Thousands walk to Attur Shrine declared Minor Basilica


Thousands of devotees from Belman, Shirva, Kedinje, Nitte and other places walked all the way to Attur in Karkala for the August 1 ceremony of declaration and dedication of St. Lawrence Shrine into Minor Basilica.

More than 25,000 devotees witnessed the historic celebrations of the proclamation of the shrine of St Lawrence as Minor Basilica on Monday.

It is the second basilica in Karnataka and 22nd in India. Prior to the solemn Eucharistic Mass, rector of the shrine, Fr George D’Souza conducted the novena service in preparation for the titular feast of St Lawrence which would be celebrated on August 10.

The grand Eucharistic celebration commenced at 10 am with the procession of priests, followed by bishops and cardinals.

Prior to the mass, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo of Udupi welcomed Archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the chief celebrant of the Holy Eucharist.

Cardinal Gracias, in his introductory remarks, said the elevation of the Shrine of St Lawrence as Minor Basilica is a great honour not only to the diocese of Udupi, but also for Karnataka and India. He said that St Lawrence, who is regarded as the ‘Saint of Miracles’ would shower his blessings on his devotees. Cardinal Gracias began the mass in Konkani.

Prior to the singing of ‘Gloria’, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, the Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church, Thiruvananthapuram and president of CBCI, read the proclamation decree in Latin. Thereafter, he handed over the decree to Fr George D’Souza, who read it in Konkani.

Archbishop Bernard Morasof Bengaluru in his homily said the elevation of St Lawrence shrine to the status of Minor Basilica and its proclamation and dedication is a historic and spiritual event and conveyed his compliments to the devotees of Karkala and the diocese of Udupi.

He added that there are 1,740 minor basilicas in the world out of which 22 are in India including the newly proclaimed St Lawrence Minor Basilica.

There was exemplary discipline and devotion during the entire Eucharistic celebration. Nearly 200 priests and 25 archbishops and bishops from various parts of the country concelebrated the Holy Eucharist.

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