The church of our lady of health of velankanni, Irla completes 50 years this year, a significant milestone in the history of the institution. The church draws people of all faiths from different parts of the country. The golden jubilee celebrations this year is expected to witness a record turnout.
Speaking on the occasion, Perish Priest Father Ravi Thanaiah Marneni opined “The velankanni church was inaugurated on August 30, 1968. Before that, the local Catholics used to worship at St Blaise, Amboli, which proved too far for most. Velankanni is an important shrine in Tamil Nadu dedicated to mother mary that receives lakhs of worshippers each year. Irla church is modeled around it and its novena prayers receive around 10,000 devotees.
The solemn processions will be held on the Sunday prior to the feast day i.e. 8th September. Thousands of devotees will join the procession and others will line up the entire procession route to pay homage to our Lady. A truly devotional experience for people of all faiths. When it was initiated, the statue used to be carried by the devotees in traditional “palkhi” over a shorter route through the Irla village.