Thursday, May 22, 2014

Velankanni Church and Its Historical Values

Vailankanni is one of the most of visited holy Centers in India. It is a town anchored on the shores of Bay of Bengal. This acclaimed Shrine Basilica of our Lady of Sorrow draws pilgrims from all over the world. Not only Christians but as well the humans of other faiths appear to this Church to adjure at the shrine of ‘Our Lady of health’. Knowing the accent of this town the Pope in the Vatican City has declared Vailankanni as a ‘Holy City’. This Roman Catholic Church has a continued Basilica, which has two floors where one can find the shrine of Jesus Christ.
The Gothic style of architectonics is a different affection of the Church. The church itself is an arty architectonics with alarming architecture. While the buildings have been corrective white roof of the church is fabricated by the tiles with arresting red in adverse to the color of the walls. The ambiance about the shrine is spick and span, radiating the rays of hope and piety.
There is as well a shrine of "Our Lady of Sorrow” where in the sorrowing Mother is depicted accustomed small Jesus in her hand. The building is anchored adverse to the Basilica has an actual wealthy array of exhibits. The adored offerings fabricated by the admirers are on affectation here. Biblical incidents are depicted on both side walls Timings 6.30am to 8.00pm. Festivals are acclaimed actuality with all affectation and animation every year on August 29th the spot of our lady commences with the hoisting. Of the banderole the 10th day ends on the 8th September afterwards the dismounting of the flag.
The devotee who come here and visits this exotic ancient church follows the Hindu tradition of tonsuring their heads and as well perform ear -boring ceremony.  This is a religious centre where Christian, Hindus and Muslims from entire India visit in large numbers and worship in harmony.
Velankanni is lovingly known as the ‘Lourdes of the East’ because like the Lourdes in France, millions of pilgrims visit the shrine, throughout the year, in order to pray ‘Our lady’ of numerous needs and thanking for the favors received through her mediation.
Customs recounts that Mother Mary appeared with the Infant Jesus in this small village at the end of 16th or in the early 17th century. Ever since this the small village of Velankanni has become vital destination and almost the fusion of entire Marian Sanctuaries for the pilgrims of the entire world. The masses of the pilgrims come here throughout the year regardless of creeds and languages. Our Lady of Velankanni devotions down through the centuries have proved the shrine to be of divine origin and have assumed international character. Mary, the prime of unity at Velankanni, is a clear evidence of international, religious harmony and multicultural. 
Every people in the entire world are very happy when they are in their best of health and spirit. But God created his pupil with a body and soul. While the body is mortal, the soul, which has been created in the image and likeness of God, is eternal. The very soul of the people is enhanced by God’s grace, which enables him to lead a holy life. Gods intimacy with is creator, by a life of grace, which causes him to enjoy peace and inner joy. There, are however hazards to wreck the joys and happiness along with the well being of peoples in all these three globe of life – his physical, spiritual and social.
Mary our Mother of good health reflects her intense concern for all her children who suffer from numerous kinds of diseases and obtains healing from them her Divine Son. Our Mother Mary places right such shattered relationships when her children approach her for help with total trust in her stronghold intercession. Innumerable are the favors acquired by her devotees, who access her, irrespective of their caste or creed. That is why she is revered in Velankanni as the Mother of Good Health.
Location of Velankanni
Velankanni, a village on the sandy shores of the Bay of Bengal, is amid 350 kilometers south of Chennai (Madras) and 12 kilometers south of Nagappatinam. Nagapattinam, a town on the bank of Bay of Bengal, was referred by first writers and the Portuguese as ‘the city of Coramandel’ (Imperial Gazetteer of India, XIX, 3). Vellayar River, a small branch of the river Cauvery, runs on the south of the village and flows into the sea.
Readers may be anxious to know as they learn that Velankanni, earlier was a Port City and there is much evidence to prove this. Historical notes reveal that people in this area earlier traded with Rome and Greece, the age old commercial centers of the western world. After some time, Nagapattinam expanded and this small commercial centre (Velankanni) slowly and steadily lost its important. 
The exceptional Growth of the Shrine
Renovation of the Shrine
In January 1961, a magnificent central altar, delicately fabricated in spotless white marble, was upright replacing the earlier one made up of concrete cement. The marble shrine adds grandeur to this holy place. The rare porcelain plates and fabrications adjacent the old altar of the chapel has been cautiously retained in their original state. 

