Our Lady of Good Health

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Our Lady of Good Health
Our Lady of Vailankanni
Holy Mother of Good Health
புனித ஆரