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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)

  • Children, you are God’s gifts in the hands of your parents.
  • The children who have a love of God and fear of God will love and respect their parents.
  • Trust your mother, God will hear the prayers of the mother as yours.
  • Food is for the body, so is wisdom for the intellect.
  • Go to school regularly and recall to mind what is taught during the week.
  • Laziness fosters evil habits.
  • Let your friends be those who love God.
  • The day in which you have not done any good to your fellow men will not be recorded in your book of life.
  • Keeping bad books is like hiding fire in hay.
  • Regular reading of good books and meditating on them will illumine the mind.
  • You angels will be turned to devils, if you fall into evil situations.
  • Desire that others love you, and not that they fear you.
  • Take special care to keep modesty while you sit, walk or lie down.
  • You are to forgive and forget the wrong doings of others.
  • Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell who you are.
  • What you earn by deceit and theft will melt like snow.
  • Idleness is the mother of all vices and would induce one to the habit of drinking.
  • Both stinginess and extravagance are equally sinful.
  • Had you not lighted the lamp during the day time, you could have lit it during night.
  • Do not insult or trouble the poor.
  • God decides your vocation and it is for you to choose it.
  • If your parents have left any obligation of restitution, fulfill it with diligence and devotion.
  • Even if you are grown in age and maturity, you have to respect your parents and submit to them.

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.