Saint Alphonsa was an Indian religious sister and educator. She was the first woman of Indian origin to be canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She became the first canonized saint of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church based in India. Her feast day is observed on July 28th.
Alphonsa was born as Anna Muttathupadathu in Syro Malabar Nasrani family, on 19th August 1910. She was baptized on 27 August. In 1916 Anna started her schooling in Arpookara. She received First Communion on 27 November 1917. In 1918 she was transferred to the school in Muttuchira.
She died on 28 July 1946, at a young age of 36. She was buried at St. Her tomb at St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Bharananganam, has become a pilgrimage site as miracles have been reported by some of the faithful.
Reserve Bank of India has issued a 5 Rupees Commemorative Coin, in 2009 marking the birth centenary of Saint Alphonsa.
Image Source: Mintage Wold