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Our Lady Of Health - Velankanni

Velankanni (Tamil:வேளாங்கண்ணி), officially spelled as Vailankanni (Virgin of Velai, the town), also spelled as “Velanganni” (due to Tamil to English Transliteration), the world also popularly known as velankanni as “Lourdes of the East”, is a Parish under Tanjore Roman Catholic Diocese and a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a small town located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal 350 km south of Chennai (Madras) and 12 km south of Nagapattinam on the Coromandel Coast, in Tamil Nadu, India.

Once a port that traded with Rome and Greece, the tiny commercial center gradually lost its importance to the larger Nagapattinam.

The name and fame of this international Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health, is founded on the three incidents that took place at three different periods in the 16th and the 17th centuries at Vailankanni.


Velankanni Shrine Basilica

Human beings are happy when they enjoy good health. But God has created man with a body and soul. While the body is mortal, the soul, which has been created in the image and likeness of God, is immortal. The soul of man is enriched by God’s grace, which enables him to lead a holy life. His intimacy with his creator, by a life of grace, caused him to enjoy peace and inner joy.

There are, however, dangers to ruin the happiness and well being of humans in all these three spheres of life-his physical, spiritual and social.

Mary our Mother of good health shows her deep concern for all her children who suffer from every kind of ailment and obtains healing for them from her Divine Son. Mary sets right such shattered relationships when her children approach her for help with absolute trust in her powerful intercession.

Our Lady Of Health

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Velankanni Annual Feast

September 8, is commemorated as the feast of Our Lady of Good Health. The celebration starts 29 August and ends on the day of the feast. The feast day prayers are said in Tamil, Malayalam,Telugu, Kannada, Konkani, Hindi and English. The Lady came floating in her car, shouldered by her footsoldiers of faith. And as she floated along the teeming thousands, her faithful knelt, some with open palms, some with absolute supplication – each with their own reason for reverence and surrender. Tuesday evening marked the penultimate day celebrations of the Velankanni Feast – the Velankanni car festival spruced with as much grandeur as the flag hoist ceremony, a week before. As if a metaphor, against the darkness of the late evening sky, the only light was from the shrine and the cars that carried the Gods.

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