Dedication of Attur Minor Basilica to believers on August 1


The dedication ceremony of St Lawrence Shrine of Attur as a Minor Basilica to the faithful will be held on August 1.Pope Francis had elevated the shrine in Karkala in Udupi District to status of ’Minor Basilica’ in May.

CBCI president Cardinal Baselios Cleemis would make the formal announcement in Latin and Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo ofUdupi in Konkani, and dedicate the shrine to the service of the believers.

The ceremony would be attended by Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore, Syro Malabar Major Archbishop Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, Cardinal Telespore Toppo of Ranchi and Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of Mangalore.

The announcement would be observed in a festive way with appropriate prayer vigils and other celebrations. It would start with a Holy Mass at 10am followed by a public programme at 11.45am.

St Lawrence Minor Basilica will be the second Minor Basilica in Karnataka, after the renowned St Mary’s Minor Basilica in Bengaluru. In all, there are 21 Minor Basilicas in India, of which the most renowned are Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Vailankanni and Our Lady of Lourdes Basilica, Poondi in Tamil Nadu, Mount Mary in Mumbai and Bom Jesus in Old Goa.

In a Minor Basilica the liturgical instruction of the faithful is to be promoted by establishing groups concerned with liturgical activity, by special courses of instruction given in a series of conferences, and by other programs of this kind. Among the special activities of a basilica are the study and popularization of documents coming from the Pope and the Vatican, especially those pertaining to the sacred liturgy.

One of the most renowned pilgrimage churches of South India, the Attur shrine is said to be in existence as early as 1759 AD. In 1900, Fr. Frank Pereira built a Church near the shrine. This Church was blessed and inaugurated on January 22, 1901 by then Vicar General, Msgr. Frachett. The last few decades have seen the crowd increase from thousands to lakhs at the Attur shrine.

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