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Welcome to Vailankanni (Velankanni)

Our lady of Good Health, popularly called "Our Lady of Vailankanni" is in the small town of Vailankanni (5000 residents) located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. It is located 150 miles south of Madras in Tamil Nadu and 5 miles south of Nagapattinam. Our lady chose this place to dispense her miracles to mankind. A strong oral tradition attests to Our Lady’s apparitions at Vailankanni(Velankanni). The tradition is built around the following three significant events:

First Event

Sometime during the sixteenth century, Our Lady with her infant son appeared to a Hindu boy carrying milk to a customer’s home. While he rested under a Banyan tree near a tank (pond), Our Lady appeared to him and asked for milk for her Son and the boy gave her some. On reaching the customer’s home, the boy apologized for his lateness and the reduced amount of milk by relating the incident that occurred on his way. On inspection, the man found the milk pot to be full and realized that something miraculous had happened. That man,

also a Hindu, wanting to see the place where the apparition occurred, accompanied the boy. When they reached the tank, Our Lady appeared once again. On learning that it was Our Lady who appeared to the boy, the residents of the local Catholic community became ecstatic. The tank where the apparition took place is called "Matha Kulam" or Our Lady’s tank.

Second Event

Some years later Our Lady appeared again. This time to a crippled boy who was selling buttermilk near a public square on the outskirts of the same village of Vailankanni. She asked him for buttermilk for her infant Son and the boy compiled. Our Lady asked the boy to inform a certain wealthy Catholic man in the nearby town of Nagapattinam of her appearance. Not realizing that his crippled leg was miraculously cured by Our Lady, the boy rose up and began his journey. The man also had a vision the previous night in which Our Lady asked him to build a chapel for her. Together, the man and the boy returned to the site of the miracle.

This time Our Lady appeared to both. The man erected a thatched chapel for Our Lady at the site of Her second appearance. This chapel became a holy place of veneration to Our Blesses mother and She was called henceforth, Mother of Good Health ("Arokia Matha").

Third Event

A few years later, Our Merciful Mother rescued a few Portuguese merchant sailors from a violent storm, which wrecked their ship. When the merchants reached the shore of Vailankanni they were taken by local fisherman to the thatched chapel. To give thanks and pay tribute to Our Lady, they built a small permanent chapel on their return trip. On subsequent visits they improved on it. The merchants dedicated the chapel to Our Lady on September 8th to celebrate the feast of her nativity and to mark the date of their safe landing to Vailankanni.

Today, the celebration of this feast is an annual festival which lasts for 9 days and draws more than a million and a half pilgrims. Vailankanni attracts more pilgrims than any other sacred shrine in India. Not only do multitudes of Catholic travel there throughout the year but many non-Christians visit as well. Hundreds of miraculous cures are reported every year.

Liturgical Timings in the Shrine

Daily Services

Every Morning:
5:45 a.m. Holy Mass in Tamil
6:45 a.m. High Mass in Tamil
9:00 a.m. Holy Mass in Malayalam
10:00 a.m. Holy Mass in English
12:00 a.m. Holy Mass in Tamil

Every Evening :
6:00 p.m. Novena Prayers, Rosary, Evening prayers.
6:30 p.m. Holy Mass in Tamil.
Weekly Services Thursday Evenings :
6:30 p.m. Holy Mass in Tamil
All Saturdays:
7:00 a.m. Holy Mass at Our Lady's Tank
5:45 p.m. Car Procession around the Shrine Basilica, Rosary, Novena prayers, Blessing with the Statue of Our Lady.
6:30 p.m. Holy Mass in Tamil

Sunday Morning :
5:45 a.m. Holy Mass in Tamil
7:30 a.m. High Mass in Tamil
10:00 a.m. Holy Mass in English
12:00 a.m. Holy Mass in Tamil

Sunday Evening :
5:30 p.m. Rosary, Novena Prayers
5:00 p.m. Holy Mass in Tamil
Monthly Services First Friday :
6:00p.m. Eucharistic Procession around the Shrine.

First Saturday :
6:15 p.m. Blessing of the Sick with the Blessed Sacrament
Feast Celebration (From 29th August to 8th September on every year)
6:00 p.m. Flag Procession, Blessing hoisting of the flag,Litany Benediction
7:00 p.m. Mass in Tamil
Liturgical Timings during Ten Novena Days in The Main Shrine.
5:00 a.m. Holy Mass, Blessing of the sick, Blessing with the statue of Our Lady of Health
8:00 p.m. Car Procession

In The Lower Extension Basilica
6:00 a.m. High Mass in Tamil
7:00 a.m. Holy Mass in Tamil
8:00 a.m. High Mass in English
10:00 a.m. Holy Mass in Tamil
11:00 a.m. Holy Mass in Konkani
12:00 noon Flag hoisting Mass in Tamil
4:15 p.m. Holy Mass in Marathi
6:30 p.m. Rosary, Novena Prayers, Litany, Sermon in Tamil and Benediction.

In The Upper Extension Basilica
6:00 a.m. Holy Mass in English
7:00 a.m. Holy Mass in Hindi
9:00 a.m. Holy Mass in Malayalam
4:00 p.m. Holy Mass in Telugu
5:00 p.m. Holy Mass in Tamil.

At Our Lady's Tank

6:00 a.m. Holy Mass in Tamil
5:00 p.m. Way of the Cross in the Holy Path (only on Friday)

At The Shrine Auditorium (on Feast Eve)
5:45 p.m. Rosary, Novena Prayers, Litany,followed by Pontifical High Mass presided over by His Excellency The Bishop of Thanjavur.

At The Main Shrine (on Feast Day)
6:15 a.m. Feast High Mass by His Excellency The Bishop of Thanjavur
6:00 p.m. Dismounting of our Lady's Flag.

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