Thursday, September 30, 2010
Every year, the annual feast of Our Lady of Snows Kallikulam is celebrated between 27th July to 5th August in a colourful and jubilant atmosphere. This ten days feast is very popular in this area. Thousands of people converged on the grounds of the Our Lady of Snows Kallikulam church during the feast.
The feast commences with flag hoisting ceremony on 27th July, evening. A flag with Our Lady of Snows image is hoisted in a flag post situated just opposite to the church. This is followed by Rosary, Novena Prayers, Litany, Sermon and Benediction. During the feast days morning two special masses and evening Rosary, Novena Prayers, Litany, Sermon and Benediction are conducted.
On 7th day of the feast, morning a holy mass is conducted on the Apparition Hill in commemoration of Mary's apparition on the hill.
On 8th day of the feast a grand mass is conducted in the morning by Bishop. In that mass children take Holy Communion for the first time. In the evening Eucharistic procession and solemn festive vesper and benediction is conducted.
On 9th day of the feast, evening a grand vespers is conducted by Bishop. After that around 12.00 am a midnight mass is conducted. That is followed by an illuminated chariot procession. Three massive chariots participate in the procession. Our Lady of Snow's statue is placed in the main chariot and taken through the village streets by the devotees in a colourful procession singing hymns and reciting prayers. Thousands of people participate in this procession and pray to Our Lady of Snows. It lasts for six hours.
On 10th day of the feast morning 6.00 am the chariot procession comes to an end and the chariots are parked near the church for worship. The feast will culminate with solemn festive High Mass celebration.
During the feast tens of thousands from all faiths visit the shrine. They pray to Our Lady of Snows for thanks giving or requesting of favors. The entire area is decorated with festoons and colorful lights. The shrine looks more spectacular due to the decorations and assembly of people from all walks of life. Silver plates, shaped like human parts are sold in the church stall. The sick and suffering, choose one that corresponds to their ailment and donate it to Our Lady of Snows with the pious hope that Our Lady of Snows will cure their ailment.
Various sports events, cutural programs and entertainment programs are organised as part of the feast.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
When this land was covered with thorn bushes and milk weeds (Kalli, whose name is attributed to this place), the first settlers were the Hindu Nadars from Kayamozhi. Later, certain Savarimuthu Nadar from Kavalkinaru, who had been baptized in Vadakangulam dwelt in here with his son Soosai Nadar. A small thatched church was built. This church was enlarged as catholic population increased, by Frs. Martin and Mossette. This had been a substation of Anaikarai in those days. Due to the special attention given by Fr. Victor Delbike of Anaikarai, the Hindus of Kallikulam became catholics eventually. It was Fr. Victor who on the 25 th of December 1865 , set a Cross at the top of the hill at Kallikulam. Now, statues of the Risen Lord and Our Lady of Sorrows on this hill continue to attract pilgrims. As number of catholics increased, people wished to build a bigger church. The present day church was built in 1884, as the venue and measurements were indicated in the foem of snow by Our Lady herself. The centenary celebration was held in 1985. In March 1939, Our Lady appeared to 6 children on this hill. The grotto built on the place of “the impression of the feel of Our Lady” was blessed by Bishop Roche, the first Bishop of Tuticorin. He praised this Grotto as “the Lourdes of the Southern Pandi land”. Pilgrims from various places come here to receive God’s blessings. St. Michael’s church was built in 1910 for the Paravas. In 1920 was built the church of St. Antony . Villagers from Pannaipatti settled in Siluvaipatti in 1919. Apart form the church in Siluvaipatti, there are many buildings built for the pilgrims.
Every year, the annual feast of Our Lady of Snow is celebrated from 27 July to 5 August. The feast starts with a flag hoisting ceremony on 27 July in the evening. A flag with Our Lady of Snow's image is raised up the flagpole (Kodi Maram) situated just opposite to the church. On the 7th day of the feast, in the morning, a special mass is conducted on the Apparition Hill. On the 9th day, at night, a car procession is conducted. Three very large cars participate in the procession. Our Lady of Snow's statue is placed in a Car and taken through the village streets. On the 10th day of the feast, at 6.00 am, the car procession comes to an end and the cars are parked near the church for worship. Then a celebratory mass honoring Our Lady of Snow is conducted. The feast comes to end with the evening novena on the 10th day.