Velankanni is one of the most visited pilgrim centres in India. It is one among the main Roman Catholic shrines dedicated to Virgin Mary also known as ‘Our Lady of Good Health’.
This divine land attracts lots of visitors from not just the vicinity, but people from far and apart travel across the globe to visit the Church. Knowing the importance of this town, the Pope in the Vatican City has declared Velankanni as a ‘Holy City’. The shrine is a great combination of international, multicultural and religious harmony and is popularly known as ‘Lourdes of the East’.
One of the unique features and a key attraction for the visitors of the Church is the beautiful Gothic style of architecture of the structure. While the buildings have been painted white, the roof of the church is made up of tiles of striking red colour which contrasts the colour of the walls.
Apparitions of Velankanni Church
There are many astounding legends related to Velankanni Church. The miraculous rescue of Portuguese sailors from a violent sea storm, cure of a lame buttermilk vendor and the apparition of Mary and Christ child to a shepherd boy are some of the fascinating legends originating from this divine land of Our Lady of Good Health.
During the annual fest, the Basilica and Velankanni take a new life, and the vicinity is decorated even in its farthest corners. Also, Velankanni has become the base-camp for the pilgrims of all faiths. It is believed by tradition that the Portuguese storm-tossed ship safely reached the shore in Velankanni on September 8, on the feast of the Nativity (Birthday) of our Lady. In memory of this event, the annual feast of Our Lady of Good Health is celebrated on this day. Also, a large gathering of devotees witnesses the flag hoisting on the 29th of August every year. The following nine days of preparation is a feast here.
The Same Good Mother
Mother of Jesus is portrayed and worshipped under many different titles. Mary is one, but she is also many things to many people. Her titles and other descriptive names show the ongoing story of love and affection of a mother and her children.
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