I’m just ecstatic! I can't contain just how happy I am. Have you heard the awesome news? You might have gotten a hint from the title of this blog but here it is ... on February 13th 2019, Pope Francis accepted the cause for canonisation of two new saints in the catholic church.
New saints are declared often in the church. That’s something beautiful about Catholicism! There are so many awesome men, women and children who lived their lives for Christ in very profound ways and have passed from this world into the next. These were people just like you and me but they we willing to do something great with their lives.
Ahh I just love the saints ! I know that some people may ask “ why do you love them so much? They’re just people “. Well, that’s exactly the point! They are just people , ordinary people who were sinful just like me. But they didn’t let their imperfections define who they were. They offered these imperfections to Jesus and moved forward. They allowed Him to mould and use them for his kingdom. They weren’t perfect but they surrendered their lives into the arms of the one who is perfection.
Wait! I didn’t actually tell who those two new saints would be. Sorry guys I just got a bit carried away. Why do I always do this? Anyway, the catholic church will canonise Blessed John Henry Newman from Great Britain and Blessed Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan of the Indian Syro Malabar catholic church. Why this is so exciting for me is because I’m a Syro Malabar catholic from India who lives in the UK. Do you get my point ?
Now let’s talk about why I love these saintly people.
Blessed John Henry Newman was a high ranking individual within the Anglican church who, after a lot of intellectual studies about the Christian faith, entered the catholic church. I believe it was quite hard for him to leave everything he’d known and become a catholic. However, he couldn’t decline the truth about Catholicism. He was eventually appointed a cardinal within the catholic church and wrote some profound literature on our faith.
To those who live in Britain, he's someone proudly claimed as one of their own. Now, my high school was named after him. I attended ‘Cardinal Newman catholic comprehensive school’ for 5 years of my life. Our motto was his quote ‘ Heart to heart speaks’. Its beautiful right ? I don’t think I’ll ever forget these 4 simple words. There is so much truth just embedded within them but I’m not going to go into detail here.
I’ll tell you something funny though. When I first started high school , like everyone else in my year group, I had no idea who ‘Cardinal Newman’ was. I knew he was important but that was about everything I knew. I fondly remember that there was a big painting of him in the main school hall. For those who’ve seen images of blessed Newman ( I’ve attached a picture for you ) you’ll remember how he appears as if he’s thinking about something . So I remember telling myself “ well I don’t know who he is but he sure likes to think a lot!”. I bet he must have heard this up in heaven and chucked a bit. Don’t worry I did find out about him in due time. However, I must say, for some reason he keeps showing up now and then in my life and each time I learn more about this amazing individual.
Now, Blessed Marian Thresia is the 4th saint for the Syro Malabar Catholic’s. So far we have Sts Alphonsa, Chavara Elias Kuriakose and Euphrasia. Hence, this is such beautiful news for us. Nonetheless I feel proud to be a Syro Malabar catholic at times like these.
To be honest with you ,I didn’t know much about her until this summer when I watched a series on shalom TV about her life. I didn’t get to watch all of it but I did get half way through. It was very moving!
This woman yearned deeply to be the bride of Christ but her father wouldn't let her. She was from a very wealthy family and her father, although a catholic, couldn’t fathom the idea of his daughter entering religious life. To him such a thought devalued his dreams of her marrying into a good family. Eventually she did become a Carmelite sister and Jesus granted her many gifts of which one was being able to see and pray for the souls in purgatory. These souls would appear to her in visions and beg her for prayers so they could enter heaven. Just mind blowing right?
NB: scroll down for pictures and more !
Here's Blessed Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan. A blessed woman indeed. (CatholicSaints.Info, 2018. https://catholicsaints.info/blessed-mariam-thresia-chiramel-mankidiyan/)
So everyone ,I just wanted to share how excited I am for the canonisation of these uniquely blessed individuals. I hope this made you excited too. Next time you sit in prayer think about this ... what if I became a saint? You never know , you might just become one ! Always remember this , anyone can be a saint. Yes, even you and me.
~ Jubia xx