Curtains down on five-day Attur Shrine feast

Curtains down on five-day Attur Shrine feast

The five-day annual feast at Attur St Lawrence Shrine came to an end with the holy mass by Udupi Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo on Thursday. Dr Lobo celebrated the Eucharistic Mass with Rector of the Shrine Fr George D’Souza and other priests.

Delivering the homily, he  said people who are victimised should be sympathised with and the Lord should be offered prayers through service of the downtrodden.

“Pope Francis has declared the current year as the year of mercy and has asked people across the globe to pray and to offer apologies. Mercy is the sweetest thing that exists in the world and fills the world with the aroma of peace and harmony,” said the bishop.

“Humans should come out of deficiencies that create walls between each other. Mercy and forgiveness will build a new bonding with the Lord. We should see Jesus Christ in everyone and have soft corner towards the destitute and the downtrodden,” he advised.

A total of 48 Eucharistic masses were offered in Konkani, Kannada, English and Malayalam languages and more than 20 lakh devotees took part in the five-day feast.

Begging was banned on all five days. The initiative was taken up in the year 2000. Two boxes were kept in different corners for charity. The collected amount will be distributed to the beggars on Friday where they are also served lunch.

History

The idol of St Lawrence – which traces back its origin to 1759 AD – has stood as testimony for the changes in the region in terms of harmony and peace. Tipu Sultan had jailed Christians of the region at Srirangapatnam, suspecting them of helping the British.

Following the death of Tipu, the Christians returned to Nakre in Karkala only to see that their worship place was destroyed. The devotees of St Lawrence searched for a suitable site carrying a one-foot wooden statue of St Lawrence. They crossed Ramasamudra of Karkala and, descending the woods of ‘Purple Hills’, they reached Attur.

At the bottom of the hill, they placed the statue by a spring to quench their thirst. When they tried to resume the search, they could not lift the statue. Instead, they built the church here in 1839, said the Christian Development Committee (Karnataka government) member Nakre George Castelino.

“Last year, around 2,000 beggars were given Rs six lakh and above, collected in the boxes. The two domes of the church are testimony for religious harmony, comprising of Hindu, Islamic and Christian architecture. It also commemorates the service of people of all religions to save the Church following massive landslide in the hillocks behind in 1994 and 1997,” he added.

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