Mangaluru: The Annual Feast of Infant Jesus was celebrated with the Theme of ‘Unite the Hearts, Build a Healthy Society’, at 6 pm at the Infant Jesus Shrine, Carmel Hill, Bikarnakatte here, on January 14.
A large number of devotees attended the festive mass at the shrine, devotees offered prayers to seek divine intervention and blessings. Masses were held throughout the day in different languages, devotees were seen flocking the church since morning.
The Solemn Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Bhopal Dr Leo Cornelio along with Provincial OCD, Fr Charles Serrao, Superior Fr Joe Tauro, Director of the Shrine Fr Elias and other priests. Masses in Konkani, Malayalam and Kannada were held from 6:00 am. to 1:45 pm. In preparation for the Annual Feast, 9-day Novena Prayers were held from January 5. This year on January 15, thanksgiving mass will be held at 10:30am at the Shrine. Inner Healing Prayer Service will be held at 5:00 pm and there will be a Konkani Mass at 6:00 pm.
Archbishop Dr Leo Cornelio stitched the broken heart as a symbol of the theme “Unite the Hearts, Build a healthy society”.
Archbishop Dr Leo Cornelio in his homily said that 2015 passed, we have started the new year and we are celebrating the feast of Infant Jesus at the Carmel Hills. Infant Jesus has made the people to visit the Carmel hill from all over the world and he has united our hearts with the theme “Unite the Hearts, Build a Healthy Society”. It is a very good theme of the festival. Recalling the quote of St Vincent, the Archbishop said, “Our hearts are made for you Lord and they are restless until they rest in you”. He further said that in 2014, there was only a cry of development but within 18 months we now hear about intolerance. In our country we fight in the name of religion, whoever raises their voice against the injustice they have been killed or tortured. The world was built on trust and brotherhood but now it is disappeared.
He also said, “When we are disappointed, Jesus says “Do not be afraid I am with you always”. Recalling the quote of Pope Francis, Archbishop said, “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just. I believe that if we want to be happy, compassion is something that we should practise daily. We need to think about how we can alleviate the sufferings of others. Not just sometimes, but most of the times, I think that by doing that we can become happier. Happiness comes with empathy, we all think we have some form of empathy, but often we are just thinking of ourselves. When we start to relate to others we start to have empathy for our community. Once you have found empathy for a person, you think of the best you want for that person and obviously you don’t want to see the person suffer for any reason”.
While concluding the Archbishop said that instead of going against anyone we have to show mercy to others. When our Father is merciful, we have to be merciful to our neighbours and the society. Infant Jesus is blessing all of us and he is uniting all of us. Let all the devotees be the channels of forgiveness where there is anger, love where there is hatred and unite everyone’s hearts to build a healthy society.