Staff Reporter

KOTTAYAM: The eight-day-long celebrations for the Feast of St. Mary at St. Mary’s Church, Manarcadu, begin on Saturday. One of the major Christian pilgrim attractions in central Kerala, the ‘Ettunombu Perunal’ will continue till September 8.

The high point of the eight days of lent will be the ‘Nadathurakkal’ on Friday, September 7 when the centuries old iconic painting of St. Mary will be placed at the Sanctum for the pilgrims to pay obeisance. According to organisers, the casket carrying the portrait will remain open for the next one week.

In addition to the Holy Mass, special prayers and discourses scheduled for every day of the week-long celebrations, a public meeting has been scheduled for Saturday. Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy will inaugurate the meeting. Minister for Transport Mathew T. Thomas will lay the foundation stone of the houses being built by the church for the poor. Minister for Public Works T.U. Kuruvilla will distribute the tricycles being given to the physically challenged persons. K. Suresh Kurup MP, V.N. Vasavan, MLA, and others will speak.