Thresia’s dear parents named her after the great mystic saint of Avila, the Foundress of the Reform Carmel, at her baptism. She also received a second name as heaven’s reward, ‘Mariam’ at the age of twenty seven given by Virgin Mother of God. At end of the three years of severe trail by hell, the Bl. Virgin added her holy name to make it “Mariam Thresia”.
On 8 Dec 1904, which was to be the last night to end the three years severe trials, there were two other priests with Fr. Joseph Vithayathil in her house praying. While Thresia was still unconscious Bl. Mother spoke to her spiritual Father saying ” Her sufferings have now ended. Now seven devils have been permitted to stay and try her. In thanksgiving to God she must be called Mariam Thresia. The acts of love and gratitude should be said. Jesus, St. Joseph ad myself will be with her for some more time . Father I will give you my blessing” . Same day on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, she was thrilled when she was first called ‘Mariam Thresia’ by her spiritual father, Fr. Joseph Vithayathil, who regarded her as christened anew by heaven.
During the three years of diabolical trails, Bl. Virgin had stayed close to her comforting her after midnight every day. Once the devils complained to God saying that “it was because of the help of Mother Mary, Thresia was unyielding to their temptations. It is written that Bl. Mother did no longer come to her help except for the last three days of severe trials. It was at the end of the gruesome trance and trials that Mariam Thresia won against the massive attack of devils.
Blessed Mary had been Thresia’s constant recourse and refuge from her childhood. From the age of three or four she committed herself to her protection and excelled in devotional practices in her honor. She says “I fasted every Saturday in honor of the Blessed Mother and recited the whole rosary until I learned to read. I attended daily Eucharist and did acts of charity in honor of Blessed Mother.” Fr. Joseph Vithayathil also wrote in his History that Thresia chose Mary for her mother from her infancy. When she was just three not knowing how to use the rosary, she held it in her hand while praying. Mother Mary appeared to her, recited the rosary with her, and thus taught her how to recite it.
It was Bl. Virgin Mary who asked Fr. Joseph Vithayathil to build a house of solitude for Thresia to pray in 1903. However when it was reported to the Bishop, he refused to grant permission saying “it is not customary to our times, I don’t believe in all these things,” “If it is from God, I would like to be assured by a sign”. Bl. Virgin granted him with a sign- altering the termination date of heaven’s trail for Thresia shortening it from 23rd January 1905 to 8 December 1904 as he had requested.
Later when she was staying in the Carmelite Convent at Ollur, Bishop Menachery called her by her new name Mariam Thresia, to her great delight. The name was officially given to her Sr. Mariam Thresia on 14, May 1914 with the institution of the Congregation of Holy Family.
On 5 October 1906, Mariam Thresia had a vision after Holy Communion in which “Blessed Mary’s heart was given to her, it was placed on the right of Jesus’s heart, received earlier. The symbolic meaning of this vision specify the deep and personal love that united the two hearts into one.
St. Mariam Thresia was very much devoted to Blessed Mother of the Assumption. She used to prepare for this feast in a special way by fasting and penances and with the recitation of 40 Hail Mary’s for 25 days. She asked her sisters that God would look after all our needs and taught them an ejaculation: ‘My Mother, my trust!’
St. Mariam Thresia learned the mysteries of heaven from Bl. Mother, and she remained filial consecrating her body and soul to her. It is true that all who wants to reach Jesus should go to Mary first. For Thresia Mother and Son, were not to be separated they are but one, she reached to Him through Mary His Mother.
Every intervention of Bl. Virgin led Thresia to the fulfillment of God’s will through her. Virgin Mary prepared her as a perfect bride to Jesus and to the institution of the Congregation of Holy Family through her.
Sr. Udaya Kallukaran Chf