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    » 08/27/2007, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Praying at Our Lady of Tewatte to heal sick people and a sick nation

    Melani Manel Perera

    On the National Day of the Sick, about 500,000 pilgrims gather in the famous basilica from around the country. Everyone prayed for their own physical well-being but also to heal the country from war, corruption and human rights violations.

    Tewatte (AsiaNews) – May the “Lord heal us and Our Motherland” was the theme of the National Day for the Sick celebrations held at Our Lady of Lanka Basilica in Tewatte. Some 500,000 Christians from around the country as well as people from other faiths were present at the event, all keen on praying for peace in the country.

    About 300 priests and religious from various dioceses attended the bilingual (Sinhalese and Tamil) blessing of the sick. The apostolic nuncio, Mgr Mario Zenario; the archbishop of Sri Lanka, Mgr Oswald Gomis; his predecessor, Mgr Nicholas Marcus Fernando; and Mgrs Thomas Savundaranayagam, bishop of Jaffna, and Mgr Marius Peiris, auxiliary bishop of Colombo, were also present.

    During the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary, pilgrims called upon Our Lady to give inner peace and health but also to heal the country from its many ills.

    “This is my tenth year of attending the blessing of the sick and I totally feel the touch of Mother Mary’s love for me,” said 78-year-old, wheelchair-bound Colin Emmanuel from Kirimatiyana parish in the diocese of Chilaw, 125 km north of the capital.

    Tamil Jesimin Pararajasinghem and her husband Paul Raj said that they felt duty-bound “to pray not only for their own physical ailments but also for the evils that affect the nation like corruption, injustice, human rights violations.”

    “We need this war to end so that peace may return to Sri Lanka and its ethnic groups go back to living in harmony,” they said.

    According to Fr Merl Shanti Perera, who manages the basilica, “people from other faiths were present at the celebrations.”

    Preparations for the Day of the Sick began last Wednesday. Pilgrims arrived from across the country, setting up tents under the trees that surround the church. The administration provided drinking water as well as sanitation and health care facilities.

    The Tewatte basilica, north of Colombo, was built starting in 1946 in thanksgiving for sparing the island the horrors of the Second World War.

    “Our Lady saved our wonderful country once before from war,” said a female student, “and so I believe She can save it again now in this crucial moment” in its history.

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    See also

    22/02/2016 19:38:00 SRI LANKA
    For Card Ranjith, the greatest gift received is the blessed Mother of Lourdes (video)

    The archbishop of Colombo led the ceremony celebrating the centennial of the first church dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes in the country. Since 1948, the Virgin protects the country as Our Lady of Lanka. About 3,000 people attended the Mass and the procession with Our Lady’s statue. Pope Francis sent a message.



    05/03/2007 SRI LANKA
    Thousands of Tamil and Sinhalese youth recite Rosary for peace
    The 60th National Day of the Child is celebrated at Tewatte’s National Basilica; youths from all over the archdiocese of Colombo pray to Our Lady to bring peace, “true peace, the one children have never known.” For Archbishop Gomis, it is an opportunity “to pray as one family.”

    05/01/2009 SRI LANKA
    People come for Mary’s blessing on their children and job, says Colombo archbishop
    A traditional ceremony takes place at the start of the year at the Tewatta’s national shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lanka. People of all ages, Catholics and Buddhists alike, come to have their job and the tools they use to earn a living blessed.

    23/02/2015 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lankans on a pilgrimage to Our Lady against abuse in the family and at work
    A group of 45 women from the Archdiocese of Colombo took part in a retreat at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Tewatte. Their day was divided between the Via Crucis, the recitation of the Rosary and Mass.

    20/10/2009 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lanka should deal with its past to heal its wounds, Anglican bishop says
    At the annual session of the Diocese of Colombo of the Anglican Church, Rev Duleep de Chickera calls for justice and freedom for Tamil refugees. A year will be devoted to ‘National Reconciliation and Healing’ in 2009-2010. The country’s various religious communities play a fundamental role for the country. Inter-Christian collaboration is particularly important.



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