Last illness

Two or three days after the blessing of the convent of Thumboor Mother Mariam Thresia returned to the convent at Kuzhikkattussery. As the days passed the wound on her leg became inflamed and it caused her acute pain. It was felt that a surgery was necessary. A doctor was called from the hospital at Chalakudy. After examining her, he wanted her to be moved to the hospital. But she told her spiritual father that it would be of no avail. However, it was decided to follow the medical advice that she should be taken to the hospital. A bullock cart was arranged for the journey as automobiles were a rarity in those parts. Father George Chirapanath was a schoolboy then and was on the scene. He narrates in a written account:

Our teacher had communicated the news of her illness to us. The pupils were all anxious to see her. After a few days the illness was reported to be very serious. So the pupils were given permission to see her while she was leaving for the hospital at Chalakudy. The bullock cart in which she was taken was ready and it was brought close to the door of the convent. I remember seeing the Mother dragging herself to the bullock cart with great effort. We got the impression that she was suffering intense pain. We were so attached to the mother that we are all felt grieved to see her in such severe pain.

The patient was given an injection. Before the operation the doctor noted that the inflammation on the leg spread upwards. Her condition was further complicated by diabetics. She suffered unbearable pain with much patience and serenity. Fr.George Chiramel, who was the assistant parish priest of Chalakudy, submitted the following in a written account: “I had the happiness of giving Holy Communion to her (when she was in Chalakudy). She was suffering intense pain with exquisite calmness and extraordinary gentleness, showing no sign of impatience or dislike. It would seem that she was fully resigned to God in her suffering”.