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12,000 People to Attend Beatification Sr Rani Maria at Indore

Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 14:18 (IST)

Over 12,000 people from across India are expected to attend the three-day beatification ceremony of Sr Rani Maria in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, starting Nov. 3.

Beatification is declaration by the Pope that a dead person is in a state of bliss, constituting a first step towards canonization and permitting public veneration.

Vattalil was murdered in a knife attack on Feb. 25, 1995, as she traveled on a bus near the city of Indore.

"Sr Rani Maria is an inspiration. If someone wants to do good work, like she did, they are bound to face opposition. However, their life can be an inspiration," said Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal SVD, head of the Indore diocese.

The Catholic Church has been preparing to lay out elaborate plans for the accommodation and transportation of 12,000 plus people.

Fr Joby Anand, organizing committee member, said the preparation for all the three days "is happening in a well-ordered manner." About 600 volunteers has been allotted various tasks — accommodation, travel, welcome, food, and liturgy.

Attacks on Christians are frequently reported in Madhya Pradesh.

Her "beatification, obviously, is going to be a great source of inspiration for the Church in India that faces persecution," said Paul Abraham, a Catholic writer from the state.

Samunder Singh, who murdered Vattalil, stabbed her 54 times.

He was hired by moneylenders who hated the nun for her efforts to help poor villagers become more self-sufficient.

While he was in jail, he repented and pleaded to meet the nun's family. The nun's sister met Singh and forgave him. She also tied a rakhi (a thread that represents siblinghood) on accepting him into her family.