The Eucharist, an anticipation of paradise. Ajna’s story illuminates India

Ajna George before the illness – Collaborators

“Ajna’s life recalls that of Blessed Carlo Acutis and his death was also a Gospel of grace”. Thus Father Jean Felix Kattassery, parish priest of Saint Patrick in the diocese of Verapoly, said at the funeral of Ajna George, who died at 27 and whose story soon crossed the borders of Kerala, the State of India where the presence is strongest. of Catholics and where the fame of holiness of Carlo Acutis came thanks also to the large presence of Italian religious institutes for women.

And since the day of the funeral, last January, the history of Ajna has known a succession of other events, so much so that the archdiocese of Kerala has officially begun to collect information and material on the life of the young woman, as requested by Archbishop Joseph. Kalathiparambil by many people and groups, to avoid that the testimonies are lost to start a possible cause for beatification, after the five canonical years. In the meantime, two biographies of George, written by two religious, and a children’s book about her life are having a wide circulation in India.

Ajna George was born in Kochi and spent her adolescence here, accompanied by her parents Muttungal and Achamma. She begins to attend the parish and catechism with the Capuchins. At the age of 10, she already participates in Mass every day, as Father Jean himself recalled in a post on Facebook, with great devotion to the Eucharist. Then she joins the Jesus Youth movement, born in Kerala in the wake of the 1985 World Youth Day, which means an evangelical lifestyle, personal and community prayer, evangelization activities.

«An adhesion – the parish priest still remembers – which strengthened and nourished his spiritual life. In her zeal to share Christ’s love with other young people, Ajna dedicated a whole year of his life to the mission ». His enthusiasm for him is also reflected in some missionary videos that he addresses to his peers through YouTube.

She is also a model student and in just two years she obtained first and second level diplomas at the Santa Teresa Women’s Institute and five years later, in 2017, she graduated from a faculty comparable to our Economics and Commerce. But soon after, while he is already a professor’s assistant, he discovers that his body is undermined by a serious form of bone cancer: it is a cancer of the jaw that, despite the treatments and an operation, immediately affects the eyes, the ears. , Anja’s lips and liver. «The tumor – Father Jean always remembers moved – also devours that serene face and that captivating smile of hers. But during her illness the greatness and courage of Ajna manifested, offering her sufferings to the merciful Jesus ».

With the help of the priest and her mother, Ajna does not miss the daily appointment with the Mass and, when the pandemic breaks out, it is Father Jean who visits her every day to receive Communion. By now she is exhausted: she eats little and only through a gastrostomy tube inserted in the stomach, but above all she feeds on the Eucharist. Even in the last terrible week of her life, she was waiting for nothing else and the priest testifies to it: «Those were the days when I understood how deep her devotion to the Eucharist was. She adored the Lord for an hour before receiving him ».

In a quite exceptional way, since he could not open his mouth, the consecrated host was dissolved in water and passed through the tube. And Ajna was a missionary with her peers also during and through her illness: the last days of her earthly life the hospital room that housed her became a chapel of adoration for anyone who wanted.

«I will never forget his holy death – concludes Father Jean – after having listened to the Mass he first began to recite and then to murmur” Jesus, Mary, Joseph! ” holding my hand. His voice slowly thinned and so it expired delivering his life to Jesus. It was three in the afternoon, the same time the Lord died. I thought: my God, you let me watch a saint enter Heaven! Yes, Ajna’s life recalls that of Blessed Carlo Acutis and her death was also a Gospel of grace ».

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