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By: John Batdrof


Lady of Wellness Mother Vailankanni
Velankanni is usually a coastal village in Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu. Even though it's typically called Velankanni, the appropriate spelling is Vailankanni. Velankanni is really well-known for its Marian church known as "Shrine Basilica of Lady of Health". Thousands of individuals from all about India visit this place and therefore is generally known as "Mecca of Christians" and "Lourdes of the East". You will discover quite a few churches along with other buildings inside the Basilica complex and on one side it really is flanked by Bay of Bengal sea.
The annual church festival is from 29th August to 8th September. There's heavy rush during this period.
It is fascinating to note that majority of Velankanni pilgrims are from Tamilnadu and kerala, in particular from districts like Dharmaburi, chennai, kottur, Kottayam, Idukki and Thrissur.
Brief History of Velankanni Basilica Church
The history of Velankanni goes back as far as 16th century. Based on legends, Mother Mary appeared twice to milk boys in the village in the course of this period. You can find churches on both these locations (inside Basilica complicated). In the first appearance, Mother Mary asked for milk from a boy. Boy gave milk to mother and later boy identified that the milk pot is still full. This location is referred to as Our Lady’s Tank".
In the second appearance, Mother Mary cured a crippled boy. There's a tiny church at this place now.
The third miracle occurred sometime during seventeenth century and almost certainly it was this miracle which caused rapid expansion of Velankanni church. A Portuguese ship going from Macao in China to Colombo was caught in a violent storm. The sailors prayed to Mother Mary for protection. It is stated that the ship landed in Velankanni and as an offering sailors built a church in the seaside. In subsequent visits, Portuguese continued to build and expand the church complicated.
In 1962, Pope John XXIII granted Minor Basilica status to Velankanni church. The very first bishop of Thanjavur, R.A. Sundaram was behind this decision. A brand new church extension modeled after the Lady of Lourdes was soon built.
Our trip to Velankanni Church July 2008
It can be an Indian tradition to give one thing to God in return for the favor of the God. And over time Christians in India has also customized it for their belief. It turns out that my wife had offered one thing to Velankanni Mother and I had no selection but to take our entire family members on a Velankanni trip. It was a superb encounter and I created most of it by taking a camera along with me!
I stay in Trivandrum which is about 500KM from Velankanni. So going by automobile was ruled out (since I was the only driver). When you do strategy to travel by vehicle, assure that you simply split the travel and stay somewhere like Thirunelveli or Madurai. I won’t advise a direct drive.
So I had decided to take a train. But unfortunately you will discover no train service till Velankanni. There is a railway track becoming built till Velankanni and it really is expected to be operational by March 2009. Direct train services from Kerala is going to substantially increase pilgrim targeted traffic. The nearest key railway station is Tiruchirappalli referred to as Trichy (about 160KM from Velankanni). From Trivandrum you can find two trains to Trichy (Essential: please check available trains and existing timings at http://www.carrentalchennai.com).

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