The next day, I woke up to the soothing devotional song at the nearby temple. No wonder, the cities irrespective of any place wake up early. I looked out of the large window watching the city coming to life. My occasional business travels and stays at different places in the country gave me a sense of familiarity of the place.
By then, my wife ordered a cup of tea and sipping the white porcelain cup, I took a deep breath enjoying the fresh aroma of ginger with the tea. Our next visit on the agenda was to Annai Velankanni Church, which is situated in Besant Nagar in Chennai. The buses to Adyar traveled through Besant Nagar, where we should get down at the Eliot’s Beach.
Nevertheless, we took a cab to visit the church, where Mother Mary is offered prayers by the large number of devotees who travel from different parts of the country. The church is located on the vast expanse of the ground offering easy accessibility to people. The building looked pretty well maintained.
I could figure out the history of the church, which dates back to 1971. Under St. Louis Church’s control, the church gained a separate parish with own priest in 1972. It was believed that Mother Mary with infant Jesus appeared in the dream of FR.PT Arulappa and this led to the building of the amazing structure.
We entered the church to find a huge hall, where extension was made to accommodate as many devotees as possible. After offering out prayers and having the blessings of the father, we went around exploring the place. There was a large community hall for the gathering of people; a big museum and classroom was also a part of the church.
Furthermore, I also found a stage constructed on the adjacent ground; I was told that the mass during the festivals are arranged on the stage. We walked back to the church looking carefully the interiors. They were amazing and looked alike in most of the churches in the country.
The offerings to the ‘Lady of Health’ are made by way of candles, and people who are sick offer the candles representing the part of the body to get well soon.