A Gem Unveiled to Christendom by Mr. V.P. Varghese M.A., Retd. Municipal Commissionaire, Chittur.The outstanding quality in Mariam Thresia was her purifying element manifested throughout her life. It is the law of Nature that when society is tainted and contaminated and polluted with unwanted residues the purifying element will appear vigorously to set things right. To establish “Human right Bill” for the emancipation of Negroes there was a John Kennedy. To free India from the yoke of foreign rule there was a Mahatma Gandhi. To liberate Russia from the clutches of communism there was a Michael Gorbacfhevu. Similarly history assigned such a purifying task to Mother Mariam Thresia. During her time it was the unwritten law that teenage girls of aristocratic family were not supposed to go outside their compound wall under any circumstance. Even when they went to Church for Holy Mass they were to be accompanied by parents or elder sisters. But here Mother Mariam Thresia in her prime of youth was visiting the downtrodden people of the lowest strata of society, consoling the sick, mitigating the pain of the suffering, and administering grace of repentance to the hard hearted sinners. Thus she created a revolution among the sick, the suffering, the needy, the poor and the sinners. The sick saw their doctor in Mariam Thresia. The suffering realized their solace in Mariam Thresia. The poor noticed their redeemer in Mariam Thresia. The obstinate sinners perceived their confessor and retreat preacher in Mariam Thresia. At that time there was no charitable hospital, asylum or orphanage, so for the poor, the sick and the downtrodden. Mariam Thresia was the hospital, asylum and orphanage for them. Though she did not orally preach Gospel in flippant style of rhetoric, she preached the sweetness of the Gospel through her zealous and earnest actions among the poor and the needy. Consequently many hard hearted sinners gave up their routine life of sin and embraced Christianity.
The modern world of computer science and rapid progress may not understand the limitations prescribed for a young nun during that period. Yet Mother Mariam Thresia nursed the persons who were victims of contagious diseases like Cholera, Plague, Small pox etc. The Govt. also did not take any action to eradicate these diseases. Such patients did not get even an atom of compassion either from Govt. or from society. There were instances also of persons affected with small pox who were buried alive. In all these cases Mariam Thresia came forward to administer to their spiritual as well as temporal needs with utmost personal care and sacrifice in a life style of self denial. She had an inborn thirst to save souls for Jesus Christ who shed his last drop of blood for sinners. Through her silent prayer, severe penance and never failing service she saved many persons from death. She led many dying persons to repentance, thus to a peaceful death. Her edifying service caused many non-Christians to come to Church. Though she did not deliver sermons with verbosity her behavior and look and smile was more eloquent than any speech of Ciceronian style. This declared Christian simplicity.
Of course even for spiritual work and social activities money is an inevitable factor. She never had enough money for the charitable works and social activities she did in various fields. So she herself took the role of a beggar to raise funds for the afflicted and the sick with no regard for caste or creed. Many people appreciated this and they generously contributed for this noble cause. Therefore even the dead received an honourable funeral on account of this challenging task undertaken by Mother Mariam Thresia.
Looking at the life of Mother Mariam Thresia, three things mainly impress us. First, how bravely and heroically she took up forsaken cases in the field of sickness and suffering, secondly, her penance and self denial, and thirdly her untiring efforts to serve society through activities in various fields. But as a nun burning with love of God, two fold are her virtues. Firstly, she was not merely satisfied with reciting prayers and singing hymns. She personally undertook all possible tortures to mortify her body. Secondly she placed her cent percent trust in God surrendering herself completely and emptied herself with unswerving faith in providence.
In India, just as Blessed Alphonsa of Palai Diocese is renounced for her silent suffering and prayer, Mother Mariam Thresia of Trichur Diocese is famous for her relentless quest after serving the sick and the downtrodden at the risk of her own life in Mariam Thresia the words of Jesus Christ “Wheat must be crushed down and powdered to produce hundredfold fruit” is materialized. From her sacrifice and self-denial “Holy Family Congregation” imbibed its vitality and dynamism to serve the nation and to win the nation for Jesus Christ.