Religious Vocation

During the final year of her school, studies P. V. Mary felt the call of the Lord to embrace the consecrated life .She shared her inner promptings with her cousin Cicily (Sr.Soni Maria FCC) who too had the same desire. The frequent visit to the nearby convent and acquaintance with the FCC nuns enabled them to make a decision to enter the Franciscan Clarist Congregation. Mary had some anxiety about the reaction of her parents and relatives.  One day she plucked up courage and openly expressed her desire to join the convent.  Her brothers and sisters put up a very strong resistance.  They asked their father not to give her permission to join the convent.  But he replied, “But if she insist what shall I do? If God so desires, how can we go against it?” Hearing this conversation the grandmother intervened, “Why do you oppose ‘Marykunju’ (“Little Mary,” pet name) joining the convent? Is she not going for a noble cause? How many parents desire that their children become priests and nuns? Do they always obtain that? The vocation to the religious life is not given to all. God gives it only to some.” All remained silent at these words of wisdom from the grandmother.
On 3rd  July 1972 Mary and her cousin started their aspirancy in the Franciscan Clarist Convent, Kidangoor. After various phases of formation consisting of Aspirancy (3.7.1972 to 30.10.1972), Postulancy (1.11.1972 to 29.4.1973) and Novitiate (30.4.1973 to 30.4.1974) Mary, almost 20 years of age, made her first profession in Franciscan Clarist Congregation on 1st of May 1974 under the new name Rani Maria, the first word Rani having the meaning “Regina” or queen.
Her mistress during Aspirancy and Postulancy, Sr.Gladys testifies as follows about Mary: “She always had a smiling face and was a smart girl. She did everything with perfection and had no complains about anything. She did not need any corrections. Holding fast to what is true and just, she always spoke out things very openly.” A fellow novice, Sr.Alze Maria has described her thus: “During the period of formation, we were busy with various assignments .We had to do everything by ourselves in groups. All wanted to have Sr. Rani in their group. We used to clean the house, the cattle shed, the toilets, and bathrooms. She was always the first for these humble works. Sr.Rani Maria was accustomed to sanctify every hour reciting and humming ejaculatory prayers and sacred tunes. During her hours of work, her favourite ejaculatory prayer was “Jesus.” She kept up this habit of uttering the name “Jesus” till her very last breath. In fact she was heard repeating “Jesus, Jesus” right up to the end of her death agony.
Sr. Infant Mary who was her Novice Mistress has written in the biography of Sr. Rani Maria: “she was unique and exemplary in her prayer, studies, in the observance of the rules, in the responsibilities entrusted to her; in short, in everything. She was never annoyed about others or with others. She was impartial when called up to point out the defects of others, and she did so with precision. She was always much concerned about the will of God.” As Provincial Councillor of Missions in North India, Sr. Infant Mary used to visit the missions and share her experiences with her novices, thus conveying to them the urgency of spreading the Good News among the millions of illiterate and ignorant people of North India. Thus, the seed of missionary vocation was sowed in the heart of novice Mary. Hearing the experiences of missionaries, her missionary zeal inflamed .She used to repeat:  “I too want to go to North India, to serve the poor and die for them”.