Loading
Indian migrants in Holy Land prepare for Marian feast
By Antonio Anup Gonsalves
Indians at Marian Procession in the Holy Land. Credit: Friar Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu OFM.
Indians at Marian Procession in the Holy Land. Credit: Friar Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu OFM.

.- Preparations for the Feast of the Nativity of Mary this September are already underway in the Holy Land, particularly among Indian migrant workers.

“Mother Mary is revered with great devotion by the Indian community as a mother and a spiritual figure of maternal protection,” said Friar Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu OFM, head of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land.

She is acknowledged as the “protector and patroness” of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land because she is a “model” for the migrants, he told CNA.

He noted that the Holy Family took refuge in Egypt for safety and settled for livelihood in Nazareth, and that Jesus carried out his apostolic mission in Judea, Galilee and Jerusalem.

Many Indian Catholic migrant workers “seek grace and invoke (Mary's) motherly protection,” he said.

The feast of the Nativity of Mother Mary falls on Sunday, September 8, which is a working day in Israel. Therefore, the feast is being celebrated this year the previous day, which is a weekend holiday.

According to Friar Pitchaimuthu, the September 7 celebration is expected to draw more than 3,000 migrant workers and pilgrims to Jaffa, Israel.

Catholics from coastal part of Western India popularly call the feast day “Monti Fest,” a time to celebrate the harvest with family and thank God for the fruits of the crops.

As part of the celebration, a novena will begin on August 30, kicking off a week of meditations and intercessory prayers leading up to the feast day.

A large, colorful procession will begin at 5 p.m. in Jaffa, followed by Mass celebrated by H.B. Fouad Boutros Ibrahim Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

“There will then be blessing of harvested new grain, followed by a fellowship dinner,” said Friar Pitchaimuthu.

The friar explained that the Marian feast day is particularly important in the Indian context because of its relation to other faiths.

Members of other religions, including Hindus and Muslims, “regard Marian devotions in esteem,” he said.

Thousands of devotees – both Catholics and non-Catholics – flock every week to the Marian apparition site at Velankanni, near Chennai in South India, and other shines that have recorded various miracles, he said. 

In this way, the friar explained, “Marian devotion also leads to a platform for inter-religious dialogue.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Synod on the Family October 2014
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Paintings of Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII
Jul
22

Liturgical Calendar

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:24-43

Gospel
Date
07/20/14
07/19/14
07/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Mic 7: 14-15, 18-20

Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 12:38-42

Homily
Date
07/21/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: