On November 4, 2017, the Vatican will officially announce Sister Rani Maria Vattali, who was stabbed to death in Madhya Pradesh 22 years ago as the “Blessed”. An official of the Pope will be at Indore Catholic Diocese to officiate the Beatification proceedings, according to MP Catholic Church representative Father Maria Stephen.
The Vatican had earlier cleared the canonisation process to promulgate the “Decree of the Blessed” on nun Rani Maria Vattali, who was stabbed to death by a hired assassin Samunder Singh.
The Blessed, a rare sacred title, is considered to be a prelude to beatification of sainthood as was the case with Mother Teresa, he added. In case of canonisation of sainthood, an extraordinary miracle will be required, he added.
The Pope has cleared the Franciscan Clarist Nun to be called the “Blessed” recently. She was a member of Syro-Malabar Franciscan Clarist Congregation, the Bhopal-based priest said.
Rani Maria Vattali, popularly known as Sister Rani, then 41, was stabbed around 50 times on board a bus in which she was travelling in Dewas district on February 25, 1995, Fr. Stephen said. Samunder Singh stabbed her, as some landlords in MP’s Indore region were upset with her work for uplift of landless people. Singh was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of killing the nun. Later, his sentence was commuted due to his good conduct during imprisonment, he added.
In 2002, Nun Paul, who belongs to the same congregation of nuns that Rani belonged to and happens to the biological sister of the deceased as well had visited Singh in jail to accept him as her brother, he said.
Then Indore Bishop George Anathil initiated the cause for Sister Rani’s canonisation process of the blessed in 2001 by setting up two panels – historical and theological, to examine her life. The two commissions submitted their findings to the three-member diocesan inquiry tribunal in June 2005 to carry forward the process, he stated.
She was found to have led a heroic life of Christian virtue. Thereafter, her name was sent to Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which reviewed the gathered information and recommended that the Roman pontiff declare the candidate “venerable”, Fr. Stephen added.