The presence of the Holy Family of Nazarath was real and intimate to her as though she was the fourth member in it. All through her spiritual life as well as missionary life, the Holy Family remained the inter-mediators to fulfill the heavenly tasks in perfect harmony through visions and auditions.
Already from an early age Blessed Virgin was Thresia’s constant recourse and refuge. Bl. Virgin taught her to recite the full Rosary at the age of three and half, at the age of five she also taught her to read. Thresia’s filial attachment to Our Lady become stronger with the death of her mother at the age of thirteen. She accepted Bl. Virgin as the mother of her body and soul and committed herself in to her care.
Jesus visited her in various manifestations with Bl. Virgin and St. Joseph; as an infant, boy Jesus, as a youth, flogged, bearing heavy cross, and crucified. St. Joseph was foster father who helped her to meet the regular needs of her sisters and orphans. St. Joseph often put money and materials in need in her hands, under the pillow or in the box. The Holy Family had attended her closely from her infancy to death bed.
They consoled her during three years of deadly trials and temptations. They imparted her with strength and reassured her in her struggles against the evil; they would heal her wounds and bruises, fixed back her neck and hands cut off by devils. Her Autobiography, she had noted that “our Lord, Bl. Mother and St. Joseph came and consoled her and told her some of the things which were going to happen in future”.
Fr. Joseph Vithayathil has recorded that “She had visions and apparitions of Holy Family. August 15, 1904 on the feast day of Assumption of Virgin Mary, Jesus came to her along with Bl. Mother and St. Joseph and offered her His heart in a mystical experience. Fr. Joseph Vithayathil also records that on 5th Oct 1906, on first Friday, soon after the Holy Communion she was given the heart of St. Joseph. The blessed Virgin Mary’s heart remained in the right side and St. Joseph’s heart on the left side of Jesus’ heart which she had received earlier.”
It sounds so certain that she was untied intimately with the Holy Family and imbibed their spirit. Thresia’ spiritual father has recorded some special visits of Holy Family ‘Holy Mother told her to decorate her small room with flowers on Fridays and asked her friends to recite the rosary. When this was told to her spiritual father he inquired about the purpose of decoration. Holy Mother said, “On Fridays Jesus, Mary and Joseph will come here in glory before the vespers bell, those who recite rosary at that time will be granted the grace of God”. The practice of common rosary devotion on Fridays have become dear to the congregation of the Holy Family as heralds of its foundation.
Holy Family prepared the Lords supper in her room on the eve of Maundy Thursday of 1906 in which the Holy Family ate with Thresia. On three occasions Thresia played ‘Chathuranga’ a royal game of India with Jesus,Virgin Mary and St. Joseph were spectators to it.
The fraternity that she advocated with the families revolved round the model of Nazareth Family, binding the hearts together in mutual love, turning the children to their parents in obedience, fostering care and sanctity of the households, trying to eliminate domestic meanness to women and children, inspiring to follow the divine will in all circumstances and such as these. She wanted transform every family of her village and near home town to Holy Families where Jesus can abide.
The spirit of fraternal charity and love reverberate through all the apostolate and spirituality of Holy Family Congregation as well. It has pioneered the Family Apostolate from 18th century heading from the model that Bl. Mariam Thresia has set. She is also known as the Patroness of Family Apostolate.
In the worldly perspective she was poor and miserable but regarding her spiritual power and virtues she was too lavish and prodigious. St. Mariam Thresia was a women with fire in her heart and wings in her legs moving around to share the compassionate love of God to people in need.
Sr. Udaya Kallukaran Chf