His Grace Bishop Jerome, the first native bishop of the Kollam diocese of the Catholic Church, will be elevated as Servant of God on February 24 at a function at Infant Jesus Cathedral, Thangassery. This will be the first step towards beatification and canonization of the late priest. “Kollam bishop Paul Antony Mullassery received a letter from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican regarding this,” said Fr. Baiju Julian, Episcopal Vicar, Kollam diocese, at a press meet.

As reported by The Hindu, Fr. Julian said that “His Grace Bishop Jerome had helmed the Kollam diocese, the first Catholic diocese in India, from 1937 to 1978. “An embodiment of Christian spirituality and a true visionary, he played an integral role in the overall development and progress of Kollam city. He also made key interventions in social and educational sectors, establishing a chain of institutions for the uplift of backward classes.”

The official declaration will be made during the holy mass on February 24. In the next stage the late priest will be granted the title of venerable to be followed by canonization, after which the Catholic Church will officially recognize him as saint. Various celebrations in connection with the declaration ceremony will be held from February 23 to 26.

Source: The Hindu