Name: Congregation of the Holy Family
Foundress: Blessed Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan
Born : 26, April 1876
Died : 8, June 1926
Beatified: 9, April 2000 in Vatican, Rome
Canonization: Pope ordered for promulgation of the Decree on 13.02.2019
Foundation: 14, May 1914.
Place: Puthenchira, Thrissur, Kerala, India
Diocese: Diocese of Irinjalakuda. (Then – Diocese of Trichur)
Co-Founder : Venerable Fr. Joseph Vithayathil
Charism: Compassionate love emanating from deep union with Crucified Lord to families
Spirituality: Mariam Thresian Spirituality that has three dimensions namely Holy Family, Suffering Lord and Eucharistic Christ
The Motto: ‘Thy will be done’
Apostolate: Family Apostolate – expressed through
1. Direct family visits
2. Psychological Counseling for individuals and families
3. Psycho Spiritual Guidance for individuals and families
4. Retreats for couples
5. Home Mission program for parishes lasting for 15 days or more
: Education Ministry
: Healing Ministry
: Works of Mercy
: Evangelization
No. of Sisters: 1990
No. of Houses: 248
CHF Presence: in India, Germany, Italy, USA, Ghana, Ecuador, Canada, Kenya and South Sudan

Blessed Mariam Thresia, the Foundress of the Congregation of the Holy Family is a renowned mystic and the first Stigmatist of the church in India. Thresia was born in a noble Chiramel Mankidiyan family on 26, April 1876 at Puthenchira, Thrissur, Kerala, India. Deep rooted faith in God’s providence, submissiveness to the Will of God and passionate love for the Crucified Lord are some of the prominent virtues in Thresia. She fervently prayed, “Let God’s will and my will be one and the same”. Thresia’s passion for the Crucified Lord was so deep and intense that she longed to identify herself with Him. Jesus was pleased with her extraordinary sufferings and imprinted His five wounds on her (stigmata) permanently in 1909. She encountered Christ in the suffering and hastened to wipe out their tears, brushing aside all oppositions, prevailing customs and conventions. She heroically took up the challenges of reaching out to the families to save souls for Christ. She is known as the ‘Patroness of Families’ and the pioneer of ‘Family Apostolate’. In consequence of a wound caused by falling rails of the altar during the blessing ceremony of the third convent Mother Mariam Thresia who was actively contemplative and contemplatively active, flew to her eternal reward on June 8, 1926 at the age of fifty.

Venerable Father Joseph Vithayathil

Venerable Fr. Joseph Vithayathil (1864-1964) was a diocesan priest, Spiritual Father of Blessed Mariam Thresia and Co-founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family. His prayer life, deep faith and trust in God, wisdom and prudence empowered him to discern the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of Mariam Thresia. The coincidence of his death on 8, June of his spiritual daughter, in 1964, is the divine endorsement of their spiritual relationship. May the holiness and intercessory power of Blessed Mariam Thresia reach all the families and religious !
Charism: The charism of the CHF is, compassionate love emanating from deep union with the Crucified Lord and liberative mission accomplished through Family Apostolate in the spirit of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Motto:‘Thy will be done’ (a blending of the spirituality of Virgin Mary and Blessed Mariam Thresia who prayed “Let God’s will and my will be one and the same”).
Vision: To be identified with the Crucified Lord and be empowered to impart His compassionate Love.
Mission: To share with everyone especially the poor and the outcasts the merciful love of Jesus through Family Apostolate.
History: Congregation of the Holy Family was founded by Blessed Mariam Thresia (1876-1926) at Puthenchira in Thrissur Dt., Kerala, in the year 1914. Venerable Fr. Joseph Vithayathil (1865-1964) is the co-founder of the Congregation. It is an indigenous Congregation of Pontifical right of the Syro-Malabar Church. The intense desire of Thresia to live a hidden life with the Crucified Lord was realized in the house of solitude at Puthenchira namely ‘Ekanthabhavan’ in 1913 with her 3 companions. Their life of prayer and penance, sufferings and sacrifices paved the way for a total dedication to the service of the families especially for the poor during the time of First World War. Mar John Menachery, the then Bishop of Thrissur, convinced of the holiness of Mariam Thresia and the relevance of her special mission, raised canonically the small community into the status of a Religious Congregation named “Congregation of the Holy Family” on May 14, 1914. After the death of Mariam Thresia on 8, June 1926, Rev. Fr. Joseph Vithayathil nurtured the Congregation up to its first General Election held on 30, May 1942. He continued his guidance to impart the spirit of the foundress unto his death on 8 June 1964. CHF has grown miraculously responding to the changing and challenging needs of the time. As the number of Sisters increased, CHF was spread across the globe. It was raised to Pontifical status on 1 August 1978. At present we have 9 Provinces (South India -5 & North India-4) and two regions. Today the vision and mission of the Congregation is being lived by 1970 Sisters in 248 communities, in 62 dioceses of 4 continents (Asia, Africa, America, and Europe).
In 1999 Mother Mariam Thresia was called ‘Venerable’ and in 2000 she was beatified. In 2015 the co-founder Fr. Joseph Vithayathil was raised to the status of ‘Venerable’. The canonization process is almost getting over.
Apostolates and Contributions to the Society:
Types of Service: Thresia said, “Nobody knows how great is the reward that God gives to those who help the destitute”. Inspired by her apostolic spirit, CHF serves the families in diverse ways such as:
It is the compassionate love that works as the motivating force of these fields of Apostolate. The thrust and heart of any apostolate of CHF is the Wellbeing and Renewal of Families and thus work for the salvation of souls.
Main Contribution:
Deriving Compassionate love from the Crucified Lord, Enlightened by the Holy Spirit, Rooted in the Word of God, Nourished by the Holy Eucharist, Inspired by the Holy Family and Modelled after the purity and simplicity of the Holy Family, the CHF Sisters collaborate in building ‘Holy Families’ across the world.

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