Sr Rani Maria
Sr.Rani Maria, a proud daughter of Pulluvazhy and a professed religious nun of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (F.C.C.) will be beatified "Blessed Martyr" on 4th November 2017. Sr. Rani Maria was born on 29 January 1954 as the second child of Paily and Eliswa Vattalil, of St.Thomas Parish in the Arch-diocese of Ernakulam - Angamaly of the Syro-Malabar Church. After the initial stages of formation, she made her First Profession on 1 May 1974 and Final Profession on 22 May 1980. She obtained B.A and M.A in sociology in 1982 and 1989 respectively. The motto of her life was: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the Good News to the poor" (Lk.4:18). Imbued with the motto and filled with the mission spirit she worked in the Missions of Bijnor (1975-1983), Oadgady (1983-1992) and Udainagar (1992-1995). Having realized her call within the call Rani Maria wrote: "I am deeply convinced that I am called to work for the poor and the oppressed. I am ready to die for them because they are children of God and as such our sisters and brothers"
Her love for the poor that fructified through various mission activities aimed at individual and social upliftment of the tribal people. However concurrently it went counter to the vested interests of the unscrupulous money-lenders and social exploiters which at last resulted in her martyrdom. She attained the Crown of Martyrdom on 25 February 1995 when Samundar Singh murdered her in a bus in which she was travelling to Indore as she was on her way to Pulluvazhy on Vacation. "By faith, the martyrs gave their lives, bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel that had transformed them and made them capable of attaining the greatest gift of love: the forgiveness of their persecutors". These words of the Holy Father are quite true in the life and martyrdom of Sr. Rani Maria. She lived her Christian faith heroically and her life of charity is an incessant inspiration for many to live their faith. She is a heavenly intercessor for many in their daily struggles to live the Christian faith.
Sr. Rani Maria's Family and Parish showed a marvelous example of Christian forgiveness to Samundar Singh that made him to regret about his heinous crime. According to the text of the approval of the Roman congregation, Sr. Rani Maria's courageous sacrifice and martyrdom has helped to sow "the seed of love, justice and brotherhood in many hearts".
Sr. Rani Maria was beatified a Blessed Martyr on 4th November 2017 at Indore. During the Holy Mass H.E. Angelo Cardinal Amatho S.D.B, prefect of the Congregation for the Saints beatified Sr. Rani Maria publishing the official decree of beatification signed by His Holiness Pope Francis. Sr. Rani Maria is the first women Blessed Martyr of India.