Today’s commemorated Saint is Saint Alphonsa. She was born August 19, 1910 as Anna Muttathupadathu in a Syro-Malabar family to Cherian Ouseph and Mary Muttathupadathu. In her teenage years, she received many marriage proposals from reputed families. During this time, Theresa of Lisieux appeared and told her that she will become a Saint. St Alphonsa sacrificed her material fortune and wanted to dedicate her life to Jesus Christ. She then walked through a pit of burning chaff to avoid an arranged marriage so she could fulfill her desire to be a religious sister. She joined the Franciscan Clarist Congregation and completed her schooling there. She received the postulant veil on August 2nd 1928 and took the name Alphonsa of the immaculate conception in honor of St Alphonsus Ligouri. She started teaching in a convent school but her health started to decline and she was unable to teach. Her health continued to deteriorate over a period of months. She died on July 28th 1946 at the young age of 35. Upon her death, miraculous intervention involving the children of the convent school where she taught took place. Hundreds of miraculous cures took place from her intervention. Many of them involve straightening of clubbed feet. St Alphonsa is the first woman of Indian origin to be canonized as a Catholic saint and is the first canonized saint of the Syromalabar Church. Her tomb at St Mary’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Bharananganam, Kerala has become a pilgrimage site where miracles take place. St Alphonsa is the patron saint against illness.
"Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" St Alphonsa practiced this word of God in her life. We entrust our country, families and the whole human race for her intercession.
God, give us the strength to receive the sufferings of our daily lives as your loving gifts. Help us to grow in divine virtues without being attracted by the momentary pleasures of this world. Grant us the grace to become symbols of fraternity by constantly radiating the goodness to others. Lord, through the merits and the powerful intercession of St. Alphonsa accepts all our petitions, especially the special needs that we ask for in her name.....(say the need) and bless us. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.