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Servant of God Varghese Palakkappillil was the founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute. He is widely known as Fr.Varghese Payyappilly.


Fr.Varghese was born as Kunjuvaru on August 8, 1876, in Konthuruthy, Keralamarker, Indiamarker to Lonan and Kunjumariyam. He belongs to the Palakkappillil family (also known as Palakkappilly or Payyappilly) which is a Syrian Malabar Nasrani family.

He started his primary schooling in Perumanoor and had his high school education at St. Albert's School, Ernakulammarker. He learnt Latin from Puthenpally Seminary. He received his religious training at the Papal Seminary, Kandymarker, Sri Lankamarker and was ordained a priest on 21 December 1907. He had served as the Vicar at Kadamakkudymarker[1909], Alengadmarker (1911-13) and Arakuzhamarker (1920-22). During his tenure in Arakuzhamarker he started a school there. He also purchased 12 acres of land in M.C.Road for constructing the Meenkunnam Church.

He had served as the manager of St.Mary's High School, Alwayemarker during the period 1913-18 and again during 1922-29. In 1924 a massive flood occurred in Alwayemarker and he played a phenominal role in the rehabilitation of the people there. Cardinal Joseph Parecattil in his autobiography remembers his boarding life under Fr.Varghese Palakkappillil as the main inspiration for him to become a priest.

Fr.Varghese founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute in Chunangamvely on 19 March 1927. Now it is spread over 4 continents in 54 dioceses.

Fr.Varghese died on 5 October 1929, aged 53. He is buried in St. John Nepumsian Church, Konthuruthy.

The Cause of the Beatification of Rev.Fr.Varghese Palakkappillil was initiated by His Eminence Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly in a ceremony held at the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Destitute on 6 September 2009.

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