Saturday, April 27, 2019

Velankanni Church, Besant Nagar – The Church

Velankanni Church, Besant Nagar – The Church
The mother Mary square in the church campus visually represents four apparitions of mother Mary which are accepted by Catholic Church. The four apparitions are Our lady of Guadalupe (1531), Our lady of la Salette (1846), Our lady of Lourdes (1858), Our lady of Fatima (1917). Since the shrine of mother Mary is worshipped as 'Our lady of health' many people offer candle shaped disease affected part of the body which is available in church itself. This is also practiced in Velankanni shrine at Nagapattinam. Besides that, people even offer flowers, candles, garlands as the offerings.

The church offers 3 masses every day and more than 5 hours of confessions. The church also offers marriage service, 1st Friday and 1st Saturday services. In addition, special masses, devotions and prayers, concerts take place regularly during festival seasons and other special occasions. There is a catholic book store in the church where all books related to Jesus Christ, mother Mary and all other saints and priest are kept. The stall in the church campus consists of collections of prayer books, stickers, rosary, medals, calendars, statues of mother Mary and Jesus Christ.

There is even a matrimonial center which has been established in the year 1981 in which only Catholics are enrolled. There is a big hall where marriage receptions and any other special occasions are held. This hall is called Rev. P.T. Arulappa memorial hall. This was originally built in 1972. The upper portion of the walls is covered with paintings on the Apparitions of Our Lady of good Health. This was expanded in September 2000.

Adoration Chapel:
It is opened in September 2001. It is fully air-conditioned. It is open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on all days. Every Thursday special Adoration service take place in the evening from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. During the rest of the day the chapel is open for personal prayer, meditation and reflection.
The Grotto:
The Grotto was constructed in the year 2002. A banyan tree is the base under which are depicted the 3 Apparitions of Our Lady of Good Health at Velankanni. Devotees offer sarees in thanksgiving to Annai Velankanni, which are draped around the statue of Mother Mary.
Niches of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary:
The niche of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary was constructed in the year 2000. It gives a conducive atmosphere for the devotees to meditate on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
The museum in the church campus contains various articles of miracles of mother Mary. The museum exists for past 25 years. The Museum has been renovated and reopened on September 6, 2008.
Working Hours:
·        Saturday – 4: 00 p.m. to 7: 00 p.m.
·        Sunday – 11: 00 a.m. to 12: 00 noon & 4: 00 p.m. to 7: 00 p.m.
·        Holidays – 4: 00 p.m. to 7: 00 p.m.
Religious Article Store:
The Religious Article Store has a collection of prayer books, stickers, rosary, medals, calendars, statues, etc.