Editor’s Column
Web Editor’s Column

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 7:40 AM

Very.Rev.Fr.A.M.A.Prabakar

         
          Greetings of joy, peace and love from the Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Vailankanni. As the Rector of the Shrine Basilica, I am immensely happy to talk to you through this wonderful media. Indeed, I think it is a privilege offered to me by our Mother of Good Health to speak to you over this media wherever you are. I thank God and our Blessed Mother of Health for bringing us together.

            I hope that this website would fully quench the thirst of billions of devotees of the Mother of Vailankanni all over the world. I also thank all the devotees of all over the world for expressing their valuable suggestions through this Shrine website from all the parts of the world.

         I also hope that all the devotees of the Mother of Vailankanni get all the information and the activities of the Shrine through this powerful media especially devotees living outside the country.

        The month of August is something special for our nation and our Church in India and for each one of us. It is special to our nation, because of our patriots, who through their self-giving and perseverance, and effort we got independence on August, 15th, 1947. Through their valuable services and self-sacrifice, we are happy and now breath fresh air on our soil.  It is also special day for our Church, because, the solemnity of Our Lady of Assumption falls on the same day. Therefore, it is a day of double joy for the Indian Christians. Besides, There is also one more special joy for all the devotees of Arokiya Matha without the distinction of caste and creed. It is our annual  Flag hoisting day of the Shrine Basilica of Vailankanni on 29th, August, as the custom of the Shrine.   And lakhs and lakhs of devotees are gathered around our Lady of Good Health to participate and pray with great devotion and piety. 
       
         Mother Mary was the one who has experienced the Mercy of God in its fullness.The reason is: the reality before the birth of Jesus Christ was that the Jewish women were waiting and expecting themselves individually for the coming of the Messiah and expected that he would be  born from any one of them. But God chose Mary to be the mother of the messiah and he would be born from her immaculate womb. The Angel Gabriel greeted Mary, ‘Hail full of Grace’. She might have been delighted and happy to hear this heavenly greeting. She was protected from the stain of the original sin. And this is called the Immaculate Conception of Our Mother Mary. Though she gave birth to Jesus Christ, yet she is a virgin because there was no human intervention in the birth of Jesus. Since God was always on her side, she also stood on God’s side in all her trials and difficulties, painful situations like journey from Nazareth to Bethelhem, loss of Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem, and also in his trials and temptations in the garden of Gethsemane. 
Mother Mary is the merciful mother. Whenever we come to Vailankanni Shrine, we have been hearing the three miracles took place at Vailankanni.  They are, the apparition of Mother Mary to a milk a boy; and second a buttermilk vendor, and the third; to the distressed sailors from Portugal, caught in a heavy storm. Of all these miracles Mother of Good Health reflected God’s mercy towards her children. According to the needs of the people, she intercedes for them. She reflects God’s  Mercy towards the humanity in all Her apparition took place in any part of the world like that of Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe and Medjugorje etc.  St. Ambrose says,” Where Mercy is shown, there God exists”. Therefore, we could see in all her apparitions, Mother Mary reflects  God’s Mercy toward the humanity and calls them to repent for their sins. I am happy to share with all our devotees of Arokia Matha,this famous legend: 

         Peter the apostle was standing in front of the gate of heaven guiding the people entering heaven after their fruitful living in this world. According to the merits of good or evil actions of the people, he was sending them either to heaven or to hell. He was very strict in sending the people in heaven. Suddenly, Jesus came and asked Peter,” Why do you send so many people in heaven without due merit”. Peter replied, “I send only very few, but Your Mother is sending many people through the back door”. This story explains how Our Mother shows her mercy towards all people and helps them to enter in heaven. I would like to quote a passage from the Gospel of John,  {Jn. 2.1-10}, where we read the marriage feast of Cana of Galilee. Mother Mary and her Son Jesus, 
with his disciples were present in the marriage hall. All were happy while the father of the family of the feast was upset because of the lack of necessary wine. Mother Mary played a very important role and asked her Son to do something in the crucial moment. Not only in Cana but also in our daily life, she plays a vital role by interceding to her Son. St. Bernard says,” no one is abandoned from the hands of Mother”. She continues to be so loving and merciful mother to intercede for her children.
  
          Dear devotees, I promise that all your petitions are placed in the hands of our loving mother during the prayer services and in the Mass. Believe that the ever gracious Mother will grant your wishes. There is nobody who is left empty handed and unaided who has sought the loving help of the ever compassionate Mother of Vailankanni.

           Dear devotees, you are welcome to make your pilgrimage to the Shrine Basalica of Vailankanni. Beside taking part in the Masses and Prayer Services in the Shrine and having fulfilled your vows, do not forget to spare some of your valuable time for Prayer before the Eucharistic Lord in the Adoration Chapel where the adoration is done round the clock. You can very well sit and pray silently for hours in this chapel during day or night. 
Mother Mary is the model and example for all of us.  She not only sang the beautiful hymn, “His Mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation” (Lk. 1:50), but also, She extended her helping hand towards Elizabeth who was in need of help. The journey of Mother Mary to Elizabeth for showing the Lord’s Mercy continues today in Vailankanni to each and every one of us as we with faith and confidence look for her protection. As Vailankanni is called the   Lourdes of East, where Mother Mary appeared and showed the Lord’s Mercy to a milk boy, a butter milk vendor and the Portuguese sailors. Therefore, I wish and pray for the devotees of Arokia Madha to experience this Mercy of the Lord here and be at home here.

         I wish you once again, may the Year of Mercy be meaningful, meritorious, fruitful to all of us. Let us be ready to extend our hands towards our neighbours, as Mother Mary did.  


With God’s abundant blessings,


Always praying for you,

Fr. A. M. A. Prabakar,
Rector.