Mart Alphonsa was later canonized on 12 October 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI.
BLESSED THEVARPARAMPIL KUNJACHAN
Kunjachan literally means the little Priest. He was little in many respects: short in physical stature, possessing few talents and abilities, holding no ecclesiastical position of any weight or significance. He did not even hold an ordinary post of the Vicar of a parish during his 52 years of priestly ministry. However, the life of this little and insignificant priest was precious before God. Mar Sebastian Vayalil, the first bishop of Palai, bestowed on him the title, “Apostle of the Harijans.”
For nearly four decades Kunjachan rendered unwavering service to the Dalits at the cost of great personal hardship and persisting opposition from some prominent traditional Christians, including a few relatives.
He lived a life of the untouchable, except sins. He had no box or shelf to keep his clothes. In his last will he disposed that after his death he was to be buried where his Harijan Christians were buried.
Kunjachan lived at a time when the concept of evangelization gained least priority in the local Church for various reasons. He was a man filled with a missionary spirit. Though he was not a biblical scholar, he was on fire for the love of Jesus. The spirit of evangelization that emerged in him was a natural outcome of his personal experience of Jesus. He firmly believed that introducing Jesus and his redemptive teachings to others would be an indispensable duty of every priest. He was also aware of the fact that accepting Christianity means not only opening a man’s life to spiritual liberation but also entering a path to integral development comprehending social, cultural and economic aspects. Moreover, he was convinced that he should follow the footsteps of Jesus who was very particular to preach the Good News to the poor.
Augustine Thevarparampil, known as Ramapuram Kunjachan was declared Blessed on 30 April 2006 by His Beatitude Varkey Vithayathil, CSsR, the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church at Ramapuram in the diocese of Palai, the very place where Kunjachan lived, worked, died and was buried. Blessed Kunjachan is the first one from among the diocesan priests of India to be raised to the honours of the Altar. The Church celebrates his feast on October 16.
Blessed Kunjachan lived his priestly life in sanctity and significantly following the footsteps of Jesus Christ announcing the good news to the poor towards their integral liberation through his preferential option for the poor and the untouchables of the society.
BLESSED EUPHRASIA ELUVATHINGAL
Euphrasia Eluvathingal was a nun who led her life for our Lord who even though frail in health, exhibited rare moral courage, spiritual power and a very high sense of responsibility