Bangalore, India, Sep 4, 2013 / 15:23 pm
Huge crowds started gathering in Bangalore, India, last week, as the city's novena leading up to the Nativity of Mary began with the city's archbishop raising a Marian flag in prayer.
"The Virgin Mary is the Mother of God and also our heavenly mother, and thus people tend to venerate her motherly affection and dress her in local culture as their mother," said Father J. Sandhayagu, administrator of St. Mary's Basilica in the capital of the south-western Indian state of Karnataka.
The statue of Mary found in the basilica is daily dressed in an elaborate sari, often laced with gold thread and jewelry, offered as a fulfillment of vows.
"The Nativity of Mary is an important feast for the Archdiocese of Bangalore," Fr. Sandhayagu continued. He told CNA on Aug. 30 that millions of people, irrespective of culture and religion, flock to participate at the city's Marian novena.