Servant of God Mother Eliswa Vakayil
The foundress of the first indigenous congregation for women in Kerala, the Third Order of the Discalced Carmelite Sisters, that came into existence on February 13, 1866 at Koonamavu, Mother Eliswa Vakayil established the first convent school, boarding house and orphanage for girls in Kerala Church. After 24 years of foundation, the congregation was divided into two branches according to the Latin and Syro Malabar rites – the Congregation of Teresian Carmelites (CTC) and the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC). She died on July 18, 1913. She was declared a Servant of God on May 30, 2008.