Dublin, Sep 10: Konkans Ireland creates history. For the first time ever the Konkans here celebrated Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Monthi Fest) at the sacred place Knock. It is a pilgrimage shrine in the village of Knock, County Mayo. All credit goes to the hard work of Monthi Fest Committee comprising of Valerian & Kavita Tauro, Santhosh & Saritha Tauro, Vijay & Celine Bennis, Neville & Neola Fernandes and Shamin Fernandes.
Brief history of Knock
On the evening of 21 August 1879, a heavenly apparition occurred at the gable wall of the parish church when Blessed Virgin Mary appeared along with St Joseph and St John the Evangelist. Unique to Knock apparition was the presence of the Eucharistic Lamb in front of the Cross, standing upon an altar and surrounded by angels. The apparition lasted for about 2 hours, 15 official witnesses gave their testimonies.
The committee had organised two buses from Dublin to Knock. The journey started even before the sunrays hit the ground at around 7 am. The three-hour long journey was enjoyable, started with the rosary lead by Treeza Bai followed by hymns singing then finished with Bollywood Antakshari. The pilgrims reached Knock Shrine at around 10 am. Light refreshments were served after reaching, while the committee members got the church ready for the holy mass. Veena/Melwyn brought Kanshi from Shirva, India. Diana/Cyril brought Kanshi from Cork, Ireland.
At 11 am, Kavitha Tauro welcomed Konkans Ireland and Munster Konkans members and briefed about the successful Monthi Fest at Knock Shrine.
Fr Valerian Castelino along with Fr Suresh Babu celebrated the Konkani mass for Monthi Fest for the first time in Ireland at Apparation Chapel at Knock, followed by a procession with Infant Mary. One of the Konkan Ireland families brought Infant Mary’s statue all the way from India and donated it to its members anonymously. All the kids along with their parents were very excited to venerate Infant Mary with beautiful flowers in their baskets. Later all the The kids sang Happy Birthday to Mama Mary. A vote of thanks was proposed by Saritha Tauro.
Memories of this big event were captured with Wilson Pais recording live from Knock, every moment of this beautiful day for the world to watch, while Monica Mathias also grabbed the moments of this massive memorable event in Konkan Ireland’s History. The lens was not big enough to capture around 300 people in one frame.
Later, Monica Mathias’s Konkani poem book “Pananch Fulam Zathana” was released by Fr Valerian Castelino.
Hungry tummies were looking for food by this time. Novem was served before lunch. Delicious chicken biryani, Raita, Pappad and pickles was served. After a little chitchat, the pilgrims boarded the bus to go back to Dublin at 4 pm. There was still energy left for the dance and Antakshari on the bus making three-hour long bus journey feel like moments. The bus reached Dublin at around 7 pm. Overall, each and every one enjoyed every moment of memorable Monthi Fest.