Davanagere, Aug 28: Annual feast of Our Lady of Health Basilica, Harihar, diocese of Shimoga, will be held on September 8.
Christianity has a long history in the state of Karnataka. The history of Our Lady of Health Church dates back to the 18th century. A new church dedicated to Our Lady of Health was built on August 31, 1992. On May 27, 2012, the shrine was officially declared as a shrine of the diocese of Shimoga. The Vatican has raised the Shrine of Our Lady of Health, Harihar to the status of a Minor Basilica on September 18, 2019. This is the third shrine in Karnataka to have received the status of Minor Basilica after St Mary's Minor Basilica in the Archdiocese of Bangalore and St Lawrence Minor Basilica in the Diocese of Udupi. The official celebration of this milestone was held on January 15, 2020.
The feast of Our Lady of Good Health is celebrated every year on September 8th - on the day of Nativity. There is a chariot procession carrying the statue of Our Lady of Good Health. The chariot would be decked with (Sevanthige) Chrysanthemum flowers sourced from Arsikere. This year's festival begins on August 30. Dr Francis Serrao SJ, bishop of the diocese of Shimoga will hoist the flag of Blessed Virgin Mary. S S Mallikarjun, minister of mine & geology and horticulture, government of Karnataka will be the chief guest.
From August 30 to September 7, every day at 5:30 pm there will be procession, novena, floral homage, Holy Eucharist, adoration and healing prayer for the sick led by different priests.
On September 7, the 5:30 pm Mass will be offered by Dr Robert Miranda, bishop of the diocese of Gulbarga. Then there will be adoration and healing service led by Fr Franklin D'Souza, Fr Roman Pinto and Br T K George. On September 8, the festal day, there will be Masses in various languages - 5:15 am in Kannada, 6:15 am in Telugu, 7:15 am in Malayalam (Syro Malabar Rite) by Dr Joseph Arumachadath, bishop of diocese of Bhadravati, 8:45a m in Tamil, 10 am in English, and 11 am festal Mass by Dr Francis Serrao SJ, bishop of diocese of Shimoga. At 1:15 pm there will be Mass in Konkani, and 2:30 pm healing adoration by the Yesusparsha Team. At 4 pm there will be Mass in Kannada, 5 pm Solemn procession and 7 pm Mass in Kannada.
Fr George K A, rector of Our Lady of Health Basilica had already made all preparations together with the faithful of Harihar.