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Sep. 9: The Feast of Shrine of Our Lady of Health, Harihar was celebrated with grandeur and pomp on 8th September at Harihar. Around 3 lakh pilgrims flooded to participate in the Liturgical Events of the day at the Shrine from the Karnataka as well as outside states of Karnataka. The Shrine of Our Lady of health attracts lakhs of devotees throughout the year. Tradition has it that a Brahmin priest while having a bath was miraculously saved from drowning by the statue of our Lady. Later even his ailing wife and children were saved by this miraculous statue. The Brahmin and his family started to venerate the statue as "Satyamma (Mother of Truth)." The brahmin and his family remained faithful to this Marian devotion till their very last breath. As years went by, priests from the nearing town recognized the statue as the statue of our Lady. Thus, the devotion to Mary spread among the faithful in and around Harihar. Many receive special graces such as Childless have received Children, sick have regained Health, Healing and so on after visiting and praying at the Shrine. Over the years, this shrine has become a refuge for all the distressed and dejected.

This year, His Grace Rev. Dr Peter Machado (Archbishop, Archdiocese of Bangalore) presided over the solemn Eucharistic celebration on the eve of the feast. Archbishop was felicitated by Bishop Francis Serrao Sj (Bishop of Shimoga) and Fr Anthony Peter, the Rector of the Shrine. Fr Franklin D' Souza and Bro T K George released a Christian devotional album, “Devara Vakyave Yesu” and three year's planner(2019-2021). The Yesu Sparsha team conducted Praise and Worship, Adoration and Healing prayers after the mass on 7 September at 4pm and 8pm. On 8 September the celebration of the Holy Eucharist began at 5:30 am It was offered by Fr Anthony Peter, the Rector of the Shrine. The Eucharistic Celebrations were held in all the south Indian languages (Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, English and Konkani) one after the other. Most Rev. Dr Robert Miranda (Bishop, Diocese of Gulbarga) rendered his services by offering Masses in English and Konkani. The festal mass was at 11:30am It was offered by our beloved Bishop Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao Sj. It was concelebrated by Most Rev. Dr Robert Miranda and more than fifty priests from our diocese and elsewhere. The heavenly choir raised our hearts and minds to the Lord. Most Rev. Dr Francis SerraoSj preached a meaningful homily. He stressed the need to strengthen our relationship in this globalized world. He spoke about four kinds of relationships, emotional, trusting, spiritual and sacrificial. He insisted that as Christians, we need to keep growing in relationship with God, our neighbors, and our creation. After the Holy Eucharist, the bishops released a Christian devotional album named “Jagadolavina Thayi, Harihara Matha". Stickers of Harihar Matha and Novena book of Marian Devotion were also released to commemorate the silver jubilee of the new church building. The flower decorated car procession, carrying the statue of Harihar Matha was blessed and taken around the town. The sitting MLA Mr Ramappa and the Ex-MLA B P Harish also participated devoutly in the procession. The faithful recited rosary and sang hymns in honor of Mother Mary. The festal celebrations came to conclusion with a Thanksgiving Eucharist offered by Fr Anthony Peter, the Rector of the Shrine.

We thank the Lord for his blessings, his constant guidance during these days. We also thank the parishioners of the Shrine for co-operating whole heartedly in planning and executing the various responsibilities during the days of Novena and also on the Festal Day. We thank them for making this feast a memorable one. We remain indebted to our fellow priests and sisters from various parishes and religious orders who have slogged day and night to make this feast a grand success. We thank the devotees all over the world for their constant support through prayers.  Lakhs of devotees irrespective of their religion came here, believed and have received the graces from God. Let many more find their faith and return to God. As we bask in the love of God, let our mantra be, “For all that has been thanks. For all that shall be, yes".

Harihar Matha Pray for us.

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