Annual Velankanni festival to be held without pilgrims
Proceedings will be telecast live till September 8
For the first time, the Velankanni annual feast this year will be held without a gathering of pilgrims due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having announced that Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Velankanni, will remain shut for public worship during the annual festival, administrators of the shrine have apologised to the pilgrims for the inconvenience caused and have decided to live-stream the festivities, starting off with the flag hoisting.
The flag is to be hoisted by the Bishop of Thanjavur Diocese, Rev. Fr. Devadas Ambrose. Prayers will be conducted at 7 a.m., every day, for the duration of the festival in Konkani, Malayalam, Tamil, English, Kannada and other languages.
No public worship will be conducted until further announcement from the government.
Appealing to the pilgrims to avoid visiting the shrine, in keeping with the government’s instructions, Rector Rev. Fr. Prabakar said the proceedings would be telecast live until September 8, when the annual festival would culminate with lowering of the flag.
In his message to the pilgrims, Fr. Prabakar requested them to pray together, with family, to save humanity from the dangerous situation.