Kumbakonam – Guanella Nagar Parish celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Good Health in Chinammal Kallarai. The feast began on November 11th with a flag hoisting and solemn Mass celebrated by Msgr. T. Gnanaprakasm, Vicar General of Thanjavur. In his homily he said that the protection of Mother Mary in our day-to-day life is necessary and he shared the miracle that he experienced from Mary at the Velankanni Basilica. The Second day of the Novena was celebrated with the Holy Rosary and Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. M. Thomas, CMF, Parish Priest of Villiavarambal, he preached that Mother Mary is the model of our faith and he blessed the statues of Our Lady of Good Health, St. Antony and St. Michael after Mass. The statue of Our Lady of Good Health was processed through the streets of College Road. On the following day, Fr. C. Alphonse Maria Ligori, Sdc, Superior of Thalavadi, celebrated Mass and preached the homily in which he mentioned how we have to be obedient, care for our family members with sacrificial love and that Mother Mary is one of the best ways for salvation. After Holy Mass he lowered the flag and the celebration came to an end. The guidance of the parish priest, Fr. A. John Bosco SdC, and Fr. M. Vincent SdC, Assistant, Srs. Lourth and Juli and Bro. John Bosco helped the people to animate the liturgy well. Let the intercession of Our Lady of Good Health and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ give us inner peace and joy.
Kumbakonam – Guanella Nagar Parish celebrated the feast of St. Francis Xavier in Thirupurampiam and Our Lady of Good Health in Chinammal Kallarai. The First feast at Thirupurampiam began on August 26th with flag hoisting and solemn Mass, celebrated by Fr. Amaithi Arasu, Chancellor of the Kumbakonam Diocese. The following two days events included solemn Holy Mass followed by the Car Procession Blessed by Rev. Fr. B. John Bosco. On the final day, the flag was lowered after Mass. This event brought Ecumenism among the Hindus and the Christians. It was well organized by the Hindu faithful who assisted with the grand celebration.
To mark the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Second Feast at Chinammal Kalarai began on August 29th with the flag hoisting, a penitential service and solemn Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Felix Samuel, Secretary for the Family Commission. Fr. A. John Bosco, Parish Priest, arranged for the Sacrament of Penance. Fr. Felix prepared the people spiritually for many who desired Confession. Fr. Kirubagaran, Liturgy Commission, preached the Homily. He said in his homily that the parents of our Mother Mary were simple people of great hope.
The culmination of the celebration was High Mass on August 30th. Rev. Fr. T. Devadoss, parish priest and V. F, of St. Mary’s Cathedral, was the main celebrant and Fr. B. John Bosco, Secretary for the Bible Commission, preached the Homily and blessed the Car procession which followed Mass. The statue of Our Lady of Good Health was carried through the streets. On the following day, \Fr. G. Christhu Raj, \ Director for St. Mary’s ITI, celebrated the feast day Mass and lowered the flag. Mr. Socrates and Mr. Thavidhu honored the priests, sisters and brothers with shawls. The faithful shared cake and tea to bring the celebration to a close.
Today there is a tendency to say “eat more and stay slim” and not worry about one’s own health while consuming a lot of junk food. Man is what he eats; therefore health is the state of being physically and mentally healthy. Living in good health does not mean just the absence of illness, but serenity within oneself and having a peaceful, relaxed and orderly life.
Father Guanella, in his writing “Maxims of Spirit and Method of Action”- Come- with-me, talks about food and its moderation: “As for food, it is good to choose the quality of food and drink that best suits the health of our soul and also of our body.”
It is essential to listen to the body- when to feed it, when to work and when to rest. I would like to quote the religious dietary restriction of Buddha’s five contemplations while eating, in which followers ask themselves: 1. What is this food? 2. Where does it come from? 3. Why am I eating it? 4. When should I eat and benefit from this food? and 5. How should I eat?
It is worth mentioning the wisdom of Father Guanella “Food and drink are necessary to sustain the body, which is the vase of our soul and the servant of our spirit therefore spiritual people approach food and drink as objects dangerous for their soul, and use them as a sword to cut and not to be cut.” In the personal and community project, we have to keep in mind equilibrium while everyone should avoid working in a disorganized fashion. Therefore let us pay attention to avoid mediocre living, control our attitudes, habits, stress and depression; by eating a healthy diet we can moderate and maintain a healthy weight and thus we could prevent disease and maintain good health.
September 8th, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is also commemorated as the feast of our Lady of Good Health, in Vailankanni, known as “The Lourdes of the East.” May she protect all of us and ensure good health of body and mind.
Fr. Soosai Rathinam
Chennai – The brothers from Don Guanella Major Seminary went to the shrine of Our Lady of Good Health, Besant Nagar, on September 19th, the month of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The pilgrimage began with a prayer by Fr. Rajesh in front of the Grotto. They set out on foot towards the Shrine, located about 30 KM away from DGMS, with enthusiasm praying the rosary, singing hymns to Mother Mary and praying the litany. Despite the heat, the divine energy and Grace of God urged them on. Upon arrival, they realized the presence of Mary throughout the journey and all fatigue was relieved. The pilgrimage culminated with Mass celebrated by Fr. Rajesh.