Bishops from Beltangady and Mangaluru grace 4th Day Annual Feast of Attur Basilica

Bishops from Beltangady and Mangaluru grace 4th Day Annual Feast of Attur Basilica

Karkala: Thousands of devotees have been visiting the holy shrine of St. Lawrence Basilica Attur-Karkala since Sunday, 27 January on the occasion of the annual feast being held for five days up to 31 January.

On Wednesday devotees made a beeline to the basilica causing traffic snarls. As the parking places could not accommodate the vehicles that were streaming into the shrine complex, many were forced to park them one to two kilometres away by the side of the road and walk all the way to the shrine and back.

There have been masses at regular intervals from Sunday in Konkani and Kannada. On Wednesday, there were 11 Masses.

Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese Con-celebrated the festive mass in Konkani language at 10:30 am while Dr Lawrence Mukkuzy, Bishop of Beltangady Diocese con-celebrated the Kannada mass at 6:00 pm.

Bishop of Udupi, Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo will celebrate the feast mass in honour of Our Lady of Guide in Konkani at 10:00 am on Thursday, 31 January.

Towards the end of every mass, prayers for the sick are being recited and blessings imparted. Following the end of the mass, the priests con-celebrating the respective masses place their hands on the head of each individual coming in line and pray for them.

The atmosphere at St. Lawrence Shrine has been that of devotion, reverence and festivities. Devotees of St. Lawrence, like in previous years have been arriving not only from different parts of Udupi and Mangaluru dioceses but also from other districts and even from Kerala and Tamilnadu. Hundreds of devotees were seen spending the night under the pandal in front of the shrine. LED TV arrangement has been made in order to enable the devotees who could not find a place inside the shrine to participate in the Mass.

There have been continuous lines to venerate the holy relic of St. Lawrence and the ‘Statue of Miracle’. From there the devotees enter the old shrine and pray to the saint for the favours received from him and with petitions. People of different religions were seen offering their prayers with great reverence and awe.

Devotees were seen burning the candles in front of the statue of St. Lawrence and queuing up to receive flowers and holy oil. They also make their way to the holy pond of ‘Pushkarini’ and do their offerings there.

An arrangement for confessions has been made in the building under construction. Large numbers of volunteers have been helping the devotees at various spots of veneration to the Saint of Miracles. Police are seen regulating the traffic, movement of the devotees and maintaining law and order. In spite of the huge crowds milling around the shrine, there has been excellent discipline and reverence in the holy place.