Faithfuls throng Shrine Basilica festival

Pilgrims from various parts of the State on Sunday gathered at Our Lady of Snows Shrine Basilica here to witness the car procession at the 436th annual feast festival.

Thousands of worshippers from all religions gathered on the Basilica premises to see the bedecked and illuminated car carrying ‘Our Lady of Snows’ statue.’

The car festival — grand finale of the 11-day annual festival that began on July 26 with flag hoisting — was celebrated with pomp and gaiety. Devotees chanting ‘Mariyae Vaazhga’ (Hail Mary) pulled the car.

The procession went through Madha Kovil Street, Periya Kovil Street, St. Peter’s Kovil Street, Periyakadai Street, WGC Road and Beach Road and reached the Basilica, where benediction was conducted and families were dedicated to the Holy Mother at 10 p.m..

Earlier, Holy Masses were conducted from 4.30 a.m. onwards and thanksgiving prayers offered. Special Concelebrated Mass was led by Rt. Rev. Yvon Ambroise, Bishop of Thoothukudi Roman Catholic Diocese.

Pilgrims from various countries attended the Holy Mass.

At noon, a prayer service was conducted by Rt. Rev. Fr. Antony Devotta, Bishop of Tiruchi RC Diocese, and Holy Mass was conducted in the evening.

Led by Rev. Fr. Lerin De Rose, Rector, Our Lady of Snows Basilica, the parishioners made elaborate arrangements for the annual festival.

Police had made comprehensive security arrangements in view of the celebrations and enforced traffic regulations around the church premises.

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