He was known as Father of Literacy in Kerala and Kalathinu Munpe Nadanna Navodhana Nayakan, Daivs Dasan Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara is popularly known as Chavarayachan Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara was born on 10 February 1805 at Kainakary. He is the first canonised Catholic male saint of Indian origin. The Congregation of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) is the first indigenous religious congregation in the Catholic Church of India. It was founded by Fr. Thomas Palackal, Fr. Thomas Porukara and Fr. Kuriakose Chavara on 11 May 1831. The first Prior General of this congregation was St. Kuriakose Chavara at Mannanam. Originally it the name of the Congregation was ‘Servants of Mary Immaculate’ In 1958, the name was changed to ‘Carmelites of Mary Immaculate’ (CMI). After the death of others, Chavara took up leadership on 8th December 1855 A similar one for women, the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (C.M.C.) It was founded in 1866, 13 February at Koonamavu On 29 November 1829, St. Chavara become a priest St. Chavara celebrated his first Holy Qurbana at St. Andrew’s Catholic Forane Church Arthunkal, Alappuzha He was the first vicar general in the Syrian church. Kuriakose Chavara started an institution for Sanskrit studies at Mannanam in 1846 Chavara took the initiative to start a school in a nearby village called Arpookara Fr. Chavara admitted the untouchables to schools and provided Sanskrit education to the lower castes He took initiative to start educational institutions along with Church. The schools in Kerala are commonly called Pallikudams because school attached to Church (Palli) Kuriakose Chavara implemented mid day meal for the poor students from lower caste in the schools at Mannanam and Arpookara This inspired Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer to recommend this to King for being implemented in all government run schools Pidiyari was the charity practice of Kuriakose Chavara. He encouraged people to make daily small donations to help the needy through Pidyari scheme. It supported the Midday meal Kuriakose Chavara popularized in schools An organization formed by Kuriakose Chavara called “Unnimishihayude Dharma Sabha” who took care of the Pidiyari collection Kuriakose Chavara started St. Joseph’s Press at Mannanamin 1846. It was the third printing press in Kerala. It was the first press founded by a Malayali without the help of foreigners. Nasrani Deepika was printed from this press. The first book printed in this Press at Mananam was Njanapeeyusham The oldest existing Malayalam newspaper in circulation Nasrani Deepika at 1887. Atmanuthapam Maranaveettil Padunnathinulla Pana, Anasthaciayude Rakthasakshyam, Dhyana Sallapangal and Nalagamangal were written by St. Chavara. Prior Mango is a variety of mango popularized by Kuriakose Chavara Kuriakose Elias Chavara died on 3 January 1871, aged 66, at Koonammavu. His canonization was on 18 March 2014 by Pope Francis St. Chavara Museum, Archives and Research Centre- Mannanam St. Chavara Kuriakose Elias Museum-Koonammavu Chavara National Museum- Vazhakulam Chavara Museum and Art Gallery- Alappuzha Jeevitham Thanne Sandesham: Vishuda Chavarayude Jeevitham- Prof. M.K. Sanu Chavarayachan Oru Rekha Chitram- K.C. Chako.
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