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

» And offer ourselves in challenging services

In Memory

Memories of a Simple Sister; Sr. Lilly Xavier

     Memories of a Simple Sister; Sr. Lilly Xavier


Sr. Lilly Xavier Edezhath, a familiar  and jovial sister whom many who have passed through Maria Assunta will remember. Lilly was third among five girls born to Xavier and Regina of Kumbalangi in Cochin diocese of Kerala. Born on December 17th 1932, she completed her primary education in Our Lady’s Convent, Palluruthy, Kerala. There, inspired by the life of the FMM sisters, Lilly expressed her desire to become an FMM. She was accepted as an Aggregate in 1956 at Rosary Convent, Hyderabad and given the name Antoinetta. Lilly was happy serving in the mission in whatever capacity and wherever she was sent, be it serving the poor women in the workroom and Kitchen at Rosary Convent, Hyderabad or in the Kitchen and Refectory in Providence Convent, Bangalore, Regina Mundi, Kazipet, St. Anthony’s and Villa Theresa, Mumbai. In 2003 Lilly came to Maria Assunta, Pune. It gave her immense joy when sisters enjoyed the meals she prepared with love. She was part of the team for Preparation for Final vows for some years. Neither weather nor fatigue could deter her from going to the markets before dawn to choose and pick the best for her sisters. Sr. Lilly could manage any big kitchen, with variety of needs. She catered to the individual needs of the sisters with love and sensitivity.

A loving, kind and humorous sister, Lilly was always dressed presentably even while working in the kitchen. From last few years, Lilly was suffering from Alzheimer’s and high Diabetes. Even though her health was feeble, she could not sit idle. She joyfully did what she could without being asked. She was there helping in cutting or sorting the vegetables or serving the dishes, or simply sitting in the kitchen.
Lilly touched the hearts of both young and old in her simple gentle ways. Often she would tell the nurse, that she did not want to be admitted in the hospital or be given extra ordinary treatment. She was ready to go to her master whenever he calls. “I am ready, why prolong?” was her response if the nurse suggested to go to the hospital. It was just 2 weeks ago that Lilly experienced difficulty in walking. Her death was sudden and unexpected like a thief, while the community was getting ready for the funeral of Sr. Amata who had passed away the previous day. Her passing away shocked us as she died on 25th January while she was being fed tea at 10 am by the young sisters. She died just the way she wanted to, without giving trouble, as she had often expressed. Her funeral was on 26th along with that of Sr. Amata.
The community and visitors to Maria Assunta will miss her loving presence. Yet, memories of this loving and simple sister stirs in our hearts to be an FMM with a purpose, FMM with a mission. May Jesus receive our dear Sr. Lilly in heaven.  

Sr. C T Theresa fmm
Provincial, Mumbai Province