Reputation of Holiness
People drawn from all walks of life earnestly sought the blessing, prayers, and spiritual guidance of Father Canisius whose fame as a spiritual and holy person had already spread among the people around. He has left behind living memories of profound reverence, admiration, affection and gratitude. Among the several witnesses who can testify to his holiness special mention may be made of Bishop Mar James Pazhayattil, who knew him personally. As a young seminarian, he was taken up by the humility and hospitality of Fr. Canisius who was then the Rector of Dharmaram College. Later Bishop Pazhayattil had close contact with Fr Canisius on many occasions. He said publicly: “No one doubts that Fr Canisius was truly a saint. He was unique in combining harmoniously the virtues of humility, wisdom and holiness.” Rev Fr Thomas Aykara knew Fr Canisius very personally as his Prior General. Later Fr Aykara became Prior General having Fr. Canisius as his Vicar General. In his funeral homily Fr Aykara who had served as special confessor of the man of God, spoke eloquently of the holiness of Fr Canisius. In his words, Fr Canisius was a man of extraordinary holiness and transparency who drew all to God rather than to himself. In all the fields whether it be spiritual or secular, he insisted on meticulous perfection. Spiritual exercises and pious activities were not mere external ornaments for Fr Canisius; they resulted from wholehearted and continuous ascetical practice, which was almost instinctive and natural for him. Fr.Canisius was always an inspiringly spiritual presence and 2 faithful witness to divine presence.

Eminent personalities like Blessed Mother Theresa visited Father Canisius during 1960’s while he was CMI Prior General, to seek his advice, counseling and help to meet her spiritual needs. Fr. Joseph Elias Kannath was a witness to one such meeting between the two and here is his testimony in his own words, “It was an encounter between two people, the true symbols of simplicity and holiness.” “Kunjikkutti Thamburatti of Royal Palace (“Kovilakam”) in Kodungalloor used to visit Father Canisius to discuss matters spiritual in nature. This is a fact confirmed by Father Canisius himself and has been recorded in the biography of Father Canisius by Fr. Isaac Alappatt P.

Besides such eminent figures as these, others comprising, priests, religious, prominent bureaucrats, and people belonging to different strata of life approached him seeking spiritual consolation, healing of body and mind, and guidance for managing and overcoming crises in life. There are people still alive who carry memories of Father Canisius staying absorbed in prayer at ‘Sannidhi’ (Private chapel at CSR meant for personal prayer) and even people who stealthily observed the divine modes of light visible on his face while at prayer .……………… He said, “I will pray for you… What you are prayed for is sure to materialize, God willing it.” Several of those visitors have later confessed that “just to catch sight of him is really fulfilling.”