Kottayam: Perched atop a hill, the St Joseph’s Church, in Mannanam, saw thousands viewing the canonization of Fr Chavara Kuriakose Elias and Sr Euphrasia on the TV screens set up at various places including the one inside the church.
The pandhal erected on the vast grounds of the church was intended to accommodate almost 10,000 people. Close to 60,000 came to the church on Sunday. People from almost all the districts converged on Mannanam.
While the canonization functions began, the faithful were treated to a translation of the important procedures at the Vatican by a priest inside the church.
There was a separate queue to the tomb of Fr Chavara. Hundreds sought his blessings. A thanksgiving mass was celebrated by over a 100 priests. The programme concluded with a procession.
CM inaugurates public meeting
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the public meeting held at St Joseph's Church. St Chavara was a renaissance leader of Kerala, the Chief Minister said.
“Kerala is indebted to St Chavara for the educational growth we have achieved so far. The perspective of St Chavara helped the educational growth of the state”, Chandy said.
Finance Minister K.M.Mani said the Government would set up a Chavara Chair at MG University for which funds would be allotted. He also inaugurated the ‘Chavara housing project’ at the function.
Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the Government had decided to start a police aid post at Mannanam. Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Govt Chief Whip P.C. George and other leaders were also present. Kanjirapally Bishop Mar Mathew Arackal presided over the function.