Flag hoisted for Our Lady of Snows fest
The worshippers chanted ‘Mariyae Vazhga’ while the flag was hoisted after the high mass.
MADURAI: Thousands of faithful participated in the 441st annual feast festival of Our Lady of Snows Shrine Basilica that commenced with flag-hoisting ceremony in Thoothukudi on Wednesday.
Bishop of Thoothukudi Roman Catholic Diocese Most Rev Fr Stephen hoisted the ceremonial flag at 7 am in the presence of Rev Fr Kumar Raja, Rector and Parish Priest of the Shrine Basilica and other clergies on the first day of the 11-day festival. The worshippers chanted ‘Mariyae Vazhga’ while the flag was hoisted after the high mass.
Morning prayer service was conducted at 5 am. Several white doves symbolising ‘eternal peace’ were released to mark the occasion.
The Virgin Mary was adorned with a golden crown. Milk and banana were served to the participants. Beach Road was closed for traffic for about 30 minutes owing to a huge gathering of worshippers.
The ‘Golden Car festival’ of Our Lady of Snows Basilica, the highlight of the annual festival, would be held on August 5, sources said.
Minister for Social Welfare and Women Empowerment P Geetha Jeevan, Thoothukudi Collector K Senthil Raj and Superintendent of Police L Balaji Saravanan were among those who participated in the event.
Adequate protection was made in and around the basilica, sources said.