Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan was born on 26 April 1876 in Puthenchira, India, the third of five children in a Catholic family. She received a Christian education from her mother. Given her spiritual fervour, she received her First Communion at nine years of age, considered early in those days. Thresia wished to devote herself to the life of a hermit, but her family opposed it.
Gifted with a deep sensitivity and compassion for suffering humanity and for families in difficult situations, she dedicated herself to helping the poor, the sick, the dying and the excluded. She went out to meet people and families in need, visiting the homes of all, without distinctions based on caste or belief. Filled with deep love for the Lord, she experienced visions, ecstasies and the stigmata. Bishop John Menachery, understanding her desire to consecrate herself totally to God, gave her permission in 1913 to build a hermitage which became the seat of the “Congregation of the Holy Family”, inaugurated on 14 May 1914. Thresia was named Mother Superior by the bishop.
The reputation of her holy life and her apostolate to the family attracted many young women to consecrate themselves, living in prayer and penance in the new Congregation which continued to grow over time in number and vitality. People from all walks of life approached her, particularly concerning family problems. She died on 8 June 1926 due to complications of diabetes. Mother Mariam Thresia’s reputation for holiness spread rapidly and her tomb became a pilgrimage destination. She was beatified on 9 April 2000 by Saint John Paul II. Her intercession is invoked by families in difficult circumstances and by childless couples.
18 October 2019, page 3