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Vailankanni is a small town on the southeast coast of India on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. It is situated about 200 miles south of the city of Chennai. Everyday hundreds of devotees of Our Blessed Mother Mary come here from near and far to pay homage to her in this magnificent Shrine Basilica Of Our Lady Of Good Health, Vailankanni. Some come here seeking a miracle for whatever desease or affliction that they or a loved one may be suffering from. Many come here to thank the Blessed Mother for favors recieved or to simply fulfil a promise to make a pilgrimage to honour her. Upwards of 5 million devotees come to Vailankanni each year, making it one of the most visited Marian shrines in the world. The 10 day feast Celebrating the birthday of Our Blessed Mother from August 29 to September 9 draws hundreds of thousands of devotees each day who pour into Vailankanni by train, busses and other modes of transportation. But in what is perhaps the biggest show of devotion and unique to Vailankanni, hundreds of devotees make the trip entirely on foot from their homes some as far away as 300 miles. They travel in small groups carrying their meager supply of food on their heads, with small children in tow, some pulling beautiful colourful floats decorated with lights and the statue of Our Blessed Mother. They travel for days, most often at night when the weather is cooler. They are an awe inspiring sight to behold on the dark dusty roads approaching Vailankanni. So, when and how did this devotion to our Blessed Mother begin here in Vailankanni ? Three miracles that took place here in the mid 16th century are responsible for making Vailankanni one of the most holy and most visited catholic pilgrimage center in India and one of the most important Marian shrine in the world. The first miracle and apparition of Our Blessed Mother Mary with infant Jesus in her arms was to a poor boy delivering milk in Vailankanni The second apparition was a short time later when Our Blessed Mother appeared to a lame boy selling buttermilk and cures him so he is able to walk. The third was the miraculous rescue of a ship full of Portuguese sailors who were sailing from Macau in China to Ceylon now known as Sri Lanka and are caught in a violent hurricane in the Bay of Bengal. Fearing for their life they beseech Our Blessed Mother Mary to save them and promise to build a church in her honour wherever they might land safely. Soon afterwards the storm subsides and they land near Vailankanni. In keeping with their promise the sailors build the church right at the spot on the beach in Vailankanni where they had landed. The modest church they built still stands today and in 1962 it has been upgraded to a Shrine Basilica and welcomes millions of Our Blessed Mother Mary’s devotees every year. What was once a tiny little fishing village has been transformed into what is perhaps one of the top five catholic shrines in the world. Click Here To Watch “ Vailankanni The Lourdes Of The East “ As seen on EWTN Global TV Network and get to know the whole inspiring story
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The Lourdes Of The East Vailankanni