Healing Mother Vēḷaṅkaṇṇi

Paul Younger

in Playing Host to Deity

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195140446
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834907 | DOI:
 Healing Mother Vēḷaṅkaṇṇi

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The largest crowds at any ten‐day festival in South India today are those at the Roman Catholic shrine of Mary or Healing Mother Velankanni. This is clearly a ”new” style of festival, partly because we know the shrine was built in the sixteenth century and it cannot predate that, but also because it does not deal with issues associated with hunting or agriculture but with the dislocations of a changing social order. Some of the worshipers are devout Catholics from distant parts of India, but the vast majority of the worshipers are from the crowded villages nearby and many are accustomed to the worship of Mariyamman. While the worshipers look and act much as they do in the worship of

Keywords: Mariyamman; Mary; miracle; Mother; new style festival; stories; Roman CatholicVelankanni

Chapter.  4386 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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