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Vailankanni is fondly known as the 'Lourdes of the East' because like Lourdes in France, millions of pilgrims visit the Shrine throughout the year, praying to Our Lady for various needs and thanking her for the favors received through her intercession. Tradition recounts that Mother Mary appeared with the Infant Jesus in this small hamlet at the end of the 16th or in the early 17th century. Ever since, Vailankanni is the most important destination and almost the synthesis of all Marian Sanctuaries for the pilgrims of the world. The crowds of pilgrims come here regardless of creeds and languages. Our Lady of Vailankanni devotions down through the centuries have proved the Shrine to be of divine origin and has assumed international character. Mary, the focus of unity at Vailankanni, is a clear proof of international, multicultural, and religious harmony.

Sometime during the sixteenth century, Our Lady with her infant son appeared to a Hindu boy carrying milk to a customer’s home.

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.

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.
Mass Timings at Shrine Basilica

Week Days
8.00 am - Mass in Telugu in the Upper Basilica
9.00 am - Mass in Malayalam in the Lower Basilica
10.00 am - Mass in English in the Lower Basilica

Week Days
11.00 am - Mass in Hindi in the Upper Basilica
12.00 pm - Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica
6.00 pm - Rosary and Litany in Tamil followed by Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica

All Sundays
7.30 am - Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica (Instead of at 7.00 am during the week)
5.00 am - (Additional) Mass in Tamil for the Parishioners of Vailankanni in the Lower Basilica
6.00 pm - Rosary, Novena Prayer, Benediction and Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica

All Saturdays
7.00 am - Mass in Tamil at Our Lady’s Tank Chapel
5.45 am - Car Procession of Our Lady of Health around the Shrine Benediction and Mass in Tamil in the Lower Basilica

First Friday
6.00 pm - Mass in Tamil

Month of May
Our Lady’s Car Procession around the Shrine on all the days

The Annual Feast of Our Lady of Health is celebrated from 29 August to 8 Sept For more details visit: www.velankannishrine.org

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