Mangaluru: Today Fr Ashwin D’Souza, Fr J B Saldanha, Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha, Fr Milton Jacob, Mons. Maxim L. Noronha were main celebrants of the mass. Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha offered 10.30 AM Mass. Fr Vijay Machado conducted adoration of Holy Eucharist.
Bishop said in his homily, it’s not enough to dream or desire, we need to join hands with all as brothers and sisters to achieve. We need to walk ahead with service mind if we have to build a better society. From the bottom of our heart, we need to forgive. Only them we can have a better family and society.
Fr Charles Serrao, Fr Rovel D’Souza, Fr Lancy Luis, and many other priests were present for the celebration. Being a year of St Joseph, Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha released a book on St Joseph and a picture of St Joseph.
All covid-19 rules were followed.
THE STORY OF THE INFANT JESUS SHRINE BIKARNAKATTE, MANGALORE
Jesus Christ belongs to the whole of humanity and so to all nations and religions. Jesus Christ was born about 2014 years ago in Palestine. Almost all countries of the world celebrate his birthday on the 25th of December year after year. So they affirm that Jesus Christ is relevant to all the world. It is time for expressing our faith in Jesus Christ who was given to us by God as the way and means of liberation and fullness because he loved the whole world till his death. He lived a life of total selflessness and died on the cross forgiving his enemies and rose from the dead, victorious over evil.
The Carmelites, founded in the 11 century in Mt. Carmel in Holy Land, are catholic monks with Spanish mystical tradition, dedicated to prayer and socio-spiritual welfare of the people. St. Teresa of Avila had this vision of Infant Jesus coming down the stairs in her convent. This ignited the devotion to Infant Jesus in Spain and then it spread all over Europe, especially Prague in Czech republic.
The Carmelites were the first men religious to be entrusted with the administration of catholic community in Mangaluru in 1870 and they settled down in the city of Mangalore under the mandate of the Pope and without any strings that bound them to the colonizers of India. They brought this devotion to Infant Jesus to India. They have fostered the devotion here at Bikarnakatte with the arrival of this very graceful statue from Belgium in 1947-50. The fast increasing devotees from in and around Mangalore were touched by Jesus and there was no more room. We visualized a decent church in honour of Jesus in view of the 2000 years birth Jubilee and be completed well in advance.
Carmel Hill on which the shrine stands majestically brings us away from the day to day hustle-bustle of the town traffic and invites us to raise our minds and hearts to God in silent prayer in a vast expanse with many huge trees. The top of the hill is very large and level campus offering fresh air, natural shade and greenery, overlooking the city of Mangalore and bringing down heavenly mercies on it. That is why this church is ever sought after by people of all religions for peace and God experience from morning 5.00 till night 10.30. There is peace in the very air we breathe here.
This magnificent shrine dedicated to Infant Jesus, a beautiful gift of the Carmelites of Karnataka-Goa province to the church architecture in India, was completed in the year 1996. The combined technical expertise of Dharmaraj the architect and of renowned church builder Lancy Mascarenhas and supervisory guidance of Fr Lawrence D’mello and Fr George Santhumayor has produced this worthy edifice.
It has been constructed on the highest point in the eastern side of the town that has been long known as Carmel Hill, with a pleasing blend of Indian Mantapa style merging with the early Christian pre byzantine octagonal architecture taking into account the multi socio religious-cultural taste, liturgical reforms and the climatic and cultural context of Mangalore. It has been an architectural one-timer as its roof, like the crown of Infant Jesus, is suspended from just five huge concrete pillars that rise up independently to meet together high in the sky, in the Italian style of Boveda ribs forming an invisible and enormous cupola, and as if with a bow, to venerate Infant Jesus housed in the modest shrine beneath.
Interior is sober and dignified with spacious without the disturbance of the pillars
This place has registered so many great favours; physical and mental, moral and spiritual in the lives of the devotees who flock here. There are records made by high medical professionals about the authenticity of miracles and healings. The annual feast on 14th January is the high point and there on throughout the year and esp. at Christmas time lots of pilgrims and among them, many couples and those with newborn babes come here for special prayers and blessings and go back full of joy and peace. As Jesus is God’s gift to the whole world, this house of God too is the house of prayer for all nations, all peoples.
There is a miniature of the shrine in the western side serving as a grotto to those who would like to venerate Jesus in a natural lush green yard overlooking the green valley below to the natural backdrop of the open sky which turns to glowing golden red at the unset. There the light of candles lighted by ardent devotees is never extinguished, day or night. It also houses the silent dhyana-mantap beneath the grotto, where is exposed the Eucharistic presence of Jesus in a huge artistically carved precious monstrance, inspiring devotion and peace; and people of all hues and colours come here for silent meditation and spiritual healing throughout the day.
The campus is an open space of almost acres full of shady cultured mango trees used often for various stage activities, spiritual and cultural such as retreats, dramas, ordinations etc. The other end of the spacious campus is the shrine of our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the earliest shrine built by the missionaries as an homage to Mary mother of Jesus who is the mother of all disciples of Jesus as well. The edifice at the eastern side with its halls is used for activities of various associations and services such as Publication of Naman Balok Jesu, OCDS, Balok Jesusche Kutom, Infant Jesus autorickshaw drivers welfare association, Charismatic prayer group, Alcoholics Anonymous, Youth for Christ, Music academy, OCDS, Prison ministry India, Free medical mission & consultancy, Library, pilgrims accommodation etc.
The Annual festivity starts on every 4th of January with the solemn hoisting of the flag and the receiving of the gifts and offerings of devotees. The church and the premises decorated with colourful lights make a tremendous and fascinating experience of a holy place and a sumptuous feast to the sight. Many prayer services, H. Masses in various languages are offered for the devotees round the clock. For the devotees coming by their own conveyance, there is sufficient parking area and restrooms etc.. Do approach the reception or the help desk to clear any question you may have.
On 14th and 15th of January is the actual grand celebration in two solemn feast days. On the first day, there will be Holy Masses catering to all the sections of devotees from morning 6.00 followed by special prayers for physical healing, divine forgiveness and interior peace. It will be followed by the solemn Eucharist presided over by the high church dignitaries bishops and preachers at 6.00 p.m. Similar prayer services too will be there on the 15th as well. It is hoped that this will be a spiritual feast to all the devotees and obtain abundant blessings for the city of Mangalore and all the people especially those who come here with great faith in Jesus. Usually, a simple but tasty noon meal if offered to the devotees on novena days
This Infant Jesus Shrine, only one of its kind, offers daily worship for the public every morning and evening throughout the year. On every Thursday there are prayer services throughout the day in various languages. It is easily accessible on Mangalore – Kulshehkar / Padil Road with a conspicuously visible Gothic arch at the roadside at Bikaranakatte. Railway Junction/ station and the KSRTC bus stand are at a distance of some 3-4 km from the shrine. This shrine is well known to every auto-rickshaw driver. Please hire only those auto-rickshaws with an electronic meter. For those coming by their own vehicle, safe parking assured except on 14-15 January. You are most welcome! Jesus will never disappoint you.
The bus routes: 3,4,6,12,21,22,30,37. Please alight at Infant Jesus church (arch)
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