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Ursuline Lily

SERVANT OF GOD MARIA CELINE KANNANAIKAL                 

                                                                           

Sr. Maria Celine Kannanaikal was born at Kundanoor, on 13th February 1931, in the Archdiocese of Trichur  in Kerala. She made her first profession on 20th June 1957. She was the 2nd child of Philomina and Francis Kannanaikal. She had four brothers and a sister. After working as a teacher for some time in two different schools, she joined the Congregation of the Ursulines of Mary Immaculate on 24th June 1954 and entered the novitiate on 26th December 1954.

It appears that from childhood God had destined her to carry a heavier cross than many others were called upon to bear. Even as a Novice, she was chosen to suffer extraordinary trials and tribulations causing untold physical pain and mental anguish. However, her childlike confidence in the Heavenly Father and the maternal and tender care of her Novitiate Directress, Mother Stefania Murelli, enabled her to endure the cross the Lord had placed on her shoulders. She was favoured with visions and ecstasies. Jesus and the Little Flower appeared to her many times and asked her to pray for sinners. In fact she was chosen by God to suffer excruciating pains specially in reparation for the sins of the consecrated persons.

As we read in the Book of Job, The Omniscient God allowed the devil to test Sr. Celine by both physical and mental tortures. She stood the test and never complained. Sr. Celine loved Jesus with her whole heart and soul and lived only to fulfill His plans in and through her. She discovered ‘the short cut to the Heart of God’ and made her abode there. So no tempest in the ocean of life perturbed her. She was a very fervent and devout novice in whom shone the virtues of obedience, humility and generosity in a remarkable manner. In fact, of her could be said the words of our Bl. Foundress, “Give me an obedient soul and I will give you back a saint.” Total abandonment of her own will, complete dependence on God and submission to His Will manifested through those who directed her, gave swifter wings to Sr. Celine in her flight to God.

On the day of her First Profession, 20th June 1957, Jesus appeared to her and told her that He would come very soon to take her to heaven with Him. Sr.Celine lived just over a month after she committed her life to the Lord. Being purified by extraordinary crosses within a short while, the first lily from the Ursuline garden was plucked at the age of 26 and transplanted into the Heavenly Kingdom on the evening of 25th July 1957. She was buried on 26th July 1957 in the cemetery at Cannanore.

Her virtuous life is attested by the many favours attributed to her prayers and intercession. The “CAUSE” for her beatification was initiated on 29th July 2007 by  Most Rev. Dr. Varghese Chakkalakal, the former Bishop of Kannur. She is now a “Servant of God”. Her body was exhumed on 29th February 2012 and reburied in a new tomb in the Chapel of the Mother House , at Payyambalam, Kannur, Kerala, India.