Infant Jesus Shrine Bikkarnakatte Celebrates Fulanchem Fest
Mangaluru: With great joy and festivity, Infant Jesus Shrine, Bikkarnakatte, solemnized the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The feast of the Monti Saibinn is rather very close to the hearts of Manglorean Catholics, and indeed the August day witnessed the participation of an enormous congregation.
As has been the custom, the feast day was preceded by nine days of novena. This year, Carmelite Brothers preached short reflections on the various titles of Mary, for each of the nine days. The little ones, listened attentively to the reflection, before offering flowers to Mary’s statue, at the singing of Moriye Hogolsiya!
Monti feast is also seen as a harvest festival – a time of plenitude. To share with the needy, the blessings we have received, an innovative idea of offering specific items on each day of novena was met with generous response. Thus, the faithful brought sugar, grains, oil, wheat flour, rice, snacks and soap which were distributed to the underprivileged. What more to please heaven, when we fulfil the command to love one’s neighbour?
The liturgy commenced at the Grotto of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with the blessing of the new corn. On the Fulanchem Fest, after offering flowers to Mary, everyone moved in procession to the Shrine, to thank God for the most beautiful flower in his garden: Mary!
“While the Mother is honoured, the Son is rightly known, loved and glorified” (LG 66); indeed, through Mary, to Jesus. The Eucharistic Celebration was the climax of the solemnity. This year the festal Mass was presided over by Rev. Fr. Melvin DCunha, the Superior of St Joseph’s Monastery. In his homily, Fr Stifan Perera, the Director of the Shrine, elaborated on how to be a flower that is pleasing to Mother Mary. The flowers that we brought have decayed and gone. Then what is that flower that Mary is happy with? Making the Congregation think over the words of Sokkad Sangata Mellya a popular hymn that is sung during the Novena he invited the faithful to imbibe the qualities of a flower and adorn oneself with Christian virtues. The Sanctuary was adorned by the presence of Frs Gregory DSouza, Walter Lobo and Michael Morris.
The faithful generously came forward to sponsor sweets to the tiny ones each day of the novena. The kids gleefully cherished the sweets. On the day of the feast, sugarcane sweetened everyone’s hearts, as the entire community rejoiced at the Birth of Mary, and the celebration of the Family Feast.
The 10 days were indeed a radiant time of togetherness, unity and family spirit. May Mary, who cooperated with God, by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity, enkindle in us too, the same virtues which glorified her in God’s sight.