The Appearance of the Extension Basilica
The aboriginal Shrine Basilica was unable to board the anytime growing amount of pilgrims. Hence the call arose to enhance the Shrine. A supplement behind the aboriginal Shrine Basilica (160ft by 55ft) was complete on August 18th, 1974. Later, an upper floor was added to the Addendum Basilica. The Addendum Basilica is about a replica of the village acclaimed Marian Shrine at Lourdes in France.
Progressive Growth of the Shrine

From 1963 onwards the Shrine witnessed an accelerated advance in its growth, abundantly due to the Zealous and dynamic priests appointed as Parish Priests or Rectors of the Shrine. In 1963 Very Rev. Fr. Maria Susai took allegation of the Parish of Velankanni. He was the first Tamil priest to do so. This dynamic priest toiled ceaselessly to advance the Shrine of Our Lady in thriving fields.
Some of the Major and Exceptional Constructions Here
·         Our Lady of Health Hospital
·         The Chapel At Our Lady’s Tank
·         The Laying of Granite Stones in the Area Around the Basilica
·         Holy Family Community Hall
·         The New Tonsure Hall
·         The extension of the Museum
·         St. Xavier’s Tourist Halls and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Halls for the Accommodation of Pilgrims
·         St. Luke’s Cottage, the extension of Little Flower
·         Construction of St. John’s Cottage

The Mass Timings of the Shrine
Daily Services
05:40 AM Morning Prayer in the Main Shrine
06:00 AM Morning Mass in Tamil in the Main Shrine
07:00 AM Morning Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica
08:00 AM Morning Mass in Telugu in the upper Basilica
09:00 AM Morning Mass in Malayalam in the Lower Basilica
10:00 AM Morning Mass in English in the Lower Basilica
11:00 AM Morning Mass in Hindi in the Upper Basilica
12:00 PM Noon Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica
Every Evening
06.00 PM Evening Rosary, Litany and Novena Prayer in Tamil followed by Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica
Some Prime Weekly Services at Velankanni
Every Saturday
07:00 AM Morning Mass in Tamil at Our Lady’s Tank
05:45 PM Evening Car Procession of Our Lady of Health is held around the Shrine, Benediction and Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica
Every Sunday Morning
07:30 AM Morning Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica
Every Sunday Evening
05:00 PM Evening Mass in Tamil for the Parishioners of Velankanni in the Lower Basilica
06:00 PM Evening Rosary, Litany, Novena Prayer, Benediction and Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica.
The Monthly Services
1st Friday
06:00 PM Mass in Tamil, Eucharistic Procession around the Shrine, Sermon and Benediction from the front view of the Upper Basilica.
1st Saturday
05:30 PM Evening A Car Procession of Our Lady of Health through the beach road Blessing of the Sick with the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction and Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica
09:00 PM Three-Hours Worship to the Blessed Sacrament in the Main Shrine
2ND Saturday
09:00 Am Morning, A Fasting Prayer Service from 09:00 AM to 04:00 PM in the Velankanni Madha Retreat House
3rd Saturday
07:00 AM Morning Intercessory Prayer after the end of the Mass in Our Lady’s Tank
4th Saturday
06:30 AM Mass in Tamil in the Naduthittu Church
08:00 PM Children’s Good News Gathering in front of the Fathers’ House
Annual Festival of Our Lady of Health
The Annual Feast of Our Lady of Health is celebrated from 29th August to 8th September every year.
How to get Here
Getting here is not at all difficult task as the nearest airport is Tiruchirappali which can be reached by state bus at mere time of 4 hours only. The closest railway station is Nagapattinam which is located only 11 km from the Velankanni. Thus one can easily reach this holy place from any corner of the country.


My Travelogue