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Kerala priest on road to sainthood

July 14, 2007 19:49 IST

Late Geeverghese Mar Ivanios, the first Metropolitan of Syro Malankara Catholic (SMC) church, was on Saturday declared 'Servant of God,' marking the first step in the process of conferring sainthood by the Vatican.

Major Archbishop and Catholicose of SMC, Baselios Mar Cleemis made the announcement regarding this at St Mary's Cathedral in Thiruvananthapuram in the presence of senior prelates, priests, religions and lay members.

Mar Ivanios was the prime-mover behind the 're-union movement' in Kerala's church history in the 1930s when a section from other Syrian Christian denominations like the Malankara Othodox Church joined the Catholic fold.

He was then made the first Metropolitan of the new rite, which came to be known as the Malankara Catholic Church.

Declaration of 'Servant of God' is the initial step in the canonization process to be followed by elevation of the candidate to the status of 'Venerable' and 'Blessed' before conferring sainthood.
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