|Everyone in Ramapuram village in Kerala considers Father Augustine Thevarparambil, popularly known as Kunjachan, as a humble priest. He was born in Ramapuram village on April 1, 1891. He was ordained priest in the diocese of Pala, in 1921. Interestingly, during most of his priestly career, Kunjachan stayed in his own parish, the St. Augustine’s church at Ramapuram, as one among the three assistant parish priests for more than 40 years. Kunjachan died on 16th October 1973.
Soon after his death, his tomb at the St. Augustine Church became a center of pilgrimage for people from far and wide. According to parish priest Father Mathew Narivelil, the biography and the prayer for intercession Kunjachan have been published in many Indian and European languages. After Kunjachan was declared a Servant of God, an elaborate enquiry about his life and virtues was followed by a diocesan tribunal. Father Mathoth prepared the ‘positio’ on the virtues and submitted it to the Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Rome on 12 Feb. 1997. The 'Positio' on the heroic practice of virtues of the saintly priest was approved by Pope John Paul II on 22 June 2004 and he was declared 'Venerable'.
Meanwhile, the process of the miraculous cure of the clubfoot of a boy, Gilson Varghese, was undertaken, and the findings were sent to Rome for consideration. After a thorough investigation of the miraculous nature of the cure, made by competent personnel in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI approved it, opening the way for Beatification. Venerable Kunjachan was beatified by Card. Varkey Vithayathil, Major Arch bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church on 30 April 2006 at the very same village Ramapuram where he was born, worked, died and buried.The Feast of Blessed Kunjachan is celebrated on 16 October every year.