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Saint Alphonsa
Saint Alphonsa

Saint Alphonsa

Feast Day
Jul 28, 2013
Against Illnesses
<p>St. Alphonsa was born in the present day Kottayam District, Kerala, India as Annakkutty.&nbsp; She was raised by her maternal aunt, as Anna&rsquo;s mother died when she was very young.&nbsp; Anna was well on her way of being educated, and at the age of 13 was badly burned.&nbsp; She fell into a pit of burning chaff, and burned her feet.&nbsp; The accident left her permanently disabled.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>As soon as it became possible, Anna joined the Franciscan Clarist Congregation.&nbsp; At the age of 17, she arrived at the Poor Clares Convent on Pentecost Sunday, and took the name Alphonsa.&nbsp; She made her final vows in 1936, the same year her foster mother died.&nbsp; She was educated in elementary education, and taught school.&nbsp; Often whe was too sick to teach. &nbsp;</p> <p>In December 1936, it is claimed that she was cured from her ailments through the intervention of Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara, but three years later was struck by a sever attack of pneumonia, which left her week.&nbsp; The following year a thief entered her room in the middle of the night and this event caused her to suffer amnesia, and again, weakened her.&nbsp; Her health continued to deteriorate over a period of the next few months.&nbsp; She received the extreme unction, and the next day it is believed she regained her memory, but not her health.&nbsp; Ultimately she worsened and died in 1946 at the age of 35. &nbsp;</p> <p>Her tomb in Bharananganam has become a pilgrimage site as miracles have and continue to be reported by the faithful.&nbsp; The actual miracle attributed to her intercession and approved by the Vatican for canonization was the healing of the club foot of an infant, in 1999.&nbsp; Pope Benedict XVI canonized her in October, 2008.&nbsp; She is the first person of Indian origin that was canonized a Saint by the Catholic Church. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>Saint Alphonsa had a lot of disappointment as a child, with the loss of her mother, being raised by her aunt and having a permanent disability with her feet.&nbsp; Life was not easy for her.&nbsp; Rather than drawing inward, and retreating from this world, she reached out towards God.&nbsp; She knew that by living out the Will of God, she could have an impact on those around her, and stay in union with God.&nbsp; Even through her sickness and death, she continues to reach out to intercede for others to this day.&nbsp; Being the first saint canonized by the Catholic Church of India origin, she is venerated today and miracles continue to be reported.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p>