St. Cyriacus (Kuriakose) Elias Chavara
Priest and Co-Founder.
Roman Martyrology: In Koonammavu, India, San Kuriakose Elias Chavara of the Holy Family, priest and co-founder of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.
Canonization Date: 23 November 2014 by Pope Francis
He was born on February 10, 1805 at Kainakary, Kersala, India. Studied with a Hindu teacher until age 10, and learned a variety of languages and regional dialects. Entered the seminary in 1818; ordained a priest of the Syro-Malabar Rite at the age of twenty-four on 29 November 1829.
Co-founder with two other priests a new religious congregation the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, and became the first prior-general of it. The main work of the Congregation was education aiming at the intellectual, social, economic, moral and spiritual advancement of people, especially women and children; it works today in eight countries with almost 5,000 members. Kuriakose made his religious profession in the Congregation in 1855.
Father Kuriakos promulgated a greater uniformity in the celebration of the Syro-Malabar liturgy by writing a book on the proper celebration of the Syro-Malabar Mass. In 1861 a Chaldean Rite bishop visiting India began usurping authority over the Syro-Malabar Catholics by falsely claiming to have a papal mandate to take control from the vicar apostolic. Firmly opposing this schismatic prelate, Father Kuriakos led a spiritual crusade to reaffirm papal authority over the Syro-Malabar Rite and the authority of the legitimate bishop. Father Kuriakos' zeal was the fruit of his intense spiritual life forged in the many hours he spent praying before the Blessed Sacrament and being nurtured by his filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
He died on 3 January 1871 at Koonammuva, India, of natural causes and he is known as a man of prayer with a devotion to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary.
He was beatified on 8 February 1986 by Pope John Paul II at Kottayam, India and canonized on 23 November 2014 by Pope Francis. His canonization miracle involved the cure of an eye disorder suffered by a girl named Maria in 2007