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July 28th, 2012

Life of Saint Alphonsa

Life of St Alphonsa

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Alphonsa. 

Sister Alphonsa is popularly known as a person who loved and invited loving suffering. She is called the “Little Flower” (St. Therese of Child Jesus) of India. Both of these claims draw our attention to the fundamental reality and truth of Jesus Christ as the only Son of God and the unique Savior of the whole creation. She was a Franciscan Clarist nun. Her life was confined within the four walls of the FCC Convent at Bharananganam.

Life History of St.Alphonsa

Annakutty was the childhood name of Alphonsa. Roughly translated it would mean ‘little Ann’. It is a typical christening name popular among the Christians of Kerala. Although the immediate attention is now focused on the name Alphonsa, reflection on the name Annakutty reveals not only her childhood goodness, virtues and trials, but also an often unsung story and history of the family values, faith practices and ecclesial foundations of the Christians in Kerala. Without any exaggeration, one can say that Alphonsa’s real foundation was laid in her childhood as Annakutty, in her Christian family upbringing.

Annakutty was born on August 19, 1910. It was a premature birth, taking place in the 8th month of the pregnancy. This was the result of a diabolical shock her mother, Mary Muttathupadathu, received from the coiling of a rat snake around her neck in her sleep. Her mother died three months after birth and on her death-bed she entrusted Annakutty to the care of her own sister Annamma Muricken. With her aunt, Annakutty painfully and joyfully tried to overcome the inexplicable loss of her mother and motherly love.

Annakutty’s father unwillingly agreed to placing the child with her newly found ‘mother’ with the sole motive of promoting an ideal upbringing which would make Annakutty more capable as a future house wife. Annamma Muricken educated her sternly. The family played a key role in her faith formation and love for Christ, especially through the prevalent practices of regular evening prayers, observance of weekly fasting and participation in the Eucharistic celebration.

Fr. Romlus rightly emphasizes this role the family played in the life of Alphonsa in nurturing and deepening her Christian faith. However the most important fact is that Annakutty developed a personal devotion and love for Christ. This is the fruit of her genuine faith formation. It is also the first visible sign that faith was a lived experience in the childhood of Annakutty. In other words, Jesus Christ began to become a concrete personal relational reality for her. It is because of this relational realization of God’s love and knowledge of Jesus Christ that Annakutty began to yearn for sanctity.

From Annakutty to Sister Alphonsa

The desire for sanctity was for Alphonsa a solid and concrete response to the invitation of Christ. The surprising depth of spiritual understanding possessed by Alphonsa in her childhood teaches us all the most profound lesson on the Christian life. Spirituality and sanctity is not a mere object to yearn for but comes as a result of a personal experience with Jesus Christ in the Church and in the Sacraments. A striking narration related to her first confession as a little child throws light on this fact. She notes, “I loved God more ardently. I took great care to avoid all faults. I had nothing special to mention in my First Confession. I zealously aspired to become a saint. I felt that desire while I was reading the biography of St. Therese of Lisieux.”

Canonization of St Alphonsa

Later, the decisive Christian family upbringing of Annakutty paved the way to the fruit borne in her life as a professed Clarist nun at Bharananganam. It is important to remember that because of the unique minority status of the Christian community in India, and because of the apostolically rich traditional background of the Church in Kerala, any mention of Alphonsa will always have to be done in reference to the unique ecclesial nature of the Catholic Church in India. That is the tri-ritual communion and the Christian reality of India which is astoundingly ecumenical because of the presence of all the major tributaries of non-Catholic traditions.

Hundreds of thousands of Catholics in Malabar and other parts of South India have faith in Sister Alphonsa and invoke her aid, for they are convinced that she is a person of uncommon holiness…What a power would she not wield over the minds and hearts of the Catholics of our country where her cause to be taken up. At a turning point in its history, when the Church has to face so many difficulties and trials, struggles and dangers different in character and different in scope from those which assailed her in the past, may we not hope that through her intercession the Church will overcome all obstacles and grow in strength and vigor? It is fitting that such a beautiful soul should have sprung up in the earliest and most prosperous home of Christianity in our country.

St. Alphonsa Prayers

St. Alphonsa songs (15 songs in Malayalam)

June 20th, 2010

St Alphonsa PDF Files

St Alphonsa PDF Files

St Alphonsa PDF files are here for free download. These pdf files include details on her beatification, prayers to St Alphonsa and Novena in English and Malayalam languages. These details are already in TBTG in text format. But PDF files are always easy to read or share when compared to normal text on the web pages. So thats the reason for this article giving away all of these, in their PDF file version.

