The 10-day long preparation for the feast of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary will reach its culmination on Saturday with festivity, celebrations and car procession along with the statue of our Lady. During these nine days, the shrine drew thousands of people from all faiths to pray to Mother Mary and to celebrate her birthday.
The nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated all over the world on September 8. Pope Francis during his weekly audience at Saint Peters Square on September 5 said, “The nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary reminds us that God is faithful to his promises. In Mary, God has prepared a living temple where His Son, made flesh, wanted to live among us and give us salvation.”
St Mary’s Basilica is one of the oldest churches in Bengaluru and the first Church in the state that has been elevated to the status of a minor Basilica. St Mary’s feast is famous and it attracts thousands of people from the entire region of Bengaluru. The Basilica has a history of over 400 years.
Today, the Holy Mass and prayers will be offered from morning 4 am until the Chariot procession bearing the holy image of Blessed Virgin Mary. The Chariot will be taken in a procession in and around Shivajinagar. The statue will be blessed by the Archbishop of Bengaluru, Peter Machado. Lakhs of people will throng the shrine from all walks of life just to be part of this event. There will be two solemn Eucharistic Celebrations in the morning at the Russel Market Square at 8 am and 9.30 pm.
Many people have attained healing through the intercession of Mother Mary. The Statue of Our Lady which is at the main entrance of the Shrine is known as the miraculous statue. When the church was attacked in 1832, everything was destroyed except this small statue. It was said that when they tried to pull it down, they were struck blind. Soon, the police came and restored it just before they set fire to the church.
Ronald Vinod, a devotee said, “I have been coming to the church since seven years, I consider Mother Mary as my own Mother. I cannot share all my feelings and difficulties with others. I find peace in the company of Mother Mary. I have received countless blessings from her and I believe in her grace and protection.”
Teresa Antony, another devotee said, “Whenever I have any issues, I pray to her and I have seen everything going smoothly. I have six sons and it was not easy to raise them. Mother Mary was my consolation and strength.”
Fr Rony Joseph Coutinho, Assistant Parish Priest of St. Annes Church Marathahalli on Friday during sermon said, “For many of us the feast of Mother Mary might end here itself on September 8 and we begin our normal life. Jesus Christ desires our life should be a feast not just for eight days but every day of the year. Mother Mary is the key to understand the entire history of salvation. God had planned before the foundation of the world who will be the Mother of Jesus. Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ.”
He further said, “Mother Mary willingly said yes to the will of God. She is not only the mother of Jesus Christ but is also our mother. When Jesus was dying on the cross, Jesus called one of his disciples and said, “Behold your mother” and so Mary is our Mother. Let us turn to her in our every need.”
During the week there were special masses and prayers, for the sick and golden Jubilarians of married people. Mass Marriages were also organized on Sunday at the 10 am and 11 am Masses.