Devotees throng St Mary's Basilica

Devotees throng St Mary's Basilica

A sea of humanity cutting across faiths thronged St Mary’s Basilica in Shivajinagar for the inauguration of the 10-day annual feast which began on Wednesday. People from all corners of the City and neighbouring towns poured in to offer special prayers at the Basilica.

As the crowds converged for the annual event, traffic was thrown out of gear in the central business district. To regulate traffic, roads were blocked to Shivajinagar from Anil Kumble Circle. Rain added to the chaotic traffic with bikers manoeuvring their way into the dense traffic .

The effect of the traffic restrictions was evident on MG Road, Saint Marks Road, Brigade Road,  Kasturba Road, Cubbon Road, Infantry Road and by-lanes of Shivajinagar where vehicles remained for hours together. Police personnel struggled hard to maintain order on the road.

The nine-day Novena to mark the grand St Mary's Feast began with a religious note in keeping with the centuries' old tradition of celebrating the birth of Mother Mary. Like every year, Novena began on August 29.

Procession on 10th day

The highlight of the 10th day is the procession with St Mary’s statue taken out in a procession. The main feast is celebrated with all grandeur on September 8, the Feast day of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary, every year.  

In preparation for the feast, nine-day Novena is observed, wherein Holy Masses are celebrated throughout the day, in which thousands of people participate with ardent devotion. Throughout the feast, the devotees are found to be dressed in saffron clothing.
The Archbishop of Bangalore blesses the flag and joins the Chief Guests in hoisting the
flag. Thousands of people gathered around the flag post, join in singing the praise of Mary Our Mother – ‘Ave Maria’ (Praise to Mary) and the song fills the air.  

As per tradition, the flag is hoisted every day, beginning from the flag hoisting day till the ninth day of Novena. On the feast day, September 8, people gather in lakhs. The whole City gets in to the festive mood on that day.  People flock with candles and flowers to pray and thank Mother Mary.  

Spectacular illumination

In the evening, around 5 pm a grand car procession – a chariot carrying the 6-foot statue of Mother Mary, draped in a wonderful silk saree, with spectacular illumination and decorations, is taken through the streets of Shivajinagar. 

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