Monday, November 15, 2010

St. Alphonsa (Aug. 19, 1910 to July 28, 1946)

                      "Yoga is bodily gospel."  (Reaven Fields)
  The global company where I work offers one-hour yoga classes during lunch break. It's convenient because I no longer have time in the evening to go to the yoga studio in my town.  It's a fun way to relax in the middle of a busy day.  And with so many people stressed out these days, it's no wonder the teacher is in demand all week long and travels to businesses across the state.
  And although yoga has really taken off as the "in" thing to do (especially during the past decade), it's been around at least 5,000 years.
  Since there is no patron saint of yoga, I will acknowledge the first person canonized a Roman Catholic saint from the country of India, where the practice originated. St. Alphonsa (also known as St. Alphonsa Muttathupadathu) was born on Aug. 19, 1910 in Kudamaloor, Palai.
  Her mother died when she was young and she was raised by her aunt. St. Alphonsa was badly burned in an accident which left her disfigured.
  She was a member of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation and received her religious habit in 1930. St. Alphonsa was frequently ill throughout her life and it kept her from teaching. She died on July 28, 1946. She was canonized in 2008 and is invoked as the patron saint against illness. Her feast day is July 28.

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