On 9th July, at 10.00 am this morning, it was truly a thrill to ears, and awakening to heart as the gigantic Bells of Milagres Cathedral were chiming to invite the faithful to join them at 10.30 am to rejoice and raise their prayers to Almighty Lord through Patroness Mother Miracles…….As the announced time, approaching close, the artistic and spacious Church was full to its capacity, though it was raining heavily throughout the previous night and in the morning…..!
Traditionally, one of the best Choirs of the Diocese, a galaxy of talented singers and musicians, especially in these years, trained by the Rector V. Rev Fr Valerian Mendonca, was ready to take charge of the proceedings with well planned liturgy by assistant Vicar Fr Joy Andrade, for the day.
In the brief introduction, Feliciana Lewis outlined the significance of this feast and theme – ‘Do whatever he tells you….’ Mother Mary’s concern and persuasion prompted Jesus to perform first miracle in Cana in Galilee.
At 10.30 am, as the main celebrants of the Holy Eucharist led by the Bishop of Udupi Diocese, Rt Rev Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo and the host of priests from the deanery and neighbourhood climbed to the well decorated high altar of God to concelebrate the Holy Eucharist.
While breaking the word of God, Dominican priest, Rev Fr Peter Fernandes, conveyed the festal greetings. In the homily that followed, he narrated, ‘among many gifts given to us by Lord Jesus, two are the greatest – ‘Holy Eucharist and the gift Mother Mary to human kind, from the holy Cross’.
He beautifully related and reminded, as we recite litany of Mary with many titles and honours she deservedly decorated with every day’ Fr Fernandes continued, ‘the one such title is ‘arch of the covenant’, which housed three important priceless relics – tablets of ten commandment, pot of manna and Aaron’s rod in the Old testament similarly, in the New Testament Mother Mary was carrying Jesus in her womb….. followed him till Calvary…..”. He also focussed on the Hail Mary and Holy Mary prayers….especially’ pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death bed…..”
There was a time, not long ago, after the winding up of ploughing, sowing and related work…..normally in those days our predominantly agro-based catholic communities used to have sigh of relief and relax, within homes after hectic June….. Titular Feast of Mother Miracles on 9th July, every year was an opportunity in these surroundings to come together as there were some close and distant relatives normally used to be there in Kallianpur for almost all families in the half of the Vicariate.
In those days, festal Holy Mass used to be during wee hours 7.00 or 8.00 am, in the Church, only those guests who were reached on the previous evening had the privilege of participating in the grand Mass. However, it was a practice not to miss the Festal Lunch with families, extended one, friends etc.
After the Thanks giving Holy Mass, the Rector of the Cathedral V Rev Fr Valerian Mendonca, acknowledged the gracious presence of Bishop and Guest Priests and expressed gratitude’s for making it to be part of the celebration. Pirjent Family – A J DSilva who were generous to sponsor the event for the record 77 years were recognised and as a mark of respect presented with a decorated Candle, along with many others who volunteered their help and contributions….
Bishop conveyed the festal greetings and gave a call to live in the spirit of helping each other in need as these virtues profoundly lived and demonstrated by the Patron of the Diocese and Cathedral Mother Mary…..he reminded.
One of the few Feasts which never lost its historical significance for generations together is Titular Feast of Mother Miracles, though almost all churches have Patrons’ Feast day in June to August Few such celebrations – Feast of John the Baptist, 23rd June, Feast of St Peter & Paul on 29th June, St Thomas, 3rd July, Feast of St Anthony, 13th June….Sts Joachim and Anna on 26th July…………..as every patron of the respective parish was close to their parishioners. Normally the copper smith and those working as artisans in Ghat and Mysore used to descend to native on a long rainy holiday….
In these days of busy schedules, these feasts rightly gives an opportunity to come together and renew family bonds as we witnessed people exchanging greetings long after the religious service in the church.
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