A Marian grotto in Sargodha is blessed
by Shafique Khokhar

The first stone was laid in August 2020. Catholics devoted to the Mother of God gathered in the Church of St Francis Xavier to pray for missionaries as well as peace and prosperity in their country.

Sargodha (AsiaNews) – The Apostolic Nuncio to Pakistan, Archbishop Christophe Zakhia El-Kassis, blessed the new grotto dedicated to Mother Mary in Sarghoda (Punjab).

“All this was possible because of the contribution of the faithful and the hard work of all those who toiled tirelessly to build the Grotto of Mother Mary,” said Fr David, the local parish priest. “Above all, this is a sign of our respect and dedication to Mother Mary,” he added. 

In Pakistan Christians celebrate the month dedicated to the rosary with great spirit and devotion.

"I entrusted my father to Mary while they were taking him to the operating room,” said Kashif Anthony, coordinator of National Commission for Justice and Peace in the Archdiocese of Karachi.

“He was not alone fighting for his life at that moment. We too as a family fought and prayed to Mary to save his life,” Anthony said.

His father, Javed Charagh, worked as a catechist at St James parish in Korangi; he was saved by a miracle. After a second heart attack, doctors and nurses gave him only a few hours to live.

An elderly Catholic priest, Fr Leonard Stager, laid the grotto’s first stone in August 2020. He also led the movement to build the grotto.

To mark the inauguration, local Catholics gathered at the Church of St Francis Xavier in Sargodha, where they prayed for peace and prosperity in Pakistan, dedicating special prayers for the work of Catholic missionaries.

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