A Souvenir Sheet consisting of 1 no. of commemorative postage stamp on the Canonization of Saint Alphonsa, T.O.S.F. (Third Order of Saint Francis) : 12-10-2008 :
Issued by India
Issued on Nov 16, 2008
Issued for : India Post is happy to release commemorative postage stamp on Saint Alphonsa.
Stamp : Suresh Kumar
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paise (stamp) & 1500 Paise (Miniature Sheet)
Stamps Printed : 1.0 Million
Miniature Sheet : 0.5 Million
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nasik
Name : Anna Muttathupadathu
Born on Aug 19, 1910 at Kudamalloor, Kottayam district, Kerala, India
Died on Jul 28, 1946 at Bharananganam, Kottayam district, Kerala, India
- God has blessed our Indian Church and, in particular, the Franciscan Clarist Congregation with the precious gift of Saint Alphonsa, the first woman saint from our Motherland India, the land of Rishis and Sages. The crore message of Saint Alphonsa to the modern world is the dynamic power of love. A love, which empowers for a total self-surrender to God, a total self-giving to the other and a total self-emptying of oneself. Her whole life was the proclamation to the great and intense power of love in the midst of adversities and challenges; the power of love to transform suffering into joy. Her moments of suffering were the moments of love!
- Saint Alphonsa, was born on August 19, 1910, at Kudamaloor in the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, Kerala. Her mother died three months later after giving birth to Annakutty, later Alphonsa.
- Annakutty had special ties of friendship with Lakshmikutty belonging to Hindu religion. Notwithstanding their caste differences, the two shared their love at school. Lakshmikutty, still alive and 97 now, tells people seeking information on Sister Alphonsa : “No one loved me as Annakutty did.“
- It was as early as seven years when Annakutty made her first communion with God at Kudamaloor. It was an unforgettable day in her life. She decided on that day to belong only to Jesus and the decision was echoed in a declaration made to her elder sister Elizabeth: “Jesus is my only spouse and I haven’t any other.“
- She joined the Poor Franciscan Clarist Congregation to model her life after the example of evangelical poverty witnessed by Saint Francis of Assisi and St. Clare. From their lives she learnt to give primacy to being than doing, emptying than possessing and giving than receiving.
- Having lived a life of service and sacrifice, through the melodious symphony of love and suffering, for only 36 years on this Indian soil, she was called to her heavenly abode on 28th July, 1946. Saint Alphonsa‘s mortal remains are kept at Bharananganam, in the diocese of Palai, Kerala.
- Saint Alphonsa‘s life was a holocaust of suffering which she made into a love song. Every suffering of daily life, big or small she was able to take with a smile as if it is a beautiful gift given by her beloved Lord. She teaches us that suffering has a salvific value in our lives and it can work miracles when endured with love and joy for the sake of others.
- Another aspect of her sanctity is manifested inter charity. Although in her health was poor, she used to help others in whatever way she could by praying for them, by helping them physically, by her comforting and reassuring words and advices and even by her smiles. When here health was alright, she taught for one year in school at Vakakkad and she proved herself to be a very impressive teacher who helped to develop her students intellectually as well as spiritually. He love was especially directed to those who hated here the most; she could heal the wounded hearts of the enemies; she could absorb the pains of the needy brothers and sisters and thus transmit the power of love.
- Saint Alphonsa is a saint of the Indian soil. She grew up and lived in the Indian culture and traditions. She experienced the pains and sorrows of the people in Indian villages because she was born and brought up in a small village and she was very compassionate to the poor and the needy.
- Saint Alphonsa‘s life was very humble, poor and at the same time joyful. Her life can be taken as an antidote for today’s consumeristic, materialistic, greedy, luxurious and sick world, which runs after fleeting pleasures and success. Humility was the foundation of her life. Her asceticism, simplicity and the life of poverty made her all the more joyful, open and humble.
- Saint Alphonsa who has left everlasting footprints on her earthly pilgrimage, is today continuously bestowing divine graces on us by interceding before the mighty throne of Merciful God. Saint Alphonsa is a model saint for all of us, for the whole of India and for the entire world. In the modern world, which is riddled with egoistic pursuits, travails and persecutions, the clarion call of Saint Alphonsa is to love, to love in the midst of all the sufferings.