St Alphonsa PDF Files for download

1. St Alphonsa Beatification Details

2. St Alphonsa English Novena

3. St Alphonsa Malayalam Novena

June 20th, 2010

St Alphonsa Novena

St Alphonsa Novena

St Alphonsa Novena for the complete nine days is given below.

St Alphonsa, pray for us sinners.

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The First Day:

The Suffering Servant
Cel: Let us pray
Lord, our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of Your life-giving and Divine commandments. In Your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love, hope and salvation, beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise You, Lord of all, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Comm : Amen
Readings from the New Testament
1. Hebrews 12/4-1 (the server reads)
2. Mark 8/31-38 (the celebrant reads)
(Silent Prayer)
Cel : Let us pray
Loving Lord Jesus, who sacrificed Your life on Calvary fulfilling the will of the Eternal Father, we thank You for Your infinite love and supreme compassion, and the glorious act of redemption. St.Alphonsa was able to sincerely accept Your command: “if anyone wants to be a follower of Mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow Me”. Help us to follow the example of St.Alphonsa who said: “I have a share in the Cross of Christ; I am with Jesus on the Cross”, and happily dedicated before the Eternal Father the responsibilities of her life, the hardships of community life, and the miseries of physical ailments. O Jesus, enable us to offer the crosses of our daily lives as an offering acceptable and pleasing to You. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Lord of all ,forever.
Res: Amen.

The Second Day:

Total dedication
Cel: Let us pray
Lord, our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of your lifegiving and Divine commandments. In Your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love hope and salvation, beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise You, Lord of all, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Comm.: Amen.
Readings from the N.T
1. Phil. 3/7-11
2. Matt. 19/16-26

(Silent Prayer)
Cel: Let us pray
Lord Jesus who said: “My food is to do the will of the one Who sent Me, and to complete His work” (Jn 4/34), we praise and adore You. St. Alphonsa who declared: “I have given myself up entirely to My Lord”, is the guide and model of our lives. God, give us the lifegiving faith that the Lord Jesus will give us only those things that will redeem us from the anxieties and worries of life. O Jesus, strengthen us to submit to the will of God in all the trials and tribulations of life, and depend firmly on God, like St. Alphonsa who believed “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing” (Ps. 23/1). The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen.

The Third Day:

Love of God
Cel: Let us pray
Lord, our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of your lifegiving and Divine commandments. In Your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love hope and salvation, beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise You, Lord of all, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forever.
Res: Amen.
Readings from the N.T
1. Rom. 8/31-39
2. Jn. 15/1-17

(Silent Prayer)
Cel: O Lord, who said those who want to inherit eternal life “must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind”(LK 10/27),fill our hearts with the love of God. Let our lives be inspired by the life of St. Alphonsa who said even during her sleepless nights of ailment ‘ I love my Jesus’. Bless us Lord to imbibe the spiritual thirst of St. Alphonsa who surrendered herself fully to the Word of God and desired ardently to become a small spark in the flame of love in your Sacred Heart. Give us the grace to taste the sweetness of Your Word and understand the depth of Your love for us that we may lead a life of total conversion O Lord. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, The Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen.

The Fourth Day:

Brotherly Love
Cel: Let us pray
Lord, our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of your lifegiving and Divine commandments. In your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love hope and salvation, beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise you, Lord of all, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen.
Readings from the N.T
1. 1 Jn. 3/11-24
2. Lk.10/25-37

(Silent Prayer)
Cel: O, Lord Jesus who said, ” I give you a new commandment : love one another . By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are My disciples”(Jn.13/35), strengthen us to bear witness to your love in our families and all spheres of activity by renouncing the self and its cares. Enable us to share your divine love with others and do good to all like St.Alphonsa with no expectations of reward; Lord , help us to follow the footsteps of St.Alphonsa who showed loving concern to all who offended her, and prayed fervently for those who did not love her. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, The Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen.

