Commemorative Coin for India’s First Woman Saint, Sister Alphonsa

by on October 13, 2008 · 14 comments

India’s government announced on Saturday that it would issue a commemorative coin celebrating Sister Alphonsa. Pope Benedict XVI conferred Sainthood on her Sunday, making her the first native-born saint from India


"This exceptional woman, who today is offered to the people of India as their first canonized saint, was convinced that her cross was the very means of reaching the heavenly banquet prepared for her by the Father," said Pope Benedict XVI.

"She wrote, ‘I consider a day without suffering as a day lost.’ May we imitate her in shouldering our own crosses so as to join her one day in paradise," he added.


St. Alphonsa Muttathupandathu was a nun from a remote village in Kerala (Southwestern India) who was known for her holiness during a lifetime of extreme physical suffering. She was born on August 19, 1910, and passed away 62 years ago.

At a young age, St. Alphonsa was determined to become a nun after reading the lives of the saints. At age 14, she deliberately burned her foot so that her disfigurement would prevent an arranged marriage. At age 17, St. Alphonsa joined the Franciscan Clarist Congregation.

According the the Catholic News Service, she taught for a time, but was soon confined to her convent because of a succession of illnesses, including typhoid fever, pneumonia, skin infections and a wasting disease. At the same time, her life was marked by periods of great spiritual joy.

Very few details were made available in Indian Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram’s announcement Saturday about the commemorative coin, other than it will be released to mark the centenary of St. Alphonsa’s birth on August 19, 2009.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Koichi Ito October 14, 2008 at 4:10 am

When does Indian Government Mint or Reserve Bank of India issues Sister Alphonsa Commemorative Coins? I am insterested in this commemorative coin issue, so Please tell me How I can order this coins from Indian Government Mint or Reserve Bank of India? Or what coin dealers will sell this coins?

J.A.SIMON October 14, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Please let me know where I can get the commemorative coins of St.Alphonsa ? If at RBI, what is the denomination it is issued ? From when will it be available ? Who should be contacted in this regard? Is there any last date ?

Markmae October 14, 2008 at 9:21 pm

It looks like these could be hard to acquire since it appears coins are distributed only through regional India banks?

Prakash V November 10, 2008 at 1:27 am

Generally coins that are meant to be released as Commemoratives can be obtained either by
A.) placing an order with the India Government mints at Mumbai (Bombay) or Kolkata (Calcutta) in India.
B.) through coin dealers in India

Generally news items on commemorative coins are made on the day of commemoration, however the mints in India have a delayed schedule (normally 3 / 6 months) after which they invite applications for booking coins.
As on 10 November 2008 Kolkata Mint is accepting booking for 75TH Anniversary of the Indian Airforce. In the recent times Indian Mints have standardized the coin denominations. Usually they issue coins as pairs. Indian Rupees 5 and 100, both in UNC and Proof condition.
We will need to wait for a formal announcement from the Indian Mints to book this coin.
Trust this information helps.

Pradeep Erayi February 27, 2009 at 5:16 am

I am interested in collecting commemorative coins.Let me know to whom i have to contact and how can i place an order for the same?

P J Lewis August 17, 2009 at 6:58 am

Several readers have asked as to the availability of the coin of St. Alphonsa. Could we have a reply please?

Sandeep Kasliwal September 27, 2009 at 11:16 am

How to get the new coins when ever it comes from RBI or any other place

Pavan Kumar Dasam September 30, 2009 at 1:50 am

For those readers who want to buy Saint Alphonsa’s coin, you can do so from the Mumbai mint’s online store which can be accessed from their website

Maideen October 31, 2009 at 7:01 am
Swathi.Rao.B January 18, 2010 at 8:46 am

is there any commemorative coins released after the release of St.Alphonsa?please do reply.

Subbu Rama Krishnan August 13, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Kindly let me know the next issue date of commemorative coins,the details and the value to be sent and the procedure to be followed.

DODDA MURALI KRISHNA September 11, 2010 at 1:04 am

I Have a Saint Alphonsa birth centenary coin.
Several readers have asked as to the availability of the coin of St. Alphonsa. Could we have a reply please?

Aniket June 11, 2011 at 6:03 am

What is the procedure for placing an order for newly released coins? How could I know about any such new release?

chandan August 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm

i m also interested in Commemo. coins, plz contact me if any one have tobe exchange

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