An ardent devotee of the Sacred Heart
Fr. Mathew Kadalikkattil, ardent devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a man of compassionate heart. He was born on 25thApril, 1872 as the second son of Cherian and Rosa of a Syrian Catholic family Kadalikkattil at Edappady belonging to the diocese of Pala. The family atmosphere of Fr. Mathew was so religious that it instilled in the boy the noblest qualities of compassion to the poor, selfless love, an inclination to prayer and other Christian virtues. Right from his younger days he had the opportunity to grow in the devotion to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. As he wanted to
 
dedicate himself fully to the service of the Church, he joined the seminary conducted in the Syrian Carmelite monastery at Mannanam and was ordained priest on February 17, 1901.
Immediately after his ordination Fr. Mathew spent two years in his own parish, for pastoral experience. Then he was assigned a new parish Karoor dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was here that his ardent desire..... congregation originated. Because of his intense desire to spread the devotion to the Sacred Heart he built a new Church in the place of the shed and every home in the parish was consecrated to the Sacred Heart. Transferred in 1906, to Lalam old church in the heart of Palai, he found a good field for his apostolate, of drawing more people including hardened
sinners to the Heart of Jesus. Every word and deed of Fr. Mathew expressed the thrill of a heart burning with the fire of sublime love towards the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In 1910, back to St.Thomas Church as assistant, at the special request of the parish priest he put to full use his experience and expertise as a zealous priest. As vicar in different parishes he won the love and esteem of the parishioners. As a fervent lover of the Sacred Heart he could not but love his fellowmen. His words touched by the divine fire of love impressed his listeners deeply. He was a true follower of the good shepherd in search of the lost sheep very much like 'Cure De Ars'. He spent long hours in the confessional and brought about changes in the lives of many sinners. He
promoted vocation to priesthood as well as to religious life. He spent long hours before the blessed sacrament. As a zealous pastor he visited families, consoled the sick, helped the poor and needy, widows and destitute.
To experience and share the compassionate love of the Sacred Heart to the poor and the destitute he started a new religious community on January I, 1911 in a small house with four members and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fr. Mathew was later twice in charge of Lalam new and twice of the filial church at Kannadiurumpu within Palai itself. Here he bestowed special attention to the conversion and uplift of a very backward class called 'Harijens'. They belonged to the lowest class of the society in every respect and were considered untouchables by other communities.
Their children were uncared and rejected. Ignoring his deteriorating health he travelled long distances on foot to visit their houses. With great difficulty he started a primary school for their children.
Another area he worked and spent himself for God and his people was education. Meenachil being a rural area at that time few educational facilities were available to the people, especially for girls. He bestowed his fatherly care upon the primary school and middle school at Kannadiurumpu. Later he established an English middle school at Lalam facing almost insurmountable difficulties and hardships. This school later grew into the great girls High School, which is doing wonderful service for the higher education and overall progress of women in the area.
Fr.Mathew Kadalikkattil had a great devotion to the Sacred passion of our Lord. Disabled to walk owing to a serious painful swelling on his thigh and finding medical help inadequate, he vowed and later fulfilled a pilgrimage to the hill top at Pampoorampara making the stations of the cross on the way on seven consecutive Fridays in the next lent. Subsequently he prepared a route to the hill top erected along the same the fourteen Stations of the Cross and built a chapel dedicated to the mother of sorrows. This has been a centre of pilgrimage today attracting thousands of faithful believers from
all over Kerala.
He was a man of God who had a never failing trust in the providence of God. He responded to God's love through his lifelong self-giving. He remained a humble and obedient priest throughout his life. He was keen on knowing God's will and following it as and when manifested through the guidance of superiors. He could combine prayer and penance as his lifestyle and with utmost attention he offered the Eucharistic Sacrifice. He could bring about the true conversion of hearts of his people through the ministry as a preacher and confessor. Conducting catechism classes for children and
preparing them for first confession and communion were of great concern to him.
He had become an apostle of devotion to the Sacred Heart to the extent that he used to sign himself under the title 'The servant of Sacred Heart'. Many families were inspired by his devotion to the Sacred Heart to lead a fervent christian life. Thirty four years of physical strain, continuous attention to difficult work, frequent rheumatic and diabetic complaints have been exhausting his energy. After a month of very painful illness he yielded his soul to the loving Heart of Jesus on May 23, 1935.
He dedicated his life to the service of the less privileged and rejected ones of the society. So from the very beginning of the congregation he started orphanages also.
 
       
........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................