Friday, July 6, 2018

Our Lady of Glory Shrine, Pulicat, Thiruvallur

Our Lady of Glory Shrine, Pulicat, Thiruvallur
Our Lady of Glory Shrine is a church dedicated to Mother Mary located in Pulicat in Ponneri Taluk in Thiruvallur District of Tamilnadu. This Church was established in 1515 at Pulicat, a fishing village, separated by a lake which connects the Bay of Bengal.

Around 500 years ago, when fishermen found the image of Mother Mary in their net during their fishing, they thought it was just a log of wood and so discarded it on the shore. A woodcutter who earns his living by procuring firewood, spots this log of wood. Considering it to be yet another piece of wood, he starts chopping it. At that time, blood starts splashing from the wood and he loses his sight. His wife who comes in search of him breaks down into tears when she notices that he has turned blind. She then takes some of the blood which was oozing out from the image of Mother Mary and applies it on the eyes her husband and he regains his sight miraculously. Hearing this, the people of the surrounding areas cleaned up the image of Mother Mary, placed it in a small chapel which they had constructed for her started honoring her.

The Portuguese arrived at Pulicat in 1500 A.D. Identifying the statue of Mary as the one they have lost from their ship, they constructed a chapel for the use of the people and named Mary as 'Our Lady of Joy' (Nossa Senhora dos prazeres'). This shrine now is declared as the first parish to be established in the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore, the first in Tamilnadu and even the first parish on the Coromandel coast of India. The Portuguese arrived at Pulicat in 1500 A.D.

The church feast at Pulicat is being celebrated since 1515 A.D. The Portuguese families living in Chennai have been bringing their Children to Pulicat to be baptized. The First Parish Priest (1515 A.D.) Fr. Antonio Gill is spoken of as the first parish priest who has served in Pulicat. In 1521 A.D., there has been a pilgrimage during the Somenity of the Body and Blood of Christ, from Pulicat to Santhome, at the end of which Fr. Antonio Gill has preached during the mass at Santhome.

Baptism and Marriage records are being maintained from 1762 A.D. The presence of a Church in Pulicat and the fact that priests from Santhome were going there for ministry is recorded in the documents of the Madras Apostolic Administrator. Specially to be noted is the letter dated 17-02-1842 of Apostolic Administrator Most Rev. Dr.J Bennelli, mentioning about the Church in Pulicat and that Fr. M.F.Lobo from Santhome was going for ministry there. 

Pulicat was declared as a parish on 29-03-1882 and Fr. Antonio Francisco Camillo De Petrocinio was appointed as the first parish priest. According to the Catholic Chronicles of Madras, the old church was renovated with a few modifications. It was continued to be called as the Church of Our Lady of Joy. This Parish was under the care of the Padroado. The list of parish priests who have served during this period is available. 

During this period, the parish of Pulicat was under the care of Madras Diocese. The list of parish priests who have served during this period is also available.  Several miracles have started happening in and around the Pulicat Church and this led to the rejoicing of the people. In particular, when four people were saved from the gallows through the intercession of Our Lady, the Church was named as 'Our Lady of Glory Church' from 2-2-1945. 

This parish has been under the pastoral administration of the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore ever since 1953, when the dioceses of Madras and Mylapore were amalgamated. The year 2012 On September 29th, 2012 Most Rev. Dr.M.Chinnappa SDB DD, the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, elevated this parish into the status of a shrine of the Archdiocese. 
Our Lady of Glory Shrine,
Pulicat, Ponneri Taluk,
Thiruvallur District – 601 205
Mobile: +91 97910 69119
The Church is located at about 500 meters from Pazhaverkadu Bus Stop, 1.5 Kms from Pulicat Bus Stand, 9 Kms from Thirupalaivanam, 10 Kms from Karungali, 20 Kms from Ponneri, 20 Kms from Ponneri Railway Station, 74 Kms from Thiruvallur, 70 Kms from Chennai Airport and 55 Kms from Chennai. Town buses are frequently available from Ponneri and Red Hills.

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