St. Mariam Thressia

(1876 - 1926)

Foundress of

The Congregation of the holy family

The roots of St. Joseph's college lie deep in the vision of Saint Mariam Thresia,  the foundress of the  Congregation of  the Holy Family.  She was born in the Chiramel Mankidiyan family in Puthenchira, Kerala, on 26th April 1876. Her whole life had been a beautiful and powerful utterance of her passion for the Lord and compassion for His people.

At a time when women were destined to spend their lives within the four walls of their homes, she went out to seek the poor and the suffering to wipe out their tears and to inculcate values that would bring ultimate joy and peace.

Saint Mariam Thresia was convinced that the world could be saved only through families embedded on the rock of love.  She founded a new congregation dedicated to the cause of families on 14th May 1914.  Knowing that education of women is crucial for the formation of ideal families, she started a primary school the very next year.  She built up the congregation with the spiritual wealth of prayer, penance . piety and charity.  On 8th  June 1926 she left for her heavenly abode.  Her sanctity was recognized by the Church and Pope John II  declared her Blessed on 9th April 2000.

The mission of this apostle of families was taken up by her daughters of the Congregation of the Holy Family.  Their manifold family oriented service through direct family apostolate, educational institutions, hospitals, counseling centres, homes for the destitute, the aged and the sick, aim at attaining wholeness for individuals and families.



Fr. Joseph Vithayathil

(1865 - 1964)

Co - Founder of

The Congregation of the holy family

Rev. Fr. Joseph Vithayathil was the patriarch, whose invaluable wisdom guided the destiny of the Congregation of the Holy Family, and whose spiritual foresight and cautious courage directed the Saint Mariam Thresia in the struggles of her soul.

He was born on 23 July 1865 as the son of Joseph and Anna Vithayathil, in the parish of Manambady, Puthenpally. Having shown an ardent desire to be in the service of God quite early in his life, he began his priestly training when only 15 years of age and on 11 March 1894 received the priestly ordination. When the Congregation of  the Holy Family was erected on 14 May 1914, Father Vithayathil was appointed its chaplain. Even before that he had stood by Saint  Mariam Thresia in her search for religious commitment and realization of family apostolate. After the death of Saint Mariam Thresia, he took up the reins of the congregation and guided it to greater heights with his dignified and disciplined governance. Father Vithayathil paved the way for the mother's fragrance to be lifted beyond the confines of time and space.

This holy priest of vision and spiritual insight was called to the heavenly abode on 8 June 1964 at the age of 99. He was raised to the honours of the altar in June 2004.

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