Saints

St Alphonsa – The Prophetic Funeral Speech by Rev Fr Romulus CMI

We all have gathered here to attend the funeral rites of a young religious. This gem of a virgin, who would have contributed meticulous service to the world or would have become very famous by becoming a good house wife, a graduate, a poetess, a novelist, or a film star seems to have wasted her whole life on her sickbed within the four corners of a convent doing nothing great before the eyes of the world. But the world was quite unaware of this simple sick sister. This is quite evident from the bare minimum number of people gathered here for her funeral rites. But I, being one among the few who has known the deep interior life of this virgin very personally, declare with a conviction that comes from the depths of my heart, can ascertain that we are attending the funeral service of a virgin, who had gained greater glory before God among the great personalities who had been born within this 2000 years in Kerala nay, in India. Had we really known her inner merit and glory, there would have been a greater crowd that Kerala had ever witnessed not only of the Faithful, but a greater number of priests even the bishops of India also would have assembled here. This place would have witnessed a multitude of people who had come here to secure a glance of her venerable body or to acquire something this virgin had used or to get hold of something to keep as a relic and to be passed over to their posterity. St. Little Flower of Lisieux , who had lived in a convent, was quite unknown to the world outside during her life time. Her funeral also was very simple and unceremonial. But now she has become world famous. Crores of people today are excited and enthralled by spiritual happiness at her sweet memory. As far as human understanding can fathom and as a person who had intimately known this virgin, I can very well say that this young virgin whom we are going to be laid to rest now, had secured a place not much behind St. Little Flower of Lisieux with the sanctity of her life. Human terminology and vocalization are inadequate to express supernatural and divine subjects. Hence a divine messenger and a heavenly verbalization is necessary to express the glorious greatness of life this holy virgin had lived and the spiritual gifts and the deeds of grace that were inherent in her life.

(After this a short life history of Alphonsa – her spiritual sacrifice, her various ailments, her outstanding sufferings, her patient endurance, her marvelous love of God, some miraculous incidents of her life- was narrated. After that he turned towards her father, her elder sister and the sorrowful religious sisters and concluded his sermon like this.) Hence nobody need lament or weep over the demise of this saintly soul. I do consider it a very lucky and providential chance in my life to have associated myself with this virgin. I had greatly revered and loved this saintly soul. Yet I do not feel the least sorrow over her departure. On the other hand, my heart overwhelms with immense and irrevocable happiness, not because the painful sufferings of this soul had come to an end with her death, but thinking of the fact that we have got an interceder in heaven who is very close to us. (To the father of Alphonsa ) So, do not be sorrowful , dear father of this virgin, but be happy over the fact that you secured the fatherhood of this saintly soul. (To the sister of Alphonsa ) Joy be yours, that you were born as her sister. Dear sisters of the convent, don’t shed tears of sorrow. Rejoice in the Lord as you got the wonderful chance to live with her and to do service to her. Blessed is the convent she lived and fortunate is this Bharananganam village that has laid to rest her body. If God wills, this Bharananganam will become the Lisieux of India. Pilgrims, not only from Kerala but from all over India, will visit this holy place that has entombed her chaste body. If it is the will of God, not only the bishops of India, but even the cardinals as well, will come to pray at the mausoleum of this virgin who led an obscure life here on earth. If it is so, you may ask the meaning of these rites for the repose of a soul. What I feel personally is not to pray for the repose of her soul, but to pray for her intercession who is in heaven. But the infallible trend of the Church is not that but….. if at all there were any minutest or trifle imperfections or shortcomings in her life…. as a human being can not completely live away from sin……to make reparation to God for those sins….. we shall pray during this funeral rites.”

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1 reply »

  1. I was so enlightened by the prophetic utterances of Rev. Fr. Romulus at the funeral service of St. Alphosa. Her continuous intercession and prayers for us will lead us to our Heavenly Father after our life on this earth.

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