She is a mystic and prophetic visionary

We wonder at the mystic and prophetic aspects in the life and spirituality of our Foundress Mother Thatipathri Gnanamma. She was in perfect union with God and so she could face a wide variety of challenges, uncertainties and setbacks. The divine energy within her was transformed of the time, identified the opportunities and explored possible solution to the illiterate women of the yester years. Her commitment, passion and perseverance still enable us to walk even through the untrodden path and take us to another level of development

God’s amazing grace and call to Gnanamma

Many a time God’s call comes in unexpected ways. It is amazing when we look at the life of Mother Thatipathri Gnanamma in the light of the Word of God. She did not have any extraordinary ambitions or wonderful dreams. She was a humble widow and insignificant in the society. Yet, she was chosen by God to illuminate the lives of the illiterate girls. Her contemplation, courageous submission and creative response sowed the seed for a mighty Congregation.

(i). Her contemplative activism

As a mother knows her child, the artist knows his work, a musician recognizes his music and the contemplatives know God. They find themselves in an ocean of tranquility and they are free from external fears, cravings, desires, drives, pain, compulsion or attachments. It is said that the awakened soul looks at the reality at the deepest level and realizes the purpose of life. Mother Gnanamma though uneducated was aware of the factors that impede the access of girls to education at Kilacheri.

There might have been a number of problems that hampered the welfare of the society at that time. Mother Gnanamma identified the illiteracy of the women which was based on gender discrimination as a major problem to be responded immediately. The Lord who heard the cries of the Israelites inspired her to contemplate over the situation.

(ii). Her courageous submission to the Will of God

In the Gospel, we find how Mary was astounded at the message of God, but she responded to vGod’s call and so made herself ready for God’s service when she said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord. Let it be with me according to Your Word” (Lk 1:38). Humbleness blending with courage, she recognized the greatness and holiness of God and consented to God’s Will. It becomes true in the life of our Mother Gnanamma too. Once she realized the need of education for girls, she sought after the advice of Fr.Arockia Nathar. Widows of her time were shunned by the patriarchal society.

Yet, nothing deterred her from starting a school for girls. The explicit example for her courage and commitment is that she went to her native place Phirangipuram, sold off her properties and invested the money in educating the poor girls at Kilacheri. Therefore, courage is essential to walk in the path of righteousness, express our solidarity with the poor and fight for justice.

(iii). Her creative response

A man of Macedonia pleaded to St.Paul in a vision, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16: 9-10). When he had seen the vision, he immediately went to Macedonia and proclaimed God’s message to them. The intuitive mind is certainly a sacred gift. When we are filled with Holy Spirit, we can explore the plan of God, discover our strengths and enrich others with new beginnings. As a woman of God, Mother Gnanamma was able to discern the Will of God and responded to the situation creatively. The transfer of her counsellor Fr.Arockia Nathar to Bellary did not obstruct her initiation in educating women.

Instead, she made use of the opportunity for the formation of Arulamma and Agathamma at St.Anne’s Novitiate of Good Shepherd Congregation in Bellary. We find certain events and experiences seemed to be very simple for us, but it will have great impact in the future. Knowledge enables us to see things as they are, but God’s grace exhorts us to see things as they could be.