Indian Catholic Church Prepares for Beatification of Murdered Nun

Published 06 November 2017  |  
ucanews.com

The Indian Catholic church has been preparing for the upcoming beatification of an Indian nun murdered over 20 years ago. The church said the development that will be held on Nov. 4 will be an inspiration for persecuted Christians in India.

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.

The church leaders have been preparing for the beatification ceremony of Sr Rani Maria Vattalil who was murdered in a knife attack on Feb. 25, 1995, as she traveled on a bus near the city of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, on her way to her home state Kerala for a vacation.

The member of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation in Indore Diocese was 41 years of age when she was murdered.

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.

"Her dedication for the poor that challenged the powerful landlords, and her determination to withstand threats for her Christian mission till death," will inspire local Christians who "on a daily basis" face harassment, he said, according to UCA News.com.

Samunder Singh, who murdered Maria 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.

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