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foundress


A Word about the Foundress

Sr. Dr. Mary Litty was born on 02 August 1935 as the daughter of Joseph and Brigitha of Oliapuram family of Kothamangalam parish. She had her education at St. Augustine’s GHS, Kothamangalam and thereafter at Assumption College, Changanassery. In 1955 responding to the Divine Call she joined the Medical Sisters of St. Joseph (MSJ), Kothamangalam. After her Vestition and Profession she was sent to Rome for medical studies by her superiors. During her studies in Rome, Sr. Mary Litty happened to visit the ‘Little House of the Divine Providence’ in Turin founded by St. Joseph Cottolengo. Depending solely on Divine Providence thousands of destitutes and terminally ill were affectionately looked after there. She was deeply touched and moved by the aroma of Christ’s love and selfless service which she witnessed over there. This House in Turin was the inspiration for a similar home back in India. After taking her MD from Rome, Diploma in Tropical Medicine from England and another one in Paediatrics from Ireland, Dr. Litty returned home and started serving in different hospitals of her Congregation (MSJ). The long cherished desire to dedicate herself totally to the poor became stronger and she informed her superiors of her dream. After mature consideration, the superiors permitted her exclaustration and she reached St. Joseph’s Convent, Mukkoor. There she spent four years in prayer and in the service of the orphans. In response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, she thought of starting a Home for the mentally challenged. She disclosed her long treasured heart’s desire to the then Archbishop of Changanassery, Mar Antony Padiyara. His response was positive and he granted her permission to open a Home for the mentally chal¬lenged at Kunnamthanam.

Relying completely on God’s Providence, Sr. Litty started a Home in a small rented thatched hut, on 17 January 1978 with one patient who could neither walk nor speak. The particular woman was incapable of performing even her pri¬mary needs, on her own. It was quite providential that the ‘Little Home’ at Kunnamthanam was started on the very same day of the 150th anniversary of the ‘Little House of the Divine Providence’ in Turin. Though the ‘Little Home’ was begun with practically no food, utensils or even a lamp, God Almighty through His timely intervention and through generous people, provided everything for the Home. A girl named Alphonsa joined Sr. Litty on the very same day extending her help. When the number of the residents and the girls to assist them increased, the Home was shifted to a bigger rented house at Mylamannu, near Kunnamthanam. It started sprouting under Divine Providence and guidance and still continues to extend its branches to the least, the lost, and the lowliest with the passion for Christ and unending compassion for humanity.

The fervent mission spirit Mother Litty nurtured from her childhood brought her to the African continent at the age of 78, with a mission in Zambia. Sr. Litty’s ardent desire to make Jesus known world – wide, became a reality by sharing the Word of God in the Retreat Centre attached to the Mother House and in various parishes. Mother Litty always reiterated the need of more children in families, as children are the gift of God and thus a blessing. A collection of her own life experience on Divine Providence took its form through her Autobiography ‘Daivaparipalanayude Thanalil’, which was published by His Grace Mar Joseph Perumthottam on 17 February 2010. Another book named ‘Snehikku Vijayikkam’ was published on 20 November 2015, which proclaims the power of love. Even though she contemplated a humble life and service, she was honored by various awards of the Central Government and different organizations which includes Rajiv Gandhi Manava Seva Award and National award for Child Welfare. Sr. Mary Litty was diagnosed with Cancer in August 2013. She had to undergo two surgeries thereafter but accepted all sufferings with a cheerful heart and a pleasant mind. Despite all efforts, her health started deteriorating from October 2016. On 04 November, she received the sacrament of anointing. The Angel who wiped the tears of many in suffering was called to eternal bliss on 05 November 2016, and was buried on 09 November 2016 in LSDP Generalate Kunnamthanam. Mother Mary Litty will be remembered as an icon of faith and a fervent bearer of Christ’s love in the Divine Providence. She could blindly rely on Divine Providence in all circumstances without even a shadow of doubt in her heart. She bore courageous witness to Divine Providence all her life, unto the very last moment.