About Bishop Mariadas Kagithapu, M.S.F.S
Most Rev. Dr. Kagithapu Mariadas was born on 7-9-1936 at Gnanapuram, Visakhapatnam. He was baptized on 15th September on the feast of Our Lady of Dolors and given the name of Mariadas - means servant of Mary. He is the only child of his parents and his father died when he was 3 years old, so he was brought up by his pious mother and maternal grandmother. He had his primary school studies in his own parish at Gnanapuram in St. Peterís School. As he was very clever in his studies, he was sent to St. Paulís High School, Phirangipuram, in the district of Guntur for further studies in 1948 by Fr. R. Joseph then Parish Priest. When he passed SSLC.. He expressed his desire to join the Seminary. Although the only child, his generous mother Annamma readily gave her consent and thus young Mariadas was sent to St. Josephís Mission Home at Palai in Kerala in June 1952 for the Minor Seminary studies. This departure pained the Mother and the Son. After two years of Minor Seminary course, he was sent to Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamalle, Madras, for the study of philosophy under the Salesian Fathers. He spent 3 years there. After Philosophy he did his novitiate at Poona, and joined the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales on 5th June 1958, taking the Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Then he did his Theology studies in Papal Athenaeum at Poona under the Jesuit Fathers.
Bishop Mariadas Kagithapu, M.S.F.S
On 10th June 1961 he was ordained a Priest by Bishop Ignatius Mummadi of Guntur at Gnanapuram. He is the first Priest from the Parish of Gnanapuram and it was a grand day not only for the new Priest but also for the whole village. He went back to the Seminary and completed his studies of Theology at Poona taking M. Th. (Masters Degree in Theology) in March 1962 with ëMagna cum Laudeí
In the same year after staying at the Bishopís house, Visakhapatnam for 4 months helping the Procurator, he was sent to Europe.
1962- 63 He stayed in Paris and did a course in Pastoral Theology taking a diploma.
1962-71 He was in Rome, taking a licentiate in Pastoral Theology, studying Canon and Civil Law taking J.U.D., (Doctorate in Civil and Canon Law) with ëSumma Cum Laude.í Besides, he got a diploma specializing in law regarding the Religious at the Sacred Congregation for Religious.
During this period from 1962 to 1971, he did pastoral work in France, Germany, and U.S.A., for a few months each every year during the holidays.
In 1965 and in 1968 he attended the General Chapter of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales at Geneva, Switzerland, as delegate of the M.S.F.S., Province of Visakhapatnam.
After his return to India in 1972, he worked as Parish Priest of Bobbili, the biggest Parish in the Diocese of Visakhapatnam.
From 1973 - 1977 He was Professor in St. Peterís Seminary Bangalore.
1974ñ1977 Rector of M.S.F.S., Scholasticate, ëVinayalayaí at Bangalore.
In 1975, He was elected as one of the four Assistants General of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales.
From 1976 onwards, he was a Professor in the Faculty of St. Peterís Theological Institute, Bangalore.
On 19-12-1974, He was appointed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI as the fourth Bishop of Guntur by Papal Bull ìCum Haud Multo.î
On 24-2-1977, the news of his appointment as the Bishop of Guntur was announced.
On 5-5-1977 took place the Episcopal Ordination at Gnanapuram at a most spectacular and impressive function, Visakhapatnam ever witnessed
On 31-7-1977 took place his Installation as the fourth Bishop of Guntur at Phirangipuram.
On 10-9-1982 Bishop K. Mariadas was appointed by His Holiness John Paul II as the Bishop of Visakhapatnam by his Bull ìStudiosi Dominum Jesum.î
On 24-9-1982, the news of his appointment as the Bishop of Visakhapatnam was announced.On 26-1-1983, Bishop Kagitapu Mariadas took charge of the Diocese of Visakhapatnam as its Seventh Pastor.
He learned many Languages which he could speak fluently. He was good pastor and zealous missionary and he invited many religious congregations and missionaries to the Diocese for the enrichment of the mission in the Local Church. He was very simple and friend of all. With his pleasant smile, he used to make people feel at home.
When Visakhapatnam was made Metropolitan Archdiocese on Oct. 16, 2001, he was appointed as the Archbishop. During his Episcopal reign of 35 years, many Churches, Institutions and
Village chapels were built. He has encouraged many spiritual programs in the parishes conducted for the good the faithful in the Diocese
Upon reaching, the age of retirement he offered resignation and Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation on July 3, 2012. Archbishop Mariadas was residing at Jubilee Home for the last five years. On December 25th night, that is, Christmas day night, he fell down in the room and had head injury with internal bleeding. Last two months he was undergoing treatment in St. Josephís hospital, Visakhapatnam. When there were all the signs of good recovery, this unexpected turn of events took place. There was deterioration of pulse rate and fluctuating oxygen levels and on Feb 26th 2018 at about 2.30 p.m. he passed away, rather peacefully.
His mortal remains were kept in three places, Stella Maris, Maharanipeta and Gnanapuram parishes, where hundreds of people came to pay respects and offer prayers for his eternal repose. A good number of bishops of TCBC, Archbishop of Nagpur, bishop of Jagadalpur, Vicar General of Archdiocese of Hyderabad, Generals, Provincials and superiors from many Congregations, and a large number of priests from within and outside the Diocese concelebrated Funeral Mass. A Big number of sisters and brothers from many Congregations were present at St. Peterís Cathedral for the Funeral Mass.