died in 1841 and 1846, respectively.

Blessed Kuriakose of Chavara became Prior General of the Congregation in 1855. He became Vicar-general for the Syro-Malabar Church in 1861. He defended ecclesial unity which was threatened by schism due to the consecration by Tomas 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 died on January 3, 1871, aged 65, at Koonammavu, India, of natural causes. In 1889 his body was transferred to the chapel of Saint Joseph's Monastery, Mannanam (Kerala, India). The Monastery at Mannanam has become a pilgrim centre, where hundreds of people visit the Blessed Kuriakose's tomb every Saturday.

He was beatified, along with Saint Alphonsa on February 8, 1986, by Pope John Paul II at Kottayam, India. His memorial is celebrated on January 3.

Blessed Kuriakose Elias of Chavara has been known lovingly to all his devotees only as Fr Kuriakose. Until recently it was generally believed that he hailed from a place called Chavara, fourteen kilometers north of Kollam (Quilon).

External links

pt:Ciríaco Elias Chavara ru:Чавара, Куриакос Элиас

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