Feast of Our Lady of Velankanni (Our Lady of Good Health)
Adelaide Tamil Catholic Community
Adelaide Tamil Catholic Community (ATCC) had the privilege of celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Velankani, widely known as Our Lady of Good Health on the 10th September 2017 in the Church of Annunciation, Hectorville. The festal celebration started with the Flag Hoisting and concelebrated Mass on 1st of September 2017. For the convenience of the people, nine days novena was held in homes. There were 20 to 30 people participated in the novena prayers every day. The feast of Our Lady of Velankanni was celebrated on the 10th September 2017 at 3.00 pm in Annunciation Church. The celebration began with a procession of the statue of Velankani, followed by Mass and culminated in an Indian feast. It was organised in the Annunciation Church in Hectorville, the parish where this group have been congregating on the second Sunday of every month for the last 5 years to pray and praise God in their mother tongue, Tamil.
The procession began with a blessing of the statue of Our Lady of Velankani by His Grace Archbishop Philip Wilson. The magnificently decorated pedestal was then carried by a few parishioners. The procession of some 300 people were led by Fr. Anthony Adimai, as the rosary was recited from the middle of the oval. At the end of every decade, Marian hymns were sung by an Indian choir. When the procession entered the church the statue was placed on a grandly decorated table, adorned with flowers and candles. This was followed by the traditional welcoming and arathi ceremony performed by 6 young ladies clad in their traditional Indian attire.
The Solemn Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop His Grace and concelebrated by 10 priests and a deacon. Before the final blessing, the Archbishop blessed all the children and families. At the end of Mass, the Archbishop was honoured with presentation of a shawl and other gifts. The priests were also presented with a token of appreciation from the ATCC. The celebration came to a close with the lowering of the Our Lady’s festal flag.
In order to celebrate the feast, the Archbishop, priests and the people gathered in the hall where a cake with the picture of Velankani was cut. Thereafter, the feast was celebrated with Indian delicacies. The September Procession has been part of the Indian tradition and the arrival of the Statue of Velankani Matha brought a whole new sense of enthusiasm, elation and pride to it all.