Belgaum: Swami Amalananda (Fr Antony Felix Mathias) No More


Belgaum: Swami Amalananda (Fr Antony Felix Mathias) No More 
Daijiworld Media Network—Belgaum (RD/CN)
With picture and input from Aardees Udupi

Belgaum, Sep 4: Fr Antony Felix Mathias, a devout Jesuit priest popularly known as Swami Amalananda, passed away recently. The 89-year-old priest was a firm believer in humanity, who lived life committed to the Lord both in deeds and words, and was instrumental in building a church at his mission center in Deshnur. The church built in 1976, is reminiscent of traditional Indian temple architecture. 

He was born in January 1919  to Dominic Paul Mathias and Serapine Colaco, at Belman, in Dakshina Kannada district. Swami Amalananda was the seventh of nine children and did his initial schooling at Milagres School, Kallianpur. After his studies, he left for Mumbai where he worked briefly as an Income Tax Officer (ITO) from 1944 to 1946.

He joined the Jesuit seminary in 1946 and was ordained a priest in 1957 at Pune, and was sent to a remote village called Deshnur. Thereafter he came to be known as Swami Amalananda (a true disciple o St John Baptist) and his ashram was called ‘Snaanik Arulappara Ashrama’. 

He led a simple life, was a strict vegetarian, and meditated and fasted on Fridays. Fr Mathias also built an orphanage for the destitute and poor, besides administering traditional medicines to patients affected by snake bites. Coincidentally, he breathed his last on the feast of his patron St John Baptist.

  

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  • sunil cornelio, mumbai

    Sat, Sep 06 2008

    WE PRAY FOR THE DEPARTED SOUL,LIVING A SIMPLE LIFE AND HELPING OTHERS IN TIME OF NEED IS GREATEST WORK A HUMAN CAN DO TO THE MANKIND. HE WAS A LIVING EXAMPLE OF OUR TIMES FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE Mrs Emilda brito, Mrs sarita brito cornelio,Mr Mario brito,surith cornelio,sunil cornelio

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  • Fr.Lawrence D'mello, ocd, Belvai/Italy

    Sat, Sep 06 2008

    Swami Amalananda was very well known to me and had also opportunity to live at his ashram as my sister was teaching at his school and I am very sorry to learn about his death. He with his simple way of life and incultration, had won the hearts of all in and around Deshnur and was higly respected as their spiritual Leader and man of God ! People of every caste and religion fell down at his feet to receive his blessings! May his soul rest in peace !

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  • Stan Rodrigues OCD, Farla/Italy

    Sat, Sep 06 2008

    Sad to read about the death of Swami Amalananda. He was a holy man and I had an opportunity to make my retreat under Swamiji at Deshnur Mutt. He tried his best to inculturate himself with the local Lingayath community who respected him dearly. May the good Lord open the gates of paradise to this wise and faithful servant!

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  • V.R. Dsouza, Miyar/DXB/Los/London

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    I heard little about father in Belman, indeed a true follower,i wish n pray the Lord that at least one or two modern and builder priests from our DK follow his path so the community will have little respect May the Risen Lord embrace father Felix in His arms

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  • A Tribute from Diana, Donald Machado, Doreen, Delia, Dancy, Doloura Blaise & Dayan. - Swami's Niece , Udupi Kallianpur.

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    We are deeply saddened by the demise of our beloved Swami -Felis Maam. Swami Amalananda is no more, it is a great lose for the whole Mathias family. Felis Maam we will miss him. A tribute from Swami’s (Felix Mathias) Niece & Children. – Blaise & Ivan Dsouza, Gaby, Ann & Cara. – Doha Qatar.

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  • Doloura Machado , Dubai

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    Pelisam we will miss you. May the glory of heaven take you and you will remember all of your prayers. We will miss you and remember in our prayers. Pray for us. Alice childen

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  • philip Lobo, Taccode/Saudi Arabia

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    The church that he built at Deshnur was blessed by none other than our own late Bishop of Mangalore, Rt. Rev. Basil S. D'Souza, who was taken in procession on a bullock cart in the village. His holiness' homily was so practical, everyone had a of tear in their eyes.

    For the late Bishop it seems he too visited that place for the first time, when he saw how the missioneries live and spend their lives among the wolves. People talk how the dedicated to Christ's Mission live in far away places, but people don't know, how our own missioneries live close to our own abode. Let us really remember and keep all those swamy's in our daily prayers. They are silent sufferrers who never proclaim their sufferings from rooftops.

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  • Bandhavya, Mangalore

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    A fruitful life. May his soul rest in peace.

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  • Philip Lobo, Taccode/Saudi Arabia

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    Swami Animananda, Swami Arulananda, Swami Amalananda, Swami Shanthanada are/were the real disciples of Christ. I have had the chance of living and walking along with these great in their mission stations and staying and studying their way of life, and I too had opted to be one of them.

    Due to unfortunate developments back home, I had to give up my Jesuit life, and return home to take care of my family. Even then I have not given up what I learnt from these these great people, and still continue whatever I can, from where I stand, helping out to those who really need someone with an helping hand.

