It was the repeated request of the people of Puthenchira, caused the Bishop to send Mariam Thresia back from CMC Ollur to her village after a period of three months . The Bishop finally granted permission to build an ékánthabhavan, a hermitage as requested. Mariam Thresia had requested for a solitude house since she had heard the Blessed Virgin Mother require it ten years ago in 1903.
One of the parishioners Mr. Maliekal KoonanKunjuvarkey Ittoop, generously donated the land for the purpose of prayer house in Puthenchira. Fr. Vithayathil started the construction of the house and the people of the locality volunteered to extend their helping hand. Mariam Thresia also with permission of her Spiritual father went to the neighboring parishes to raise fund for the completion of the same. Thus within a short time, the house of solitude was completed: a small robust two storied building of four rooms, built of granite stones and teak wood with simple white washed walls.
Wanting to have the house blessed before her move into it, Fr. Vithayathil sent Mariam Thresia with a letter to the bishop asking for His Lordship’s permission to bless the house. On 23 September 1913, Rev. Fr. John Ukken blessed ékánthabhavan in the presence of Rev. Fr. Joseph Vithayathil and many other priests and parishioners of Puthenchira.
On 7 October 1913, Mariam Thresia moved into ékánthabhavan and began to reside permanently there. Her friends Mariam Karumalikkal, Mariam MaliekalKoonan and Thresia Maliekal Koonan would join her only later. They came and started to live with her from January 1914 onward. Mariam Thresia had been their leader from time of their friendship through prayer and lay apostolate of which ‘Ekantabhavan’ was a continuation. However, they did not withdraw into solitude and forget those in need. They continued to visit the poor, the sick and the dying. They did not know of any conflict between a life of contemplation and a life of action.
According to the programmer drawn up by her Spiritual Guide, Fr. Vithayathil, there were to be fixed times for prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, charitable works, etc. The time fixed for sleep was two hours, from 10.00 p.m. to 12.00 a.m. or midnight. From midnight to 5.00 in the morning it was time for meditation on the passion of Christ and for the penances permitted to her by her spiritual father. Thus the small house became literally a house of prayer, atonement, and center of apostolic concentration. Mariam Thresia and her companions carried out their solitary life in the Ashram, engaging themselves in the service of the destitute and poor people of the locality.
Thresia continued to have mystical experience, trials and tribulations. The prayer house gave Thresia the solitude and silence she longed for long. She experienced stigmata mostly all the Fridays and Tuesdays. St. Mariam Thresia once wrote to her Spiritual Father saying that in the Holy Friday an angel of God brought the cross of Christ and fixed it in her room from Friday afternoon to Saturday midnight. She longed for a full share of Christ’s passion. Once Jesus appeared to her carrying heavy cross on His shoulder , bleeding all over the body; Thresia cried out saying “enough Lord, enough please give me your cross and I shall carry it” She shared the cross of Christ readily who asked her “will you carry my cross without complaining? then bear and reduce my pain”.
The wall in the living room out show a part of it projected in the sign of the cross. The witness recorded says that Mariam Thresia used to be fixed on the wall for hours lifted from the ground as if she was undergoing the pain of crucifixion.
St. Mariam Thresia atoned the sins of many bearing the bruises of Christ in her body, she interceded for great mercy on behalf of mankind and those lived in sin and slavery of darkness. Of course God had a definite purpose for Thresia to nurture a Congregation, in order to preserve the charism entrusted her. This sanctuary ‘Ekantabhavan’ was the hub of spiritual foundation of the Congregation of Holy Family.
Sr. Udaya Kallukaran Chf