More than 400 people gathered to seek blessing from her on the feast day.
Nagpur (UCAN) A church dedicated to India's first canonized woman, Saint Alphonsa, was blessed and opened July 28 at Mhasala in Nagpur with hundreds of people attending the ceremonies.
Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara led the ceremony that began 5 pm at John the Baptist Convent (Asha kiran) where the statue and the relic of St. Alphonsa was blessed. A procession took the statue to the new church.Archbishop Viruthakulangara gave the key of the church to Fr. Thomas K.D, the priest in-charge and the first Mass in the church followed with some 50 priests joining Archbishop in the solemn con-celebration.
Archbishop said that St. Alphonsa was a contemporary saint, who even though lived only 36 years on this earth but readied herself to suffer for Christ.
She believed the gospel words of Christ saying “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” She proved the gospel words by her life and suffering. Hence many people invoke her blessings.
Archbishop noted that the church was built by the local support and felicitated all those who contributed towards it.
Since it is the first church, dedicated to St. Alphonsa in Nagpur & western region, may bring many devotees to her and in course of time it may become a pilgrim centre in near future.
Tree saplings were planted as part of the program, symbolically expressing the Christian responsibility to care for the nature.