    I have not seen any devoted person(s)as these Christian Swamy's. One will know what realy CHRISTIAN means (Chist Hanv)by living and staying a couple of days with these great committed people of God.

    May his soul rest in peace. He has done his assigned task here on earth. He will be seeing us and showering his blessings and guiding those whom he had guided here when he mingled with.

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  • Philip Lobo, Taccode/Saudi Arbia

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    I fully agree with Fr. Gerry, what one can expect from those who had hate against Christianity? Swami was really blessed with great hand of God how to go about. Even some of the Lingayats burnt his long grey beard. He did not say a word, but just blushed it away and did not show any anger or burst out, but just ignored and started a new chapter or issue and carried on.

    I was staying in those mission stations and have learnt a lot when I was doing my scholastic in those mission stations in Belgaum. May what he started continue, hopefully good Lord will provide another shepard to look after his flock.

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  • Fr.Gerry Lobo,Capuchin, Pothnal, Raichur

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    Swami Amalananda was indeed a simple man who was a great adimerer of lingayats. three times I had the opportunity of visiting his Ashram at Deshnur in Belgaum District and it was quite revealing to hear the praises heaped on him by the local people and his name was quite famous even in those days in the entire North Karnataka region of Dharwar-Belgaum . he really preached the word of God for the people of other religion. I really admired the life he lived. it was a total surrender to the will of God. and a total committement to his call. May God grant his soul peace. His name will be forever and his several deeds and words of wisdom on everyone's lips.

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  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Karkala

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    Swami Amalananda was indeed a simple man who was a read friend to everybody. In mid 1970's I had the opportunity of visiting his Ashram at Deshnur in Belgaum District and it was quite revealing to hear the praises heaped on him by the local people and his name was quite famous even in those days in the entire North Karnataka region of Dharwar-Belgaum .He belonged to a tribe whose qualities and mannerism are of a bygone era. May God grant his soul peace. His name will be forever and his several deeds and words of wisdom on everyone's lips.

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  • Fr Roque D'Souza, Mangalore (Seminary)/ Fort Dodge, Iowa

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    While wishing Swami Amalananda the Eternal bliss in the Risen Jesus I express my gratitude and appreciation for his courageous steps in inculturating Christianity in the new soil. May be such adventures are no more possible, at least in the near future given the viciation in our society. I still remeber Swami recalling an Indian story in the village set up.

    Once all were asked to get one "kutte" of milk and pour it into the common closed tank for the deity's woship. When the time came to open the tank, they found only water. Every one thought my portion of water in others' milk w'nt be made out. The Swami concluded, Jesus and Christianity tell us to be honest always. The world can rely on Christians for their sincerity. I hope and pray that more honest decipleship of Jesus comes from us about emulating these giants of yester years.

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  • Homage from Felix Mathais’s Sister’s daughter Late Alice Machado & Basil Machado, Children Diana Lob, Kallianpur

    Fri, Sep 05 2008

    We are deeply saddened by the demise of our beloved Swami Amalananda. (our Grand Mother Late Mary M Mathias’s Brother) Felis Maam as he was affectionately addressed and dearly loved by his late Brothers / Sisters, his nieces/ nephews / and their children. Though it is very little said in the above news, he was a scholar, writer, preacher, healer, educator. He is an exceptional personality, unique, superlative Priest from a Well Known Mathais family. Felis Maam, we will miss your love…..shower your blessings upon us.

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  • T ShivaPrasad Ariga, Oman/Suratkal

    Thu, Sep 04 2008

    Saint or a Sinner we all meet at some point.In a way, we all are connected by default.

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  • Philip Lobo, Taccode/Saudi Arabia

    Thu, Sep 04 2008

    I am very much sadened by his demise. I had the great opportunity to live in his ashram for quite some period of time. Eventhough he was a Mangalorean, he didn't display it openly. He wasn a real Kannadiga, just like other Swamis with whome I had the opportunity to mix with. I really miss his advise and advise towards one's attainment of that one hearns for. May his soul rest in peace.

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  • Jasmine Carvalho, Kemmannu/Toronto, Canada

    Mon, Apr 10 2017

    Dear Phillip,
    I am the great niece of Swami Amalananda Prabhu (his eldest sister's granddaughter). I heard a lot about him growing up but unfortunately never met him. He had written to me as he wanted me to get a Tamil quote. Notable amongst his accomplishments is that although he was in Deshnoor, he knew many languages including Tamil.
    I would love to know more about him.
    May his soul rest in peace.
    Which part of Saudi Arabia do you live? I used to live in Abqaiq and Dhahran before.
    Regards, Jasmine

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  • MRS FLORINE SALDANHA[MATHIAS], UDUPI

    Thu, Sep 04 2008

    TRUELY A LIVING SAINT WHO LEFT THIS WORLD,SIMPLE IN LIVING . HIS LIFE IS GUIDING LIGHT FOR US. DEAR FELISAAB,MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN HIM ,AND SHOWER YOUR BLESSING UPON US

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