Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara
Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara was born on 10 February 1805 at Kainakary, Kerala. At the age of five he began his studies in a village school, called kalari. When he was 13, he joined the seminary at Pallipuram for his priestly training. While he was in the seminary, his parents and his eldest brother died in an epidemic. On 29 November, 1829 he became a priest.
Blessed Chavara was instrumental in founding two Catholic Religious Congregations - one for men, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), and the other for women, congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC), for the spiritual renewal and all round development of the society.
Starting seven ashrams and a convent in different parts of Kerala, Chavara initiated a spiritual movement among the people of Kerala. He established the first Catholic Sanskrit School, a major seminary and a printing and publishing house at Mannanam. He directed that every church should have a school attached to it, and encouraged children, even poorer sections to attend the schools by supplying midday meals and dresses to them. He founded a ‘Home of Charity’ to take care of the destitute, the beggars, the uncared for sick and the old. He also organized the first voluntary charitable association in Kerala for self-help among the needy.
Even in the midst of such manifold activities, he found time to write several literary and spiritual books in prose as well as verse. Among them, Anastasyayude Rakthasakshyam’ is the first narrative poem and ‘Nalagamangal’ the first chronicle of history in Malayalam. He knew seven languages- Malayalam, Tamil, Sanskrit, Syriac, Latin, Italian and Portuguese.
Essentially, however, Blessed Chavara was a man of prayer and great charity. He lived for 65 years and died on 3rd January 1871. His sanctity was officially recognized by the Church, when Pope John Paul II declared him ‘Blessed’ on 08 February 1986. Blessed Chavara is the heavenly patron of all CMI and CMC institutions. Let us pray to him to intercede before God for all our needs, especially for success in our studies.
Important Sayings of Blessed Chavara(Founder CMI Congregation)
CMI Education Policy Statement
We, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, after the example of our Founder, Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara, consider education as the integral formation of the human person for the fulfillment of his/her individual and social responsibilities.
Our educational Endeavour's aim at forming leaders who are intellectually competent, spiritually mature, morally upright, psychologically integrated, physically healthy and socially acceptable, who will champion the cause of justice, love, truth and peace, and who are ever open to further growth.
The secret of the success of our educational institutions is a community of teachers who are committed to their vocation, professionally competent, morally upright, just and humane in dealings, culturally sensitive and who grow in the true vision of education.
We aspire towards creating a just and humane society where dignity of the human person is respected, where unjust social structures are challenged, where our cultural heritage of ahimsa, religious harmony and national unity are upheld, and where the poor and the marginalized are specially taken care of.
We have to reach out to the families, primarily of the students, to assist them in their needs, to share in their joys and sorrows, and to help them experience love and freedom so that the students realize that our educational institutions are an extension of their homes.
Our institutions are open to all students irrespective of caste and creed; they are accepted and cherished as they are and are helped to grow in their cultural, social and religious traditions. As they are privileged to be in our institutions, they will also have the right to get acquainted with the person of Jesus Christ and his Gospel.
Our institutions are also open to society at large by making their resources available for the ongoing education and growth.
For the realization of this CMI goal of education, we invite students, parents and teachers to share this vision and to co-operate with us whole-heartedly.