More than 13,000 people on Sunday attended the feast of a new Marian shrine in the Kandhamal district of Odisha, an eastern Indian state.
“Mother Mary loves us all. She wants us to grow in faith, love and affection,” said Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, who was the main celebrant for the feast Mass at Mother Mary of Partomah, a substation of Daringbadi parish. The parish is under the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar in Odisha.
Around 30 priests and about 25 nuns attended the feast day Mass at the shrine situated on a mountain.
The bishop urged the faithful to pray, fast and abstain from comforts and pleasure “in our spiritual journey.” He noted that the feast fell on the first week of lent, the 40-day period of fast and prayer for Christians before Easter.
The archbishop said the Blessed Virgin “is ever ready to intercede” for the people of Kandhamal, who in 2008 suffered the worst anti-Christian violence of modern India. (mattersindia)