I have always been fascinated by the lives of the men and women who responded and obeyed the heavenly call and set out, many of whom even sacrificed their lives for God. Leading holy lives, and making countless sacrifices in building the kingdom of God here on earth, many of these godly men and women have been canonized by the different Christian churches, honoring them with the title of “Saint”. Tens of thousands of these canonized saints have faded away from the lives and minds of the Christian faithful through the passage of time, while there remain hundreds of thousands of saintly people whose holy lives have not been celebrated, or been canonized simply because they were not members of any particular church which confers the title of sainthood. We come across many saints in the early church who were with Jesus during his sojourn on earth and had suffered cruel persecutions and even martyrdom. Many of these pious men and women are not remembered much now and their lives after the gospel age remain unexplored. People are more familiar with the popular Saints of the modern times and often seek their intercessions. I want to be clear here that we are not to be praying to the saints, but seek their prayers for us to the only intercessor before God, Jesus Christ.
I deeply love and hold close to my heart the saints adorning the kingdom of God and their prayers and intercessions strengthen the faith of the faithful in the trail for their master. Some may question as to why intercessions should be made to these Saints as they are dead. They forget to realize that if holy men and women of God in their life on earth could pray, intercede and attain mighty miracles from God for those of the flock who come to them, how much more they can do while they are in the presence of God. Some wonder why intercessions are made to many saints or certain saints. These saints have attained sainthood because they excelled in various missions assigned to them by the graces and gifts granted by the Almighty God. So intercessions are sought by the faithful to saints who have left a trail in their similar endeavors for God. Thus I seek the prayers and intercessions of beloved saints who have done mighty things for God in similar missions. They have been a great source of power and strength to me in the rocky terrains of my spiritual walk. So it had been my desire to set up a gallery of Saints in the Museum of the Word and name it the “Paradise of Saints”.
Though the chapel had been completed a couple of years ago, nothing was done toward making the “Paradise of Saints”. During my last trip to lead a fasting prayer, the Lord miraculously provided me access to a reliquary of St. Martha. While I have preached many times about Martha, Mary and Lazarus, I had no visions about them as Saints. I decided to explore and follow their trail after the ascension of Jesus Christ. While investigating and finalizing plans to visiting the final resting places of these saints in between my hectic schedule till September, I received the invitation from Dr.Jai and my sister Grace to attend the wedding of their son Dr.Susheel in London on the 15th June, 2019. I decided to extend the trip to Southern France to find the trails of St.Martha and St.Mary Magdelene. I informed Bro. Joseph Kulangara of our plans to visit and he agreed to join us with his wife Gigi. Thus began the journey to trace the trail of these beloved saints of Jesus.