Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree on the martyrdom of the Servant of God Sister Regina Maria Vattalil (nee Maria), professed nun of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor Clares Franciscans, killed in India in hatred of the faith, on February 25, 1995.
Sister Maria, 41, was originally from Kerala, and she worked in Udaynagar, in the diocese of Indore, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh for two and a half years.
She was killed while traveling by bus from Udaynagar to Indore. Two men forced her to get off and in front of passengers, she was hit with more than 50 stab wounds. Police arrested three people, including the perpetrators of the crime.
According to the information disseminated then by Agenzia Fides (see Fides 07/03/1995), the nun was mainly engaged in favor of farmers and village women. Mgr. George Anathil, at the time Bishop of Indore, recalled that Sister Maria was engaged in providing social assistance, teaching civil rights to tribal populations in Udaynagar, in an area dominated by large landowners and moneylenders. After her funeral, public demonstrations were held which were attended by thousands of people, including some Bishops and members of Christian and non-Christian organizations. All institutions and Catholic schools of the state of Madhya Pradesh remained closed in mourning. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 24/03/2017)