03/14/2012, 00.00
INDIA
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Miracle in Irla brings Christians, Hindus and Muslims together in prayer

For four days (5-8 March), water dripped from the feet of Christ on a cross near Our Lady of Velankanni. Pilgrims from all religions brought offerings and recited the rosary. For the parish priest, this "is the real miracle".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - It does not matter "whether science can explain what happened or not, a miracle did occur in Irla, namely that of having dozens of Christians, Hindus and Muslims pray together under the cross," said Fr Augustine Palett, a PIME clergyman and parish priest at Our Lady of Velankanni, Mumbai.

For four days, from 5 to 8 March, water dripped from the feet of a cross in Irla, near the church.  For Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, the whole thing is a fabrication by priests to get money. However, his statement did not sit well with many.

For Fr Augustine, the former's statement "has obscured the real miracle, that is the constant flow of people, day and night, young and old, bringing offerings and reciting the rosary. People even came today to pray at the site."

At 6.30 am on 5 March this year, a Hindu woman saw water drip from the feet of the Christ on the cross in Irla, near Our Lady of Velankanni, Mumbai.

She informed the parish priest right away, who saw the extraordinary event himself. Within hours, a crowd had gathered in pilgrimage and prayer. Some even took some "miracle" water home.

Water stopped dripping at 1 pm on 8 March.

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