Pope Francis has taken a step forward in raising eight Servants of God furthermore to sainthood. The list includes an Indian priest from Konthuruthy, Fr. Varghese Payyappilly, the founder of Congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute, Ernakulam.
Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtues of eight Servants of God—three priests and five nuns—and along with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared the decrees giving the eight Servants of God a 'Venerable' status.
Fr. Payyapilly, born into a well-to-do family from Kerala converted his parish to a 'home for the homeless' following a destructive flood. He founded on March 19, 1927, a congregation for women, Sisters of the Destitute, which now runs centres and homes to care for the terminally-ill, the physically and mentally disabled, and the children and elderly who are thrown to the streets.
The other 'Servants of God' among the list who attained a 'Venerable' status include Fr. Emanuele Nunes Formigão from Portugal, Sr. Elizabeth Bruyère from Canda, Sr. Justa Domínguez de Vidaurreta and Idoy from Spain and four from Italy—Father Ludovico Longari, Mother Margherita Ricci Curbastro, Mother Florenza Giovanna Profilio and Mother Maria Dolores of Christ the King.