Blessed Kunjachan

Feast Oct 16

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Blessed Kunjachan Birth and Family of Kunjachan Thevarparampil

Back to his house

When Kunjachan became more and more sick. As he had to depend on others for every personal need, and was advised to stay at his house for better treatment.

At Home

In the first few days after reaching home, he was found to be some what restless. He was really sad at having left the premises of the Church, where he was staying for about half a century.

Yet, gradually he got himself accustomed to the new surroundings of the family. Many people, including his beloved fold, relatives and friends visited him regularly. Though in shortwords, he enquired about the whereabouts of each and every one of his flock.

Blessed Kunjachan's Relatives

The Last moments

Kunjachanís health gradually deteriorated; respiration was difficult and he lay in bed always.

The saintly priest suffered all his pain silently. He limited his speech to only a few words. On 16th Oct. 1973, two of his seminary mates, Fr. Sebastian Mattam, and Fr. Abraham Moongamackal reached Thevarparampil House quite accidentally, to visit their ailing old friend. Though he saw them standing beside the bed, he could not talk any thing distinctly. A sudden change was noticed in his facial expression. Understanding the gravity of the situation, the Reverend priests gave him the last blessing. The holy soul of Kunjachan flew into Heaven peacefully.

Not long after, the bells of the parish church tolled announcing his death. People from all over parish and neighbouring places rushed to Thevarparampil House, to catch a last glimpse of the deceased Kunjachan.

To the Parish Church

On 17th morning, the dead body was taken to St. Augustineís Church Ramapuram for the last services and burial.

On that very day itself many people approached the coffin imploring the intercession of the holy priest who had just passed away. Some of them even touched their rosary, pen and other things on the bier and prayed.

One more Mediator in Heaven

At the end of the concelebrated Mass in the afternoon, it was Fr. Valerian C.M.I., who spoke the panegyric. He spoke well of Kunjachanís holiness in life, apostolic zeal, kindness of heart, love for the poor and other virtues. And towards the end he told quite enexpectedly, "we are participating in the funeral of a saint. We have one more mediator in heaven".

Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil, the auxiliary bishop of Palai, officiated at the ceremonies, in the absence of Bp. Mar Sebastian Vayalil, who was on a mission tour to the dioceses in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.

Kunjachan was buried in a new tomb constructed in front of the altar of St. Augustine in the old church, where he had been celebrating the Holy Mass for years. Eventhough he proposed in his will that he should be buried in the cemetry among the poor Harijan Christians, no one was willing to accede to that pious desire.

The day after the burial

People were convinced of the sanctity of the life of the Kunjachan even while he was alive. Such people were very sure that Kunjachan would be a powerful intercessor for them before the Almighty. So they began to come to his tomb to pray for his intercession. Protection of crops from destructive insects, curing of domestic animals, success in examinations, employment to the unemployed and similar items were the subjects of their prayer. As a memento of their gratitude, his photo was published in the daily newspapers. They felt that Kunjachan was still staying with them granting all kinds of wonderful favours.

Marble slab over the tomb

Some pilgrims who approached the tomb, knelt there and prayed for his intercession. While returning, they took home a little soil from that tomb. They experienced that, the soil had some miraculous power. When their number increased, it was necessitated that the sepulchre be kept safe, neat and tidy. Therefore the relatives of the Servant of God decided to instal a marble slab over the tomb. On 4th May 1974 Mar Sebastian Vayalil, Bishop of Palai blessed the slab and installed it.

Blessed Kunjachan