History of the Vailankanni Shrine in Besant Nagar
Our Lady of Vailankanni Church was a subbranch of St Louis Church in the year 1971.Later the Parish Priest, St Louis Church, Adyar and a great Missionary started Our Lady of Vailankanni Church. In 1973, The bishop of Madras Rev Dr R Arulappa, erected it as a separate Parish. The imposing 97 feet bell was declared open by the Chief Minister on 27th August 1972. On 15th August 1985, a bigger Church was blessed and consecrated by Archbishop Most Rev Dr R Arulappa. By the efforts of Rev Fr PJ Lawrence Raj, several extensions and re innovations were made to this Shrine. A wonderful community hall, stalls, Museum and class rooms were constructed later. In May 2000, nearly 8 grounds were purchased and a beautiful stage was built and dedicated to Jubilee 2000. In 2001, a small Chapel for the blessed Sacrament was built. In 2002 a picture depicting the miracles of Our Lady of vailankanni / Good Health was created. In 2003, Mother Mary's Square and Reconciliation Chapel was constructed. From the year of 2000 to the year of 2003, three acres were purchased in which the new Convent building was constructed. During 8th September 2005 this Church was declared as a Shrine of the Archdiocese of Madrasby the Rev Dr AM Chinnappa SDB, Archbishop of Madras.
About the Vailankanni Shrine in Besant Nagar
This famous church was dedicated to Annai Vailankanni Our Lady of Good Health, Besant Nagar. This was originally built in 1972. The upper portion of the walls is covered with paintings on the conceptions of Our Lady of good Health. This was expanded in September 2000.Thousands of people visit this Shrine everyday. Visitors stand all day during the prayer to touch the feet of the Holy Mother's statue. Many miracles happened in this church and are still continuing today. On 15th August 1985, a larger Church was blessed and opened by the bishop Rev Dr R Arulappa. By the Rev Fr PJ Lawrence Raj, several extensions and buildings were made to this Shrine. There were awesome community hall, stalls, Museum and class room blocks stood constructed. In May 2000, nearly 8 acres were purchased and a beautiful stage was erected and dedicated to Jubilee 2000. In 2001 a small place for the Blessed Sacrament was built. In 2002 a picture depicting the miracles of Our Lady of Good Health was created. From the year of 2000 to the year of 2003, 3 acres were purchased in which the new Convent building was constructed. Fulfilling its mission, the Shrine is a place of worship, pilgrimage, evangelicalism and reconciliation. Devotees look at this church as a pilgrimage to visit it. It is possible to send Prayer request in this church. People look at it as an opportunity to organize a pilgrimage to this church. As a parish, the Shrine is the primary spirituous home of nearly 1,600 families. Thus it is a living community of faithfulness which tries hard to welcome some 200,000 visitors whom we receive each year. The Shrine has three Masses everyday and five hours of Confessions daily, the shrine also has Catholic Book Store to accommodate its visitors.This church started the mass which not only contains Roman Catholic Christians but also some of the Protestant Christians, Pentecostal Christians and the most frequently Hindus visit this church since many miracles happened in this church. People believe that once they pray in this church, their prayers are answered. So the devotees offer candles, flowers and garlands to respect the Holy Mother.
Vailankanni Shrine in Besant Nagar Surroundings:
Our Lady of Vailankanni Church is surrounded by Besant Nagar Beach. Devotees who visit the church leisure themselves in the beach after the mass in the church. Loads of beach side shops are available. The children who visit the church plays in the beach and enjoy their playing in the beach. Some of the children after their schoolings or in the summer holidays engage themselves in the works of the shop. During the feast time, the surroundings of the church would be engaged heavily. Some of the traffic rules would be changed during the festival times in the church.More than a thousand of devotees visit the church everyday. This becomes five times more during the festival times.
Many hotels are also available near the church. People coming to this church spend their time in the hotels and nearby shops. Bus facilities are available since this church is in the core of Besant Nagar.
1st Saturday: 6.30 am,10.30 am,12.00 noon, 5.45 pm -Tamil
1st Sunday: 4.00 am – Tamil
Every Saturday: 6.30 am, 11.00 am, 6.00 pm Tamil & 7.30 am – English
Every Sunday:6.15 am, 9.00 am ,12 noon – Tamil
Week days:7.45 am,6.30 pm – English
Every Second Sunday: 11.00 am – Malayalam
Chapel Timings : 7-00 am to 9.00 pm
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