Every year thousands of Catholics as well as non-Catholics come to Sri Lanka’s national shrine for a special blessing, for their job, machinery, vehicles and tools they use to make a living.
Together this year, Wennappuwa Parish (Puttalam district) and the permanent organising committee celebrated 25 years of service to Tewatta Basilica.
The solemn Mass was celebrated by the capital’s archbishop as well as, among the many, Fr Gamini Fernando, Episcopal vicar for the northern region of the archdiocese; Fr Merl Shanthi, the administrator of the Basilica; and Fr Camillus Fernando, who runs the Ragama deanery.
AsiaNews met some of the worshippers who attended the service.
Sujith Fernando, a young father of two from Our Lady of Presentation Parish in Marawila, was one of them. He has been attending the ceremony on 2 January for the past ten years.
“We don’t start work in the new year without getting Our Lady’s special blessing. Also this is the seventh year I get my work instruments blessed,” he said.
Likewise Piyasena Gunawardana, a 56-year-old Buddhist businessman from Colombo, spoke to AsiaNews.
“To be honest, I must say that this is a powerful blessing for the whole year. Even though I am not Catholic, I have been coming here for the blessing for the past 15 years,” he said.