Servant of God Fr. Varghese Payapilly
He was born on 8th of August, 1876 as the fourth child of Lonan and Kunjumariam at Konthuruthy, near Thevara, in the Archdiocese of Eranakulam. Even though he was known as father Varghese Payapilly, it is to be understood that his real surname was palackappilly. His parents had five children. He was born and brought up in a good catholic family. The child was always growing up just as the child Jesus who grow in “age and wisdom before God and man!” He was always faithful in frequently participating in the Holy Eucharistic celebration and receiving the sacrament and thus growing in the spirit of prayer. Thus he felt even from his childhood the divine call to give himself totally to the Lord. Very willingly and courageously he gave his ‘YES’ to the Lord and while studying in the 9th class he joined the seminary at Alangad, near north Paravoor. Varghese completed his priestly studies at the famous Papal seminary in Kandy, in the present day Sri Lanka.
The formation and insight that he got from there, needless to say influenced him a lot. He began feeling a deep inner urge to give himself totally to the Lord in the service of the cool waters of salvation to the flock entrusted to his pastoral care so that they have life and life in abundance. Fr. Varghese not only forgave those who did any harm, but did his level best to help them in any way he could. He was always sympathetic and understanding to all; They all had great reverence towards him; a reverence mingled with love and fear. “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those curse you, pray for those who abuse you”. These words of Jesus found their full expression in the life of our beloved father. He could never contain to himself the fullness of love that he was feeling within. It began overflowing though lanes and reaching every where . Fr. Varghese wanted that This overflowing though love should outlast his life on earth. he desired that in and through their lives, their lives, their service of love and compassion to the poor, the suffering, the abandoned, the sick, the prisoner, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the exploited ought to feel the caressing and consoling touch of Jesus and they should become worthy of the Jesus,”blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”Fr. Varghese Payapilly was given the special grace with a vision to form new congregation to be the living memorial of Jesus the compassionate who reveled the face of the merciful Father to the oppressed, abandoned, suffering and the marginalized. The same spirit had given a strong desire to five young ladies hailing from Kizhakambalam to dedicate their lives to the service of the poor.
They approached Mar. Augustine Kandathil the Archbishop of Ernakulam diocese. Five ordinary girls who, placing their whole trust in God alone, came forward with a staunch desire to consecrate themselves to god at any cost and to dedicate themselves unreservedly to the and least; On the 2nd of February, 1926, the day the presentation of child Jesus in the temple, these five candidates started their life in a very simple and modest way, following the humble life style of Jesus the Destitute. Only the person, who experience deep within himself the infinite love and mercy of God, can render to other the same experience through the service of love. It was our founding father who was the first formator in the service of love towards the aged. Once Sr.Kochuthresia stood helpless before an aged disabled person as to what to do for the man had been lying drenched in his excrement and with such foul smell that it was impossible even to go near him. “Do you know who is lying here on the bed?” His glance and the question tore right deep in to the heart of Kochuthresia and immediately she recalled the fact that it was Jesus Himself who was there lying in that miserable condition. These fact, later, she herself has testified .Each word and deed of our founding father was always a noble example to the S.D . It shows us the way the love of God can work through a person, if we, from our part are willing to co-operate with His call and grace .
To belong to Jesus means to die to the world, and become a sacrifice to Him. Fr.Varghese was a true disciple of Jesus who died to the world, offered His life as a sacrifice and found the sole purpose of his living in fulfilling the will of God in serving the last and the least. He departed from this world leaving a noble task half accomplished, as one is likely to think about it .But who can grasp the plan and working of the spirit of God? He comforted them telling, “My beloved children, whatever happens surrender to the will of god”. Pray always that the will of God be fulfilled in our lives; do not pray for anything else.” And the heavenly Father called to Himself His beloved son to be with Him for ever.It was the 5th of October, 1929, morning at about 10.00A.M.He was just 53years old, of which 22years as a priest of God. The flame was gone, but the rays that it was spreading around shine forth evermore brilliantly.