We were almost to the end of our holidays in Chennai. Traveling with kids allowed me to be with them most of the time, talking with them and understanding them. I longed for such family vacations because they unwind me and recharge me to spend busy schedules at office and home ahead.
Our last sightseeing place was the Velankanni Church, which was quite nearby. We decided to travel by bus as we wanted to experience the city and people. There were many buses from Egmore bus station, though we started early by boarding a bus 6D at 8.15 am. The bus traveled through Thiruvanmiyur and reached Annai Velankanni Church bus stop at 9.10 am. Walking ahead on the Eliot Beach Road for two minutes, we reached the church.
At one look, I had a thought that Velankanni Church has a long history. As thought to be true, it was built in 1971 and was controlled by St. Louis Church, having separate parish. There was a crowd of people coming from various places to get the blessings of Mother Mary.
While I was exploring the place for more details, a devotee walked up to me and offered to help me. The church was built by Fr. PT Arulappa and earned it as separate parish in 1973. Later in 1972, a bigger church was consecrated by the priest. The church now stands with many additions and renovations.
The huge hall of the church was built to accommodate a large crowd who come to worship Mother Mary. We stood before the Mother and prayed for her blessings. Then, we moved on to enter a community hall and classrooms in a separate block. There is a museum, which exhibited the offerings of devotees to Mother Mary.
There is a big stage built recently on the vast ground purchased by the church. The helpful devotee, who followed us, explained that this stage conducts mass during the festivals as there will be large gatherings.
It was time and we have to return to the hotel to pack our bags for the night train. While hurrying up I found people lighting candles to the ‘Lady of Health’, as the Mother is called, for good health. I prayed with all devotion to bless my family with good health and walked to a cab.