News from Blackall15 September, 2021
Western Queensland is a long way from India, but that doesn’t stop us celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Velankanni each year on 8 September. 4 years ago the Pindo family donated a statue of Our Lady of Velankanni to St Patrick’s Church, Blackall. Despite having moved away from the district, members of the family continue to gather with local parishioners each year on the anniversary of the unveiling to give thanks and pray for good health. This year family and friends travelled from the Gold Coast, Brisbane and St George to join parishioners and school students for Mass, followed by morning tea.
Pope John XXIII referred to the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, located in the coastal town of Velankanni in southern India, as the ‘Lourdes of the East’. Each year nearly 3 million pilgrims flock to the site where oral tradition states that Mary appeared twice in the 16th century. The Shrine is one of the most frequently visited religious sites in India, drawing Muslims, Hindus and Christians together to pray and worship in harmony.