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Congregation of the Holy Family (CHF) was founded by Saint Mariam Thresia, in a remote village called Puthenchira in Thrissur Dt; Kerala, in the year 1914 with the determination of imparting Christian values to the families. This indigenous Congregation was raised to status of Pontifical right of the Syro-Malabar Church on 1 August, 1978. At present Saint Thresia, known as the patrons of families was convinced that the world could be saved only through families. As a prophetess hastened to the families with fire of compassion love in her heart to bring them back to the union of God. On 8 June 1926 the saintly soul left her earthly sojourn to receive the eternal reward. Venerable Fr. Joseph Vithayathil was her spiritual Father throughout her spiritual journey. He is the co founder of the CHF. On the same date June 8, 1964 Fr. Joseph Vithayathil passed away. On 28 June, 1999 Mother Mariam Thresia was called Venerable and in 9 April, 2000 she was beatified. She was canonized on 13 October, 2019 by Pope Francis.

History of CHF

The First World War of 1914 -1919 created much havoc and destruction in the entire world. It rocked the Western domination in the domains of politics and religion, and raised great challenges to the European sovereignty over the world. Cruelty and injustice became the order of the day. Family life which was based on love, freedom and communion became very insecure and servile. People were suffering from poverty and sickness. The agony of the world population grieved the Holy Father, Pope Pius X, and he wrote to the Catholics of the world, “The storm of a dreadful war has torn the whole of Europe. One cannot reckon its wreck and ruin, without grief and tears. We request all of you to take refuge before the throne of the Blessed Sacrament”. Following his demise on 20 August, 1914 the new pope, Benedict XV, ascended the papal throne on 3 September, 1914.

The Indians who had long been under the colonial power had kept alive an irrepressive  desire for freedom. They expected that if they helped the British in the war, they would be granted freedom in return  and they participated in the war.

The threat and the poisonous storm of the war struck Kerala too. The mutual attacks, disunity and the internal problems of the local kings ruined the peace of the families and the society. Mariam Thresia and her companions responded to the signs of the time. Inspired by God, they spent their day time, nursing the sick and consoling those who suffer. Mariam Thresia spent long hours at night in prayer before the Crucified Lord in reparation for the sins of the world.

Foundation of the CHF

Mar John Menachery, the Vicar Apostolate of Thrissur was convinced of the sanctity of Mariam Thresia and her companions. After spending much time in prayer for discernment, prolonged acid tests, as though it were a divine intervention, he made a canonical visit to the House of Solitude on 13 May, 1914.

At the end of his formal visit the bishop decided to give hierarchical recognition to the House of Solitude and make it the first convent of the new congregation. The parishioners of Puthenchira welcomed the news with great joy and made all the arrangements for the auspicious occasion.

On 14 May 1914 in the presence of Fr.Joseph Vithayathil and many other priests, some Sisters and a vast assembly of the faithful gathered in the parish church of Puthenchira, Bishop John Menachery made the official proclamation of the establishment of the Congregation of the Holy Family. The bishop himself gave her the habit of the new congregation and Mariam Thresia pronounced before him the three perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The bishop sanctioned her name Sr. Mariam Thresia of Our Lady of the Assumption. At this time Sr. Mariam Thresia had a vision of the Holy Family and she conversed with them. On the same day her three companions Mariam, Kochumariam and Thanda received their veils as Postulants with the names Sr. Veronica, Sr. Agnes and Sr. Clara respectively. The bishop appointed Sr. Mariam Thresia the Superior of the new Congregation and Fr. Joseph Vithayathil its chaplain. It is rare that the foundation of a new congregation and the perpetual profession of its foundress occur on the same day.

Holy Family Generalate, Holy Family Generalate Mannuthy 680 651, Thrissur Dt. Kerala

Holy Family Generalate Mannuthy 680 651, Thrissur Dt. Kerala
Phone: 9446529446
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Web: http://chfsisters.com/

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