- 17 May 2013
- FLAG HOSTING OF OUR SAINT
- 25 May 2013
- VESPRESS MASS
- 26 May 2013
- Grand Feast Mass of Our Saint conducted by Our Parish Prist
Constanzo Beschi, also known under his Tamil name of Vīramāmunivar (Tamil: வீரமாமுனிவர்) or Constantine Joseph Beschi(in English) was an Italian Jesuit, Missionary in South India, and renowned poet in the Tamil language.
Born in Castiglione delle Stiviere Mantova Italy, Beschi got his secondary education in the Jesuit High School of Mantova. After becoming a Jesuit in 1698 he was trained in Ravenna Bologna from where he requested, and obtained, from Superior General Michelangelo Tamburini the permission to be sent to the Madurai mission in South India. Sailing from Lisbon he reached Goa in October 1710, from where he proceeded immediately to South India. He arrived in Madurai in May 1711.
During the first six years, he worked as missionary in Elakurichy(ஏலாக்குறிச்சி), a town near Tiruchirapalli. Then he served as parish priest in Kamanayakkanpatti one of the oldest mission centers in Tamil Nadu. Also he visited several important centers such as Tirunelveli Ramanathapuram Thanjavur and of course Madurai, in order to learn the Tamil language. He met with persecution in 1714-15, and escaped a death sentence thanks to the influence of a Hindu friend. The hostility of local kings prevented him from visiting Christian communities. This gave him more time to master the Tamil language in which he soon showed great proficiency.
In 1716 A.D., Santa Quiteria was canonized by the Pope and recognized as an important miraculous Saint of the early church. Her cult and devotions were popular in Portugal, Spain, Italy and France and in all Portuguese and Spanish settlements in America and in the Far East of Asia. After the Canonization, her devotions were spread by the Jesuits on the request of the Pope.
At that proximate period,Venerable Constantine Joseph Beschi The famous Italian Jesuit Priest, landed in Goa, then a Portugese colony in India, to serve the Madura Jesuit Mission who later became a well-known Tamil Scholar.
Fr. Beschi S.J. ( Veeramamuniver ) was more dedicated to Santa Quiteria and was very enthusiastic in spreading the Devotion of Santa Quiteria and he named her as Punitha Kitheriammal in Tamil. He was at the Elakurichi in Tanjore district, where he built a church in honour of Adaikala Matha (Our Lady of Refuge ). He supposed to have received two statues from Manilla, Philipine Island. He kept the bigger one in the Church at Elakurich, at an specially built altar built at right side of the main altar. He wrote Lyric Poems in Tamil with 1100 stanzas in honor of Santa Quiteria titled as "Kitheriammal Ammanai". Fr. Beschi S.J. is, however, best known as a Tamil poet. In a poem of 1100 stanzas, "Kittêri ammall sarithiram" he sings the praises of the martyr St. Quiteria (not St. Catherine, as some writers have mistakenly asserted).
Fr. Beschi S.J. ( Veeramamuniver ) brought the other smaller statue of Santa Quiteria to Manakkarai, which he found the place very worth for the church was near the slope of the hill which resembled the Pomperu mountain where she got the martyrdom. He installed it by replacing Santa Barbara. Then church was dedicated to Santa Quiteria henceforth and was called the Shrine of Santa Quiteria. ( Archista Kitheriammal Koil in Tamil language). Then afterwards, there were many signs of miracles and the shrine became well known for the miracles. More people used to come from the sea-shore villages and towns and prayed to her invoking for the cure. The shrine was under the control of Jesuit priests of the Madura Missions and should have been a mission post without any proper spiritual care.