About Us

Congregation of the Holy Family (CHF) was founded by Blessed Mariam Thresia, in a remote village called Puthenchira in Thrissur Dt; Kerala, in the year 1914 with the determination of imparting Christian values to the families. Servant of God Fr. Joseph Vithayathil is the co-founder of the Congregation. It is an indigenous Congregation of Pontifical right of the Syro-Malabar Church. Blessed Mariam Thresia, known as the prophetess and apostle of family convinced that the world could be saved only through families. So she hastened to the families with fire in her heart and wings on her feet to bring back the strayed. On 8 June 1926 the blessed soul left her earthly sojourn to receive the eternal reward. On the same date June 8, 1964 Fr. Joseph Vithayathil passed away. In 1998 Mother Mariam Thresia was called Venerable and in 2000 she was beatified. The Congregation was raised to Pontifical status on 1 August 1978. At present we have nine Provinces and two Regions.

History

The First World War of 1914 -1919 was a great event that had frightened and terrified the entire world. It rocked the Western domination in the domains of politics and religion, and raised great challenges to the European sovereignty over the world. The war caused great destruction of men and property. Cruelty and injustice became the order of the day. Family life which was based on love, freedom and community became very insecure and servile. People were suffering from poverty, sickness and death. The agony of the world population grieved the Holy Father, Pope Pius X, and he wrote to the Catholics of the world, “The storm of a dreadful war has torn the whole of Europe. One cannot reckon its wreck and ruin without grief and tears. We request all of you to take refuge before the throne of the Blessed Sacrament.” As the ferocity of the war increased Pope Pius X passed away saying, “I die for those who sacrificed their lives in the battlefield”1. The new pope, Benedict XV, ascended the papal throne on 3 September 1914.

The wars fought in the European countries immersed the Indian people in fear. The Indians who had long been under the British dominion had kept alive an irrepressive ardent desire for freedom. Meetings and discussions were conducted to arouse and prepare the Indians for the struggle for freedom. They expected that if they helped the British in the war, they would be granted freedom in return.

The threat and the poisonous storm of the war struck Kerala too. The mutual attacks, disunity and the internal problems of the local kings ruined the peace of Kerala.And in the House of Solitude at Puthenchira Thresia and her companions had been praying earnestly and constantly for peace during this time of great disorder and disturbance. Inspired by God, they spent their day time, nursing the sick and consoling those who suffer. Thresia spent long hours at night in prayer before the Crucified Lord in atonement for the sins of the world.

Foundation of the Congregation

Bishop John Menachery of Trichur was convinced of the sanctity of Thresia and her companions. After prolonged acid tests, as though it were a divine intervention, he made a canonical visit of the House of Solitude on 13 May 1914. The bishop was pleased with the lifestyle and spirituality of Thresia and her companions in the House of Solitude. He revealed to Fr.Joseph Vithayathil his desire to raise the house to a religious community. As Fr. Joseph Vithayathil had the same desire for a long time, he was very happy and welcomed the decision of the bishop wholeheartedly. They discussed the name and decided it as the Congregation of the Holy Family2. The bishop had long been sceptical of Thresia’s visions and extraordinary experiences. But her virtues of humility and obedience, spirit of renunciation, freedom from vanity, service of the poor and needy and the results of the family apostolate – all marked her out as genuinely Christian and religious

At the end of his formal visit the bishop decided to give hierarchical recognition to the House of Solitude and make it the first convent of the new congregation. The parishioners of Puthenchira welcomed the news with great joy and made all the arrangements for the auspicious occasion. Two Sisters from the Carmelite Convent at Ollur, where Thresia had stayed for two months, came to help her prepare for her profession as instructed by the bishop.

