The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Martha (CSM), is one of the indigenous congregations for women has the benefit of Major Archiepiscopal status in the Syro Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church. CSM directly comes under the jurisdiction of the Syro Malabar Major Archbishop. It is governed by the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, the particular laws of the Syro Malabar Church and the constitution, directives and decisions of CSM.
Exactly when the remnants of Indian freedom struggle and its woes crippled and weakened completely the common people in all aspects, V. Rev. Fr. John Kizhakoodan heroically instituted this community, absorbing and assimilating the empathizing love of St. Martha perceived in the sacred gospels. The Founder and the first community translated the compassionate love of Christ Jesus to the unsupported and the toiling masses, through the little works done to them with great love and spirit of selfless service. The Martha Sisters live in the Church as a community of love, articulate and emanate the merciful love of Christ by performing humble services enthusiastically among ordinary people. The members of the congregation more closely devote and dedicate themselves to the compassion and love of Jesus, to the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit and to the intercession of St. Martha.
CSM is a religious congregation that strives for the personal sanctity of its members coupled with the development and the empowerment of the weaker and marginalized sections of the society through its various apostolic activities. In the scriptures we see St. Martha who courageously proclaimed Jesus as ‘the Messiah, the Son of God who was to come into the world’ (Jn. 11: 27). Just assimilating the same spirituality, conviction of St. Martha of Bethany, and the compassionate love of Jesus the members of CSM specially commit themselves by professing the three religious vows.
The Superior General is the highest authority in matters concerning the internal administration and the discipline of the Congregation. CSM is a religious and charitable society of a minority group within the purview of the Constitutions of India.
Its presence and activities cover all over the world. United with the lawful superiors the members of CSM spend themselves generously in the service of God and mankind. Surrendering wholly to the will of God and renouncing all the worldly pleasures and gains sisters of CSM make every effort for the integral growth and Christian formation of the people through the apostolate of education, healing ministry, home for the aged and poor.
The Congregation was founded by V. Rev. Fr. John Kizhakoodan (1883-1960), veteran priest of Thrissur diocese, on 15th August 1948, on the Feast of Assumption of the Blessed Mother Mary. The founder got inspiration from God to form a religious community with the name ‘Martha Bhavan’. On 20th April 1948, the Congregation was approved by Rt. Rev. Dr. George Alappatt, the Bishop of Thrissur, as a pious association following the rules of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi (440/48). The Patroness of the congregation is Saint Martha of Bethany.
Sr. Agassa, Sr. Angela, Sr. Agnes, Sr. Agrippina, Sr. Anthonia, Sr. Alban, Sr. Albina, Sr. Alexandra, Sr. Mary Ann, Sr. Alexis, Sr. Gonzaga and Sr. Alphonsa were the first members of the congregation, who gave their unequivocal positive response to the call of Jesus. The brand-new community commenced on August 15, 1948 under the roof named ‘Martha Bhavanam’ at Ponnukkara, in the Diocese of Trichur. The first twelve members consecrated themselves totally to God and His People made their vows in the congregation on 15th August 1951.