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Annual St. Mary's Feast begins

Special Correspondent

The 10-day festival culminates with a chariot procession



A FEAST FOR THE EYES: Fireworks illuminating the St. Mary's Basilica in Bangalore on Tuesday when the flag was hoisted to mark the beginning of St. Mary's Feast. — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Bangalore: The annual St. Mary's Feast began on Tuesday in Shivajinagar with the traditional flag hoisting. The festival goes on for 10 days culminating in a grand procession.

St. Mary's Basilica can trace its origins to the early colonial days when the area was known as Bili Akki Palli or simply, Blackpalli. The church was then called "Kaanike Mathe Devalaya" or Our Lady of Presentation and the present structure dates back to 1882. The worshippers now refer to Mother Mary enshrined there as Arogya Mathe or Mother of Health. The annual feast is celebrated on September 8 the day on which the Roman Catholic Church the world over rejoices in the birth of Mother Mary.

A nine-day Novena is held from August 30 till September 7. Holy mass are offered in Kannada, English and Tamil from 5.30 a.m. till 8.30 p.m.On September 3, the church will celebrated the 124th year of its consecration with mass marriages of needy couples at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. with the ceremony conducted in Kannada and Tamil. The same afternoon, there will be two thanksgiving masses for couples who have been married for 50 years.

On the day of the feast, there will be two Eucharistic Celebrations at the Russell Market Square at 8 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. In the evening, the decorated chariot with the image of Mother Mary will start from the church and go through Meenakshi Koil Street, Shivaji Circle, Shivaji Road, Broadway, F. Noronha Road and return to the church, drawn and accompanied by devotees.

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