Devotion to Our Lady is growing worldwide

Stories of decline, church closures and a shortage of priests are a regular feature of Catholic life in our generation. Despite the apparent gloom there is one area where there seems to be new growth: devotion to Our Lady.

Several months ago I wrote about the exciting and encouraging developments that are taking place at our own national shrine at Walsingham.

It seems that Walsingham is not being renewed in isolation. Shrines of Our Lady around the world are experiencing new growth and interest from a fresh generation of pilgrims who are seeking our Lady’s intercession. Here are some of the lesser known shrines where the future looks very hopeful.

The Basilica and Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, south India

Often referred to as the Lourdes of the East, devotion to Our Lady at Velankanni can be traced back to the mid-16th century. The foundation of the shrine is attributed to three miracles and apparitions of Our Lady and the Child Jesus.

The accounts of the apparitions have been handed down by oral tradition and have not received approval of The Holy See.

The original chapel was a simple thatched building which was built by Portuguese sailors as a thanksgiving. The present main church building has a strikingly gothic exterior and is painted brilliant white which ensures that it stands prominently within its surroundings.

The Church was granted the status of a minor basilica by Pope John XIII in 1962.

One unique focus of devotion is Our Lady’s pool. Some time during the 16th century, Our Lady with her infant son was reported to have appeared to a Hindu boy carrying milk to a customer’s home.

Our Lady asked for milk for her Son. On reaching the customer’s home, the boy apologised for his lateness and explained why he had less milk than when he set off. Continue reading

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News category: Features.

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