Two Kerala Catholics canonised by Pope Francis

Catholic priest Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara, popularly known as Chavara Achen, and a nun Sister Euphrasia, popularly known as Eupraisiamma, who were beatified by the Pope for sainthood in April, have been canonised, and pronounced saints at a special mass at St Peter's Square at the Vatican. Chavara was ordained as a priest in 1829, and was a social reformer who believed the intellectual development and education of women was the first step towards overall social welfare. He died in 1871 at the age of 65. Euphrasia who was known as a 'praying mother' and a 'saint among nuns' had several miracles to her credit. She died in 1952 at the age of 75. To celebrate their sainthood, prayers and masses were held at churches across Kerala on Sunday. With this canonisation the Syro Malabar Church now has three Saints, the first being Sister Alphonsa who was canonised in 2008. She was the first Indian to be canonised. To witness the canonisation, a 5000 strong delegation of the Kerala Catholic church went to the Vatican, as did two Kerala ministers who were deputed for the occasion, and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien led the delegation.