Sr. Rani Maria: A Life of Devotion and Sacrifice

 By Marian Grace

The Face of the Faceless is a Malayalam movie released on 17 November 2023, which portrays the true life story of Sister Rani Maria, a Franciscan religious sister from Kerala. The movie is receiving high acclaim from theatregoers. It would be apt to shed light upon the blessed life of Sister Rani Maria who chose a life for the poor people of India and sacrificed her life for them. 

Sr. Rani Maria's Remarkable Journey

Born on January 29, 1954, as the second child in an ordinary peasant family, Sr. Rani Maria's life was steeped in Christian faith and charity from the start. Raised alongside her six siblings, she exhibited a devout inclination from an early age.

Early Life and Education

Her upbringing nurtured her spiritual side, marked by regular attendance at Holy Mass, active participation in devotions, and a commitment to catechism lessons. Even during her schooling, she balanced academics with assisting her parents in their agricultural endeavors and domestic chores.

Embracing Religious Vocation

During her final school year, she felt the call to embrace the consecrated life. Sharing this desire with her cousin, they both made the decision to join the Franciscan Clarist Congregation. Overcoming apprehensions, she boldly expressed her wish to enter the convent.

Journey in the Congregation

Her journey within the congregation spanned various stages of formation, leading to her first profession in May 1974 as Rani Maria. Her unwavering dedication and adherence to principles marked her character, recognized by her mentors and peers alike.

Missionary Zeal and Contributions

Sr. Rani Maria's missionary fervor drove her to master local languages, enabling her to engage more effectively in her work. Her assignments in different regions showcased her commitment to uplift the underprivileged and fight against social injustices.

Tragic End and Remarkable Forgiveness

Tragically, her life met a devastating end in 1995, a victim of hostility due to her social work. Despite the gruesome act, her family's act of forgiveness stunned the nation, expressing a profound embodiment of her spirit.

Road to Beatification

Following her tragic demise, the journey towards her beatification commenced in 2003. Her remarkable life and unwavering commitment to service led to her beatification on November 4, 2017, an acknowledgment of her sanctity.

Sr. Rani Maria's life remains a testament to selfless service, unwavering faith, and the enduring power of forgiveness, leaving an indelible mark on those she served and inspiring countless others.