Madhya Pradesh: Catholics Mark First Feast of Beatified Nun

Published 07 March 2018  |
Senior nuns of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation carry the relics of Blessed Rani Maria for veneration in Madhya Pradesh on Feb. 24, marking the first feast day of the nun beatified last year.

Thousands of Catholics attended the tomb of a beatified nun in Madhya Pradesh on Feb. 24 to mark the anniversary of her death. The Catholic leaders projected the murdered nun as inspiration for persecuted Christians in the country.

Led by six Catholic bishops, about 200 nuns and 1,500 Catholics visited the tomb of Sr Rani Maria on her first feast day, a year since she was beatified as a martyr.

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.

"Blessed Rani Maria is an inspiration to church people serving the poor in a difficult time in our country," said Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur.

"Martyr Rani had taught us with her life that no obstacle can stop us from discharging our missionary duties amidst persecution," said Viruthakulangara, according to ucanews.

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

Samunder Singh, who murdered Rani, 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.

Attacks on Christians are frequently reported in Madhya Pradesh.

Catholics in the state believe that Rani's beatification is going to be a great source of inspiration for the Church in the country that faces persecution.


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