St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara

Kuriakose Elias Chavara was born on 10th February 1805 at Kainakary, Kerala, as the sixth child of parents Kuriakose and Mariam. When he was 13, he joined the seminary at Pallipuram for his priestly training. On 29th November 1829 he became a priest.

Chavara was instrumental in founding two catholic Religious Congregations one for women, Congregation of mother of Carmel (CMC) and the other for men, Carmelities of Mary Immaculate (CMI), for the spiritual renewal and all round development of society.

Starting seven religious houses and a convent in different parts of Kerala, Chavara initiated a spiritual movement among the people of kerala. He established the first Sanskrit School in 1846 at Mannanam, and his mandate to start schools attached to every church in 1864, made tremendous changes in the educational scenario of Kerala.

Chavara was a man of prayer and great Charity. He lived for 65 years and died on 3rd January 1871. On 7th April 1984, Pope John Paul II solemnly declared Chavara, Venerable, evaluating the heroic virtues of the servant of God. On 8th February 1986, during his historic visit to Kottayam, Kerala. Late Pope John Paul II, raised him to the honors of the Altar declaring him the BLESSED and Bl.Kuriakose Elias Chavara was declared a Saint on 23rd November 2014 by his Holiness Pope Francis.

Important sayings of Saint Chavara

  • Children, you are God’s gift in the hands of your parents.
  • The children who have a love of God and fear of God will love and respect their parents.
  • Trust your mother; God will hear the prayers of the mother as yours.
  • Food is for the body, so is wisdom for the intellect.
  • Go to school regularly and recall to mind what is taught during the week.
  • Laziness fosters evil habits.
  • Let your friends be those who love God.
  • The day in which you have not done any good to your fellowmen will not be recorded in your book of life.
  • Keeping bad books is like a hiding fire in hay.
  • Regular reading of good books and meditating on them will illumine the mind.
  • Attain punctuality by means of a regular time table.
  • You angels will be turned to devils, if you fall into evil situations.
  • You ought to reach home before evening and take part in evening prayers.
  • Desire that others love you, and not that they fear you.
  • Take special care to keep modesty while you sit, walk or lie down.
  • You are to forgive and forget the wrong doings of others.
  • Tell me who fear friends are and I will tell who you are.
  • What you earn by deceit and theft will melt like snow.
  • Idleness is the mother of all vices and would induce one to the habit of drinking.
  • Both stinginess and extravagance are equally sinful.
  • Had you not lighted the lamp during the day time, you could have lit it during the night.
  • Do not insult or trouble the poor.
  • God decides your vocation and it is for you to choose it.
  • If your parents have left any obligation of restitution, fulfill it with diligence and devotion.
  • Even if you are grown in age and maturity, you have to respect your parents and submit to them.
  • Do not hate your own brethren.
  • It is the duty of children to look after their parents.
  • Do not cause for your parents to shed tears on account of you.
  • The humble man is the greatest among men.
  • Since you belong to God, you have to give yourself back to God.