Born on 29th January 1954 to parents Paily and Eliswa of Vattalil, an ordinary peasant family in Pulluvazhy, Kerala. She was baptized on 5th February 1954 and was named ‘Mariam’ after Mother Mary. She along with her six siblings was brought up amongst Christian faith and values by her parents.
She received her First Holy Communion and Sacrament of Confirmation on 30th April 1966. She was taught the importance of prayer by her parents and grandparents from a very tender age. She regularly attended the Holy Mass and practiced what she learned in her daily life.
She was a humble and obedient child and did not attach much interest in clothes or ornaments. She was industrious and took time out to help her parents either in the fields or household chores. In lieu of good results in her S.S.L.C. (Secondary School Leaving Certificate) exams, she was sent to St. Joseph’s High School Tripunithura where under the guidance of the nuns, her school and boarding life proved conducive to her spiritual and intellectual nourishment.
She felt the call of the Lord in her final year of school due to the frequent visits to the nearby Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC). After mustering the courage, she expressed her desire to join the convent and faced staunch opposition from her siblings. However, her grandmother and father stepped in to support her as they believed in the nobility of the profession.
On 3rd July 1972, she and her cousin enrolled themselves in the Franciscan Clarist Convent, Kidangoor. After various phases of formation consisting of Aspirancy, Postulancy and Novitiate, Mary, almost 20 years of age, made her first venture in the Franciscan Clarist Congregation on 1st May 1974 christened Rani Maria (Rani meaning “Regina” or queen).
Sr. Gladys, her mistress during Aspirancy and Postulancy recalls her as being a self-content and righteous woman who spoke things out very openly. Sr. Rani Maria had a habit of humming ejaculatory prayers and sacred tunes every hour for sanctification, her favorite ejaculatory prayer being “JESUS” which she uttered even until her last breath.
Sr. Infant Mary, her Novice Mistress has reflected in the biography of Sr. Rani Maria that she was exemplary in her prayer, studies, observances of rules and much concerned about the will of God. As Provincial Councillor of Missions in North India, Sr. Infant Mary used to visit the missions and share her experiences with her novices, thereby convening the urgency of spreading the Good News amongst the illiterate and ignorant of North India. Inflamed by the experiences of missionaries she too expressed the desire to go to North India, to serve the poor and die for them.