St. Chavara- Early life

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Gins C. George

            The chavara were among the respectable and moderately rich families of the locality, Kainakary, which means that from middle class pious and devout Christian family of Kuriakose and Mariam that little Kuriakose was born as their sixth and youngest child, on 10 February 1805. The Chavara family is believed to be the descendant of the Pakalomattam family, one of the four that claim descent from the time of St.Thomas at Palayur, central Kerala. The devout parents had the child baptized on the eight day in their parish church of Chennankari according to the custom prevailing then in the church. The child was given the name of his father, Kuriakose. In due time Kuriakose received the sacrament of conformation as was customary in the church at that time.

            One of the childhood events that which in the chavara is the dedication his loving and pious mother made to the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in the shrine of Vechoor, near vikom. On September 8th feast of the nativity of our Lady his mother offered him as the slave of the Blessed Mother.. At the age of five, he began his studies in the village school, called Kalari under a village master called Ashan. There he continued his studies until he was ten years old. Then Malpan Fr.Thomas Palackal invited him to his seminary at pallipuram. Subsequently as he was too young he spent about two years in the parish rectory under the care of the zealous and loving parish priest. Here his parents also discerned his divine call.

            In the year 1818 he joined the Pallipuram seminary under the tutelage of Malpan Thomas Palacka. It is noticeable that the most important time for laying the foundation of an individual’s personality, the child chavara formed and grown with full of faith and good behavior. According to chavara the good upbringing was somewhat challenged during his education under a master, who was a Hindu and with companions mostly of other faiths. Kuriakose Eliseus Porukara says about Chavara that “the boy from his childhood so excellent in humility, pleasing manners, modesty, piety, intelligence, eloquence that he was loved by God and men”.

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