The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 139th year of its course.

Franciscan in its essence.
Missionary in its services
Mary - like in its approach.

» Dedicated to universal mission

» Seek strength from the Eucharist

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In Memory

A Loving Tribute to Sr. Mary John Plathanathu fmm


Birth:  10.12.1929 -   Death: 03.01. 2020

" I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord , the righteous judge will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing."2 Timothy 4: 7-8

Sr. Mary John Plathanathu was born on 10th Dec. 1929 in Palai Diocese, in Kerala as the second child of her parents; both parents were teachers. They were 8 children, four girls and four boys, among whom 3 daughters are religious sisters, of whom 2 FMMs; the younger sister Emily John FMM who is with us, the youngest brother is a CMI priest working abroad for the past many years. And he is unable to be physically present with us this morning.

Her Parents were God - fearing and loving and their example, their deep faith and trust in God together with the mother's timely preparation for prayer and feast days, and the example of a number of sisters and teachers had left a deep impression in her life.

Sister Mary John was a very active member in the parish activities and was president of the junior section of the Legion of Mary. While she was leaving for religious life, the superior of the Carmelite Convent in Palai wrote this- "Her departure is indeed a loss for the various religious activities. The only reason to allow her to leave us is that she is called to religious life, a perfect life. Her behavior is so sweet that the children call her “Chechi” which means elder sister".

Spending some time after studies in helping her mother in the daily chores of life and working for 9 years as a govt. employee at the Revenue Department, Sr. Mary John hastened to discern God's will for her. Through prayer and consultation with the confessor, finally Sr. Mary John entered the convent at the age of 29.

God's providence worked a miracle. Although her father was not for her vocation as he counted on her for everything,

finally God intervened and her father consented to her entering the religious life, but her father had to make a double sacrifice in permitting his youngest daughter Sr. Emily also to enter along with her elder sister.

Quote from Sr. Mary John's Autobiography- "After having had a life of freedom and responsibility, I had not resigned my job, only took leave in case I would not be able to persevere. But it was not I WHO CHOSE HIM, BUT IT WAS HE WHO CHOSE ME "and He saw to it that I persevered in it. I was happy and enthusiastic especially with the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament."

Sr. Mary John had such an accuracy and transparency that even before she became religious she had become an expert in accountancy. In all her long years of dedicated service to the FMM Institute and to the people, most of her religious life was spent between Child Jesus convent, Trichy and in St. Thomas convent as local bursar, provincial bursar and superior of the houses.

She has spent 5 years in Holy Angels Convent T. Nagar and just two years in Tanjore and the last 5 years of retirement was spent in St. Thomas Convent. Sister has been suffering from hypertension, diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease. Her final call came early in the morning of 3rd January at 5.10 am She breathed her last while her nurses and sisters were nursing her and praying around her.

Sister will always be remembered by us as an unassuming, gentle, quiet, discreet and soft -spoken person - with a deep spirit of faith, and resignation to the will of God. Sister was very faithful for her prayer. Her values of love and unity, respect and obedience to the elders, her systematic hard work and her commitment to her mission are some of her outstanding qualities.

Quote from her own autobiography-"It was the feeling of being accepted, trusted and the love I experienced, all of which enabled me to do my best. I was able to do my work without any external show, but quietly which I was happy with”.

Death is nothing else but going home to God
But bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity
We bid you a loving adieu (Loving farewell) we miss you dear sister but you will be alive in our memories and prayer.

Sr. Rose Grace fmm
St. Thomas Convent, Chennai