Golden Jubilee Celebration of Rev.Fr.Eusebius o.f.m
The people of Manapad are celebrating the golden
jubilee of the priestly ordination of Rev.Fr.Eusebius o.f.m. Cap on 13th
May 2001. His baptism name is Susai Michael Vaiz, son of Peter Nicholas
Cruz Vaiz and Theresammal Fernando. He was born 03.09.1921. "You have
not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you" (Jn 15:16) are
the words of Our Lord. They are true when we look back at the life of this
In 1935 in Manapad 8 people were attacked by
typhoid fever, At that time there was no proper medical care. All the 7
people passed away, but this young boy of 15 was miraculously cured. After
completing his high school studies, he had a great thirst to join the
Capuchin order and follow the steps of the great St.Francis of Assisi. The
then Parish Priests Fr.Ambrose Missier, Fr.Antony Fernando and Fr.Benedict
Fernando kindled that fire. For sometime he was working as an accountant
in his uncle's factory at Kadambur. When he came home he opened his mind
to his parents. But his parents were reluctant to sacrifice their son for
the following reasons:
He is the eldest son of the family and the second son is 7 years
younger to him.
The Capuchin order is a rigorous one and there were no Tamilians at
For the first reason he told that his brother Raphael
would come out well in life and take care of the parents till their ends
(It became true that his brother passed all degrees creditably and became
the Head Master of St.Joseph's High School at the age of 24 (!952-1985).
For the other question he had only one answer that he should follow the
foot steps of St.Francis of Assisi. The parents were not convinced.
The day came he had to leave for Kadambur to resume
his job as the accountant. But he went straight to Chennai. His plan was
to join the seminary at Francispet, Mangalore. This young man boldly
entered into one compartment and occupied a seat. The soldiers objected,
but he won't get down. They complained to their commander. The commander
came. He said that none other
than the army personnel could travel in that reserved train. Then this
young man opened his heart to the commander. He was a catholic! He took
special care of him. From Mangalore to Francispet he took him in his jeep.
Meanwhile his parents found 2 letters under the
statue of Our Lady in their house - one addressed to his parents the he
was leaving to be in the foot steps of St.Francis of Asissi and another
acceptance letter to be signed by his dad and sent to the Superior of the
ashram in Mangalore. His parents submitted to the will of God and
immediately sent the letter of acceptance to the Superior. From that time
his parents sent an amount every month to Fr.Guardian for his maintainence.
He was ordained priest on 11th april 1951
at the Friary Chapel, Kotagiri along with 5 others. His parents and the
whole family attended the ordination. Five others had no parents then. So
when the time came to get the blessing of their parents before the
ordination all the six got the blessings from the parents of Fr.Eusebius.
He was given a warm welcome at Manapad on 13th
April 1951. The Fr.Joachim Fernando was the Parish Priest of St.James. He
is the 12th priest from Manapad and is the first capuchin
priest from Tamil Nadu. His mission started on the very next day. A
man in the Victoria Hospital was nearing his end. He would not make
confession or receive the last sacrament. The priests and the Legion of
Mary tried but in vain. The Fr.Eusebius went to the hospital and consoled
him. At once he made his confession and breathed his last peacefully.
He became a popular preacher. He covered all the
villages and towns of Tamilnadu, preaching the word of God. Like
St.Francis of assisi he was an instrument of peace. He went to Srilanka,
Malaysia and Singapore to preach the word of God.
He seems to follow the words of the Lord "Take
nothing for your journey, neither bread nor money" very scrupulously.
Once he went to a parish in Chennai. As usual he had no money, no bread
and only one dress which he had on. The Parish Priest received him at the
Station and took him to his house by his bicycle. On the way his old
cassock got entangled in the wheels and was torn to pieces. The Parish
priest asked Fr.Eusebius whether he had another cassock. "No"
was the solemn reply. That priest was kind enough to get him 2 cassocks.
Perhaps he may be having them even now! He believed in God and got
On another occasion he was to preach on a Jubilee
celebration of a church near Salem. He came to Trichy station and got
ticket to Salem. He saw a train just moving. He asked the TTR
in the train whether the train was moving for Salem. The TTR did
not hear him and he replied "Get in Father". So Fr Eusebius
entered into a compartment. After sometime the TTR checked the tickets. He
was travelling in the opposite direction! It was an Express train and it
would stop only after 3 hours. The TTR said "Father don't be worried.
But you have to take ticket to Dindigul and back to Trichy. Then
you can use this ticket". Father said "It is not my mistake. You
have misguided me and I don't have any money either". The TTR then
consulted with his companion. They took special care of him, supplied him
proper food and brought him to Salem safely. He gave a Rosary to the TTR
as his present. He was very glad to receive it. But he was a hindu.
In Tuticorin diocese he was appointed the first
Parish priest of Amalinagar (near Trichendur). The people were all sea
going, living in huts. Early morning at 5 am they could hear his voice
through the loud speakers preaching the words of Christ. He went around
and roused the children and brought them for the holy mass. The people
loved him very much. When he left Amalinagar he said "God is always
with you. Now you are living in huts. But when I come again here I will
not see any huts". Really now
they are not living in huts. Among the coastal villages it is the only
village having no conflicts or parties between them. So at the time of the
celebration of the silver jubilee of the church they honoured him building
a stage in his name "Fr.Eusebius Memorial" even when he is
He was appointed Parish priest of Idinthakarai when
the village was in trouble. About 40% of the people converted to other
religion. When he
came here as Parish Priest his simple life and mission changed their mind
and most of them returned to the Lord. He even attended the funeral of the
hindus and prayed at their cemetry. None dared to ask him any question.
Now he is 80, still doing his mission silently. His
eye-sight is poor. He is now in Assisi ashram, Pambanvilai. His guardian
and the whole community regard him as their model and a treasure to their
Let us pray for him. And praise our Lord.