Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 05 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Nuntius Sulprizio
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Indian Migrants in Holy Land Prepare for Marian Feast

World Bank / Curt Carnemark

Antonio Gonsalves - Catholic News Agency - published on 08/05/13

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

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.”

Originally published by Catholic News Agency on 2 August 2013.

Tags:
CatholicismVirgin Mary
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
3
THE CHOSEN
Matthew Becklo
Yes, ‘The Chosen’ is that good—and just keeps getting...
4
SAINT JOSEPH
Elizabeth Lev
St. Joseph, master of the “Art of Dying Well”
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
SAINT JOSEPH
Philip Kosloski
How to pray the Chaplet of St. Joseph
7
MOTHER MARY
Cerith Gardiner
7 Ways to strengthen your relationship with the Virgin Mary
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.