The Name

Aloysious Maria Benziger was born in Einsiedeln, in Switzerland, on 31st January, 1864. His father was an illustrious citizen of Swiss Republic and was an officer of the army with title of the major. He also owned a publishing company. He had six children of whom four were sons and two daughters. Aloysious Maria Benziger was one among them. His first name was Adelrich. When he joined Carmelite first order he took the name Aloysious Maria Benziger. Benziger was his family name. He studied in commercial institute in Frankfurt, Germany. He passed the matriculation of the London University with distinction and he was awarded a silver medal in recognition of his outstanding capacity and diligent study.

He joined Carmelite Monastery in Belgium in May 1884.Having studied Theology in Ghent, he was ordained as a priest in 1888.He was appointed Co. Adjutor to the Bishop of Quilon in 1900.He succeeded Rt. Rev. Ferdinand Maria Ossi in 1905 as Bishop of Quilon. Aloysius Maria Benziger was an extraordinary man of God. People looked on him with awe and admiration. He was a holy man and hero. Education advanced tremendously in the Diocese of Quilon under his Excellency. Even St. Berchman’s College, Changanassery, was built with some money provided by the Bishop Benziger. Benziger did a great lot to the cause of primary and secondary Education in the Diocese. During his tenure he upgraded St. Aloysius school and founded St. Joseph’s School, Trivandrum in 1905.He also founded in 1905, C.F Teachers Training Institute at Kottiyam and St. Francis Institute at Nagercoil in 1907.

On 3rd July 1931, he resigned from The Bishopric of Quilon and returned to the monastery of Carmel Hill, Trivandrum. After his tenure he sought again obscurity under the garb of simple Carmelite priest and found shelter beneath the roof of an austere monastery. He died at Trivandrum on 17th August, 1942.At his death he was numbered among the friends of God by the people and his intercession was and is freely sought by them. To perpetuate the memory of his illustrious predecessor Bishop Aloysius Maria Benziger, Bishop Jerome Fernandez, the first Indian Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Quilon, had the idea of erecting a befitting memorial. With the concurrence of the faithful of the diocese a decision was made to establish a hospital in 1948. Subsequently as a unit of the Bishop Benziger Hospital society Bishop Benziger College of Nursing was thus established by Bishop Stanley Roman in old Jyothi Niketen College Campus situated in the heart of Kollam town. The College of nursing started functioning in the year 2004, in the name of Bishop.