Mangaluru: “The vicinity of Bikarnakatte, in the east of Mangalore city, wears festive mood from the first week of January every year till 14th Jan, being the Annual Feast of Infant Jesus at the Infant Jesus Shrine. Many people from nearby and faraway places visit the shrine during the Novena days and on Festival day January 14th. In preparation for the feast on January 14, 9 days of Novena Prayers will be conducted from January 5th to 13th” said Rev Fr Joe Tauro- Superior of Infant Jesus Shrine during the press meet held at Mangalore Press Club.
He further said, “Miracle Hill – Carmel Hill” – The history of this place dates back to about 60 years. The Carmelite priests from Belgium had set their foot on the barren hilly place called “Bangera Padav’, Bikarnakatte, coming within the jurisdiction of Holy Cross Church, Kulshkear, Mangalore. This place filled with stones, was dug by the priests and they never had the slightest idea, that this place would one day be changed to famous and popular Shrine for the people of near and far away places. But the miracle did happen. This barren land was developed and is known as “Carmel Hill” among all the walks of people. And many people visit this place now, which was earlier barren and not inhabited. The place which was treated as not useful, has now become “Holy Place” on account of much goodness that it has brought to the people; and that is why it is called as Infant Jesus Shrine”
“Grants whatever asked – Infant Jesus of Prague”
“The more you honour me, the more I will bless you”, was the assurance of Infant Jesus to the Carmelite monks. This message has spread throughout the world. Those who came to him in faith and trust never went back with empty hands; they did experience his goodness and healing miracles. Jesus who was born as an ordinary humble and simple infant has become the source of inspiration to the entire mankind. He has become very famous throughout the world under the title of “Devotion of Infant Jesus of Prague”.
“New Shrine at Bikarnakatte – New Architectural Design”
The day, 11-1-1996 was the golden day in the annals of the history of the shrine. The late Bishop of Mangalore Dr Basil D’Souza had blessed the Shrine. The devotees who enter this shrine feel the serenity of this place. The image of the Infant Jesus gives encouragement and blessings from his hands. Those who come to him to seek his blessings and favours are the witnesses to his miracles and the member of devotees is not less than 1000 a day.
The Statue of Infant Jesus kept for veneration at the Shrine, attracts good many people of Mangalore for the last 18 years. The shrine has been designed based on the old and New Testament preaching’s; besides it has incorporated Indian Architectural design. The five pillars of the shrine indicate the five fingers of God and his hand. It denotes that the world is safe in his hands. The Dome and the Cross on the top of the dome, proclaims his Divine Majesty.
The Holy Mass in English and Konkani are held daily and in Malayalam language on Monday at the Shrine. Every Thursday the Novena prayers and Masses are held. The Konkani Novena 6 times and English Novena once on Thursdays. The Annual Feast of Infant Jesus held this year on January 14th at 6 p.m. with Solemn Mass by the Bareilly Bishop Dr Ignatius D’Souza, who will be main celebrant. The masses will be held from 6 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and novena up to 1.30 p.m. in Kannada on the Festival Day. In preparation for the Annual Festival, the Novena Prayers, Holy Mass will be held from January 5th to 14th January 2015.
Fr Elias D’souza- Director of the Shrine, Fr Antony Barnabas Monis- Asst Director, Stanly Bantwal and Elias Fernandes- Media co-orinators were also present during the meet.