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The Servants of God and KBM Hospital

The KBM hospital has been named after two French Missionaries Nicholas-Michel Krick and Augustine Etienne Bourry.

KBM Hospital

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  8 April 2021 4:30 AM GMT

The KBM hospital has been named after two French Missionaries Nicholas-Michel Krick and Augustine Etienne Bourry.

They were the first Christian missionaries to reach the region.

Their cause is being actively promoted by Bishop George Pallipparambil of the diocese at Miao in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. This is being done through various socio relegious and charitable activities among the poor and the deprived section of the society.

While on their way to Tibet, the two French missionaries were murdered in Arunachal Pradesh over 160 years ago. They were killed by a village chief of the Mishmi tribe on August 2, 1854, at Somme village in Lohit district, barely an hour away from the Tibetan border. It is said 35-year-old Krick was sick and 28-year-old Bourry was praying when the village chief Kaisha killed them using his machete.

The Vatican has already conferred the title of 'Servant of God' to both the French missionaries; and, the long rigorous process of their beatification and canonisation is underway.

"After the beatification process is complete, they would be called 'Blessed' and once canonization is done Krick and Bourry would become saints," informed Father Felix Anthony, parish priest at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church at Miao, nearly 360 km east from Itanagar.

The French missionaries were members of the Societe des Missions Etrangeres de Paris, or the Society of the Paris Foreign Missions, an institute of diocesan priests who spread out across the globe to promote Christianity.

Krick and Bourry wanted to reach Tibet but in the 1800s, the only way was through the northeastern part of India, now Arunachal Pradesh. Both travelled from Chennai to Kolkata and to Arunachal Pradesh becoming the first Christian missionaries to reach the region.

"Their bodies were buried by local residents and it is believed that a spring started flowing from near the site. Some say chief Kaisha killed them because the missionaries resembled the British rulers, but that account doesn't appear to be true," said Fr Anthony.

"Interest about Krick and Bourry began nearly 20 years ago when the French mission started inquiries and Bishop George began gathering details about the duo's death," said Fr Anthony, who conducted research on the missionaries. There is almost no documentary detail about the duo in Arunachal Pradesh.

But lot about them is known from the letters they sent back to Paris. They had mentioned about their arduous journey and how their guide robbed them.

"Two medical miracles are needed for canonisation. But since Krick and Bourry were martyred, they won't be required. We expect the process to be over in the next 18 months," said Bishop George.

Graces like students passing their exams or children recovering from minor illnesses after praying to the two missionaries have been reported.

Last year, the Miao Diocese opened its first hospital at Injan in Arunachal Pradesh and named it Krick and Bourry Memorial (KBM) Hospital.

"Locals of Somme village are also eagerly hoping that the canonisation process will be over soon. It could bring global recognition to the area," Fr Anthony said.

Besides Mother Teresa, Catholic saints from India are Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara, Sister Euphrasia and Sister Alphonsa. But if conferred sainthood, the two missionaries will be first from the North East. (Agencies)

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