On 14 May 1914 in the presence of Fr.Joseph Vithayathil and many other priests, some Sisters and a vast assembly of the faithful gathered in the parish church of Puthenchira, Bishop John Menachery made the official proclamation of the establishment of the Congregation of the Holy Family3. The bishop himself gave her the habit of the new congregation and she pronounced before him the three perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The bishop sanctioned her the name Sr. Mariam Thresia of Our Lady of the Assumption4. At this time Sr. Mariam Thresia had a vision of the Holy Family and she conversed with them5. On the same day her three companions Mariam, Kochumariam and Thanda received their veils as Postulants with the names of Sr. Veronica, Sr. Agnes and Sr. Clara respectively. The bishop appointed Sr. Mariam Thresia the mother superior of the new congregation and Fr. Joseph Vithayathil its chaplain6. It is rare that the foundation of a new congregation and the perpetual profession of its foundress occur on the same day. This new-born indigenous congregation founded by Blessed Mariam Thresia was in the Syro-Malabar Church.

First Constitution of the Congregation

The bishop who wished the spiritual growth and development of the congregation gave them a constitution. He made arrangements to get a copy of the constitution of the Holy Family Sisters of Jafna, Ceylon through the bishop of Jafna and had it translated from Tamil into Malayalam. He gave it to Blessed Mariam Thresia and her community after making appropriate changes. It was entitled “The Congregation of the Holy Family and its Rules”7.

Approval of the First Constitution

3065/1914

Blessings to the Reverend Mother Superior and to the other Sisters of the Congregation of the Holy Family, Puthenchira.

I approve the above-mentioned congregation’s constitution with all the spiritual fruits attached to it by the Holy See. It is not the convent or the habit that makes the religious; but it is in the attainment of perfection through the faithful observance of these rules that the religious state consists. As members of the Congregation of the Holy Family, you should learn to follow the holy example of Jesus, Mary and Joseph through your spiritual reading and meditation. I trust and pray that with their help and protection you will live a holy life, and thus become worthy brides of Jesus Christ and finally attain eternal happiness. Once again I impart to you my pastoral blessing.

Blessed Mariam Thresia and the members of her congregation loved the constitution with the recognition and blessing of the bishop very much and tried to adhere to it.

Trichur
22 July 1914 sd/-

John Menachery
Vicar Apostolic

Blessed Mariam Thresia and the members of her congregation loved the constitution with the recognition and blessing of the bishop very much and tried to adhere to it.

Milestones

This year also L.C.I.T.E D.Ed students secured good result and highest scores in the Public Examination 2015. Roshini Varghese of 2014-15 batch became Total First by securing 3A+ , 7A grade. She received highest scores in the subjects Psychology, Malayalam, EVS, English, and Maths and also for option Maths. Angel and Selus secured highest in the paper of Art & work. For option Science Selus become the toppest. For curriculum (P2) Angel scored highest marks. Priyanka is the top scorer in physical education exam. Ardra P.J is the highest scorer in Social option.

  • April 26, 1876 - Birth day of Mother Mariam Thresia
  • March 2, 1888 - Death of her mother Thanda
  • April 30, 1902 - Meets her spiritual director Rev.Fr.Joseph Vithayathil
  • December 8, 1904 - Adoption of the name ‘Mariam Thresia’
  • October 7, 1913 - Started living in the ‘Ekanthabhavan’
  • May 14, 1914 - Canonical erection of Congregation of Holy Family. Appointment of Mariam Thresia as the mother Superior of the congregation. Appointment of Rev.Fr.Joseph Vithayathil as the Chaplain of the Congregation
  • June 8, 1926 8.00 p.m - Death of Mother Mariam Thersia
  • June 8, 1964 - Death of Rev.Fr. Joseph Vithayathil
  • November 25, 1972 - Mar Joseph Kundukulam, Bishop of Thrissur appoints Mgr:Sebastian Chirayath as the ‘Actor’ of the ‘Cause’
  • February 8, 1973 - His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Parecattil submitted the minutes of the Bishop’s Conference for the Introduction of the Cause of Mother Mariam Thresia to the Holy See
  • June 6, 1975 - Institution of historical commission
  • August 1, 1978 - The Congregation of Holy Family raised to the status of Pontifical Institute
  • June 3, 1981 - Exhumation of the tomb
  • June 3, 1981 - ‘Positio’ submitted to the ‘Holy See’
  • June 28, 1999 - The Holy father declares Mother Mariam Thresia-Venerable
  • April 9, 2000 - Beatification