The more we know Blessed Mariam Thresia the more we love and admire her by Bishop Jacob ManathodathThe more we know Blessed Mariam Thresia the more we love and admire her. Like all other saints, Mother Mariam Thresia also had a profound experience of the love of our Lord. It is this experience of Christ’s love for her that enabled her to offer herself totally to Him with an abiding faith and childlike abandonment and to accept joyfully for His sake all the agonies and sufferings – physical, mental and spiritual. She was an epitome of Christ like love. That is why she devoted herself tirelessly for the welfare of the poor and needy, and especially for the sanctification of families. Let us thank God for the gift of Blessed Mariam Thresia and for what He has done through the Holy Family Congregation which she founded. Mar Jacob Manathodath
Bishop of Palakkad
Mother Mariam Thresia by Ms. Ann Mary Charles, St. Joseph’s College IrinjalakudaI could not help raising my eyes in curiosity when a sister friend of mine made a very causal remark to me one day, long ago that she wished she could cast off all the mundane work she was doing then and follow the path shown by ‘our mother.’ I immediately understood that Mother Mariam Thresia was the ‘mother’ she adored and ‘Family Apostolate’ was the work she loved to take up. Though I didn’t know much about Mother Mariam Thresia at that time, she very strongly, stole a corner of my mind. And it was just a coincidence that later another sister friend of mine asked me to write ‘something’ about the Mother for the ‘Charity Blossoms’. To tell the truth, that was the immediate inspiration for my reading the life story of the Blessed Mother.
Whenever I used to think of the saints and the Blessed, the association that used to flood my mind was that of the flickering stars and the earthly images of rosy – cheeked beautiful saints with radiant haloes and wreaths of roses, basking in divine splendor. But now, when I think of the Blessed, the image that immediately appears before my mind’s eyes is that of Mother Mariam Thresia, with glowing but gloomy eyes hanging on a wall like Christ in His passion. Bundles of thistles or a stone for a pillow, bruises by rolling on thorny bushes, sleepless nights for praying – the piece she had to pay for the present halo of glory was hard, and that too, not dreaming of any glory but only sharing the agony and passion of Christ on the Cross.
God manifests Himself in various ways, and I believe, Mariam Thresia, who, in the eyes of the world, a humble woman with meager education and scholarship was chosen by God to be his instrument to affirm the Divine truths. She was granted the invaluable gift of being invited to share his passion and with a whole – hearted free will she accepted this gift. She totally resigned herself to the acceptance of the Cross of Christ with a remarkable childlike faith, love and devotion.
Mother Mariam Thresia was born in a noble family at Puthenchira as the third child of Chirmal Mankydian Thoma and Thanda, on 26th April 1876. She was blessed with a deeply devoted Catholic mother, who brought her up with a spiritual fervour. As a very small child, Thresia expressed a deep desire to know the mysteries of Incarnation and Crucifixion of Jesus. The little girl felt Jesus calling her to suffer with him and unlike other children she accepted Jesus as her companion. Her innocent childhood was a re-enacting of the passion of Our Lord. Even at the tender age of nine, she seems to have taken a firm decision to renounce the world and to choose Christ as her eternal Bridegroom. Mariam Thresia, before long became the saintly woman, widely known, dearly loved and well esteemed in Puthenchira and the neighbourhood. Strange stories have been spread among the common people –she came to be known as a woman with extraordinary supernatural experiences like diabolical interventions and tortures. But this simple maiden was not left by God to fight these conditions on her own. In His infinite mercy Hew sent her a spiritual father who would understand her, guide her and finally help in sanctifying her. God’s ways are mysterious and wonderful and very often he interferes indirectly in the affairs of his beloved ones and Fr. Joseph Vithayathil was His instrument. Her association with her spiritual father perhaps helped her in realizing her vision and moulding herself into a ‘Saint’. The most touching part of her life story is the humble and innocent attempt of maiden Thresia to share the beats of her heart with her spiritual father.
The solemn message conveyed through the lives of great men and women help the posterity in manifold ways. Mother Mariam Thresia, with a divine vision, accepted the mission of strengthening the foundation of ruining families – perhaps realizing that happy families alone can bring peace and contentment in the world at large. Listening to the will of God at the crossroads of life, she offered unending services to her suffering brethren as a means of satisfying her love for Jesus. She was the living symbol of the Good Samaritan who stopped and took care of the dying man thus proving him to be a ‘Good Neighbour.’ She has been trying to practice in her own life the greatest teaching of Christ “You must love the Lord with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. Also you must love your neighbour as yourself.” She has shown us our neighours the so many people in this fragile would helplessly seeking compassion, asking for justice, hoping for a helping hand. They are the refugees, the displaced people, the innocent victims of oppression and exploitation. They are scattered everywhere, just around us and as Christians we cannot ignore them. The humble village of Puthenchira was the arena which happened to be blessed by the fruits of her devotion. The task she had been given by God, she dutifully fulfilled.