The Fifth Day:

Humility
Cel: Let us pray
Lord, our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of your lifegiving and Divine commandments. In Your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love hope and salvation, beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise You, Lord of all, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forever
Res: Amen.
Readings from the N.T
1. Phil. 2/5-10
2. Lk. 14/7-11

(Silent Prayer)
Cel : Let us pray
O Jesus who said, “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart”, (Mt. 1/29) teach us the lesson of humility of heart. Lord Jesus we beseech you with St.Alponsa , liberate us from the desires to be loved and honoured , deliver us from the evil attempts to win fame and respect, help us to use our time, wealth and abilities for the well-being and benefit of others, with the firm conviction that whatever we have is your benevolent gift. Enable us to see you in our authorities, obey and respect them. Help us to lead a life of true humility , truth and justice and make us worthy to inherit heavenly reward. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen.

The Sixth Day:

Awareness of the Presence of God
Cel: Let us pray
Lord, our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of Your lifegiving and Divine commandments. In Your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love hope and salvation, beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise You, Lord of all, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forever.
Res: Amen.
Readings from the N.T
1. Rom. 10/8-13
2. Lk. 12/22-32

(Silent Prayer)
Cel: Let us pray
O Lord Jesus, we thank You for your infinite love and compassion, because you have given yourself to us in the Holy Eucharist, and have given us your Spirit to console, teach and strengthen us till the end of times. Help us turn all the adversities into blessings by accepting them as gifts from our Heavenly Father like St. Alphonsa, who had the firm faith,”nothing will happen to me without the knowledge of my God”. Lord, help us to realize the divine plans in our lives, and guide us to walk along the path of tribulations without faltering on the way. Help us to sanctify each moment of our lives with a deep awareness of your living presence with us, and walk confidently along the path of holiness. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen

The Seventh Day:

Hope in God
Cel: Let us pray
Lord, our God, illumines our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of your life giving and divine commandments. In your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love hope and salvation, beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise you, Lord of all, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen.
Readings from the N.T.
1. Heb 10/19-24
2. Mt 7/7-12

(Silent Prayer)
Cel: Let us pray
O Lord Jesus who said:”whatever you asked for in my Name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (Jn. 14/13), we trust and hope in your promise. Like St.Alphonsa who lived and suffered proclaiming, “I will rejoice in whatever comes through the hands of God”, teach us Lord Jesus to see your hands in all experiences of our lives. Help us not to be disheartened in failures and setbacks. Give us strength through Your Spirit to grow in unfailing hope in you. Help us to bring harmony into our lives with the fond hope of seeing Your glorious face in the world to come and enjoy the company of Your angels and saints there. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen.

The Eighth Day:

Devotion to Blessed Mary
Cel: Let us pray
Lord, our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of your life giving and divine commandments. In your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love hope and salvation, beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise you, Lord of all, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen.
Readings from the N.T.
1. Acts 1/12-14
2. Jn 19/25-27

(Silent Prayer)
Cel: Let us pray
“This is your Mother “(Jn 19/27), by saying so, O Jesus you gave us your loving mother as the mother of the whole world. We thank, adore and praise You. Help us O Lord, to grow in devotion and love to Mother Mary, like St. Alphonsa who from early childhood led a life of firm faith, love and devotion to the Blessed Mother. O Holy Mother of God, be with us always, help us grow in holiness, lead and protect all our families as you protected the Holy Family of Nazareth. Protect us, O Mother, from all dangers. Intercede with your Beloved Son for us in all our daily needs, as you did interced at Cana. Help us O Sweet Lady, to sing your glories with all the saints in heaven. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen

The Ninth Day:

Heaven-Oriented life
Cel: Let us pray
Lord , our God, illumine our hearts and minds to hear and understand the sweet voice of your life-giving and divine commandments. In your mercy and grace grant that they bear in us the fruits of love hope and salvation, beneficial to our body and soul and that we may constantly praise you, Lord of all, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen.
Readings from the N.T.
1. 1Pet. 1/13-15
2. Jn. 14/1-7

(Silent Prayer)
Cel: Let us pray
O Lord Jesus, our Saviour who ascended to Your Father’s abode saying, “I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me” (Jn 14/2), we adore, praise, worship and glorify you. We long to reach the heavenly abode you have prepared for us. Enable us to live in lasting love and harmony with God, like St. Alphonsa who won her crown of sainthood by awaiting the arrival of her Heavenly Bridegroom as the intelligent virgins of the Gospel did with their oil lamps lighted with hope and piety. Help us not to model our lives after the image of the world around us, but let our behavior change, and our minds be renewed according to Your will. Make us worthy to appear before Your glorious throne singing your praises with all the saints and the choir of angles. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, Lord of all, forever.
Res: Amen

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St Alphonsa PDF Files – – – St Alphonsa Prayers

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