(01 Mar 08 - RV ) Saturday in the consistory hall of the Vatican palace, Pope Benedict
XVI held an ordinary public consistory to announce the names of four blessed soon
to be inscribed into the roll of saints.
Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martens, Prefect of Congregation for the Cause of the Saints, read the list of the blessed
Blessed Fr. Gaetano Errico, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (1791-1860).
Blessed Maria Bernarda Butler, Swiss foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (1848-1924).
Blessed Alfonsa of the Immaculate Conception, Indian professed sister of the Congregation of Poor Clares of the Third Order of St. Francis (1910-1946).
Blessed Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran, Ecuadorian lay woman (1833-1869)
Then Pope Benedict SVI declared the four blessed will be written into the roll of saints on October 12 2008
For the faithful of India Saturday’s consistory marked an historic first, for Blessed Alphonsa will become the first woman to be declared a siant in India.
Born in 1910 in the southern state of Kerala, Blessed Alphonsa was the fourth child of Ouseph and Mariam Muttathupadath.
After losing her mother when she was only 3 months old, she was raised by an aunt who sought to marry her off to a rich family.
But Alphonsa insisted on following the example of Therese of Lisieux and joined the Franciscan Clarist convent in August 1928 where she received the name of Alphonsa.
Despite poor health and many, she persevered in her commitment to religious life and made perpetual vows on 12th of August in 1936.
After years of illness and great suffering ,she died in 1946 and was beatified forty years later by Pope John Paul II on February 8, 1986.
In June 2007 Pope Benedict XVI signed the decree approving the miracle that took place through the intercession of Blessed Alphonsa, paving the way for her canonization.