Annual Feast of Our Lady of Health Celebrated at Harihar
Davangere: History has it from time immemorial that according to the tradition a Brahmin, while taking a bath, accidentally fell into the swelling river Tungabhadra on whose banks Harihar is now situated.
Being on the verge of drawing and in great fear of death, he saw the floating statue of Our Lady of Health and caught hold of it, and that eventually saved his life. Thereafter on reaching home, his wife and children, on touching the statue of Our Lady of Health, were miraculously and providentially healed of their diseases – tuberculosis and paralysis respectively.
Then onwards he dedicated himself completely to the service of Our Lady and his house to the glory of the Mother. Soon after his death, he was laid to rest in a place where his house existed. Later on, that same house was converted into a church, which is situated on the banks of the River Tungabhadra. This Shrine has been frequented by the people of Karnataka, irrespective of caste, language and religion. No doubt, it can surely be called the “Vailankanni of Karnataka”. Then in 1833 Fr Bigot is reported to have built a prayer hall in Harihar.
During the feast, the original statue of the Mother is installed in a place adjacent to the church. People form a queue spreading around 2 to 3 kilometers waiting patiently for their turn to have a darshan of the mother, holding coconut, candles, flowers and offerings with an intention to keep them at the foot of the mother .
Harihar is a town situated in Davangere district of Karnataka. Erstwhile Mysuru Kings, followed by the British. Harihar though belonging to Mysuru state was part of Chitradurga Division. Later on in 1875 AD, the British Government brought together a few adjacent villages under Harihar and formed it a taluk centre with the establishment of a taluk office.
The theme for the feast of our lady of health – Our path and the Image of God’s Mercy. The festal celebration commenced with the flag hoisting on 30 August, 2016 at 5:30pm by H S Shivashankar (Regional MLA), followed by Holy Eucharistic celebration by Fr Jesurakshakanadhan. The novenas were held from 30 August to 7 September 2016 at 5:30pm along with the Recitation of the rosary in procession, Novena prayers, floral homage, and celebration of Holy Eucharist with a sermon.
On September 7, the concelebrated High mass was in Kannada at 5:30pm by Dr Robert Miranda (Bishop of Gulbarga). The Audio CD –Daya Maya Yesu and Video CD-Karuneya Kadalu was released by Dr Robert Miranda (Bishop of Gulbarga). The Eucharistic celebration was followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and prayer service for the sick by Fr Roman Pinto, Br T K George and Br William D’Souza. The prayer service was continued on 8 September as well.
The feast of our lady of health was celebrated on 8 September 2016. The feast day began with the celebration of Holy mass from 5:30am onwards in various languages like Tamil, Kannada, Konkani, Telugu English and the Holy mass in Malayalam (Syro Malabar Rite) was celebrated by Rev Dr Joseph Arumachadath, along with Adoration of the Holy Sacrament at 2:30pm.
The festive mass was in Kannada at 11:30am concelebrated by Dr Francis Serrao SJ (Bishop of Shivamogga).
In the evening the chariot decorated with Chrysanthemum was blessed by Fr Franklin D’Souza (Parish Priest) at 5:00pm and was taken in procession in the prominent streets of Harihar town. As the procession moved people belonging to the other religions stood on either side to have a Darshan of the Mother and receive blessings. The roads were cleaned and decorated with rangoli.
Thousands of devotees received the special graces and blessings showered on them and their families through the Devotion of Mother Mary.
Lakhs of devotees of Mother Mary flocked together with all their petitions and thanksgiving for the favours they received .
On September 9 celebration of Holy Eucharist was celebrated in Kannada at 8:00am and 11:00am for the intentions of the people living in the vicinity.
News & Pics: Vincent Mascarenhas, Moodbidri