Our Lady of Health Shrine now a Minor Basilica

Our Lady of Health Shrine in Harihar has been proclaimed as a Minor Basilica by the Vatican.

Our Lady of Health Shrine in Harihar has been proclaimed as a Minor Basilica by the Vatican.  

The Vatican has raised its status; CM Yediyurappa to participate in event today

The town of Harihar in Davangere district is all set to witness a historical event of sorts on Wednesday as the centuries-old Our Lady of Health Shrine in the town, which has been proclaimed as Minor Basilica by the Vatican, will be dedicated at 9 a.m. in the presence of president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao, Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru of Chitradurga Brihan Mutt, Archbishop Most Rev. Peter Machado and 13 Bishops.

Among various other political leaders, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa will participate in the programme.

With the proclamation by the Vatican, the shrine has become the 25th Minor Basilica in the country. The history of Our Lady of Health Shrine located in the heart of Harihar dates back to the 18th century. The shrine is frequented by people of all faiths and languages throughout the year.

The story has it that a Brahmin, while taking bath, accidentally fell into the swollen Tungabhadra river on whose banks Harihar stands. A floating statue is said to have saved his life and when he took home the statue, his wife and children were healed from their diseases.

From then onwards he dedicated himself completely to the service of Our Lady of Health. He called her Sathyamma (Mother of Truth). After his death, he was buried at the same place where his house existed and later, it was converted into a church. In 1833, Father Bigot- Beauclair MEP is reported to have built a prayer hall at the same place.

It was on August 31, 1992 that a new church modelled on pagodas and dedicated to Our Lady of Health was built. On May 27, 2012, it was officially declared as a Diocesan Shrine of the Diocese of Shimoga (now Shivamogga).

According to Bishop Francis Serrao of Shimoga Diocese, the elevation of the shrine to a Minor Basilica was proposed considering its spiritual importance to the Christian faith and its influence in building reconciliation and peace among people. And, after careful consideration and proper scrutiny, the Vatican raised the Shrine of Our Lady of Health, Harihar, to the status of a Minor Basilica on September 18, 2019.

“With the proclamation the shrine has become the third Minor Basilica in Karnataka and the 25th in the country,” Parish Priest and Rector of Our Lady of Health Shrine Anthony Peter said.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 8:35:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/our-lady-of-health-shrine-now-a-minor-basilica/article30569245.ece

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