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10,000 to participate in Sister Alphonsa's canonisation

October 10, 2008 15:48 IST

Nearly 10,000 people, mostly Keralite Christians, are expected to participate in the canonisation of Sister Alphonsa in Vatican on October 12.
   
Pope Benedict XVI will declare Sister Alphonsa, who was born in Kudamaloor village, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church at the sprawling Peter's Square on Sunday. She is the first Indian woman to be elevated to sainthood.
   
The official delegation is being led by Union Minister Oscar Fernandes and the Kerala Government would be represented by Public Works Minister Mons Joseph.
   
The delegation from Kerala, which left yesterday, include Kerala Congress leaders K M Mani Member of Legislative Assembly, P C Thomas, Member of Parliament, P C George, MLA, and Congress leader K V Thomas.
   
The church delegation is being led by major Arch Bishop of Syro-Malabar church Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil.
   
The delegation from Franciscan Clarist congregation, led by Mother General Sicily, of which the Blessed Alphonsa was a member is already in Rome.
   
The delegation has carried with it the relics and icon of Blessed Alphonsa.
   
The 11-year-old boy from Kuruppanthara here, Jini Shaji, 'healed'of his cleft foot following prayers at the tomb of Blessed Alphonsa, would be taking part in the event along with his parents.
   
Various programmes, including special holy mass, litany, special prayers and distribution of sweets would be held in the churches in the state when the Pope declared Sister Alphonsa as saint. Bells will also ring in the churches.
   
At the St Mary's Church in Bharananganam, the statue of Sister Alphonsa will be crowned after the declaration.

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