Spanish missioner is Kerala's new Servant of God
Jan. 30, 2014
The sainthood case of Spanish Carmelite Fr. Zechariah of St. Teresa, who taught at St. Joseph Pontifical seminary in Alwaye for four decades, has been moved a step further.
At the meeting with the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Monday, Pope Francis approved the “heroic virtue” of Fr. Zechariah and seven others from across the globe, calling them Servants of God, allowing their public veneration.
Fr. Zechariah was born in Spain on Nov. 5, 1887 and joined the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1904. Soon after his ordination in 1911, he opted to work in India and came to Kochi on October 1912.
He became a professor at the undivided St. Joseph Pontifical seminary in 1913, and continued the job until death in May 23, 1957, at the age of 69 at Vellore in Tamil Nadu. He was buried in at Manjummel near Kochi.
The saintly priest was part of a team of Carmelites that formed generations of priests in Kerala. Hundreds of priests in the state remember him as retreat preacher and teacher of history, philosophy and theology.
Three people who founded religious congregations are also among the group. Servant of God Marcella Mallet, foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Quebec and Servant of God Maria Benedetta Arias, foundress of the Sisters Servants of Jesus in the Sacrament. The third is Servant of God Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The other two are a nun and a widow. They are Servant of God Serafina of the Congregation of the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ and Servant of God Elizabeth Sanna, a widow, of the Tertiary Order of Minims of St. Francis.
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