Venerable Varghese Payappilly

retouched photographed of Venerable Varghese Payappilly, date and photographer unknown; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Payyappilly Palakkappilly Varghese Kathanar


Born to a wealthy family, he was educated in the parish school at Perumanoor, India, and at Saint Albert’s School in Ernakulam, India. He studied the Central Seminary at Puthenpally, India and the Papal Seminary at Kandy, Sri Lanka. Ordained a priest of the archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly, India on 21 December 1907. Father Varghese served as parish priest in Kadamakkudy, India from 1909 to 1911 and in Alangad from 1911 to 1913. From 1913 to 1920, he managed Saint Mary’s High School in Aluva, Travancore, India; it became known as a source for many great priests. He returned to in Arakuzha from 1920 to 1922 where he founded a school, and then from 1922 to 1929 he returned to managing Saint Mary’s High School in Aluva.

After a disastrous flood in 1924, Father Varghese turned his parish into a center for the homeless and displaced. He founded that the ministry was so needed that he founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute on 19 March 1927 to help. The Sister continue their good work today, caring for neglected and abandoned children and elderly people, beggars, physically or mentally disabled people, and the terminally ill; they operate kindergartens, schools, trade schools and work centers, pharmacies, hospitals and hospices.



  • 5 October 1929 in Chunangamvely, Aluva, Ernakulam, India of typhoid
  • buried in the Saint John Nepumsian Syrian Catholic Church in Konthuruthy, India


Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Varghese Payappilly“. CatholicSaints.Info. 13 November 2019. Web. 3 June 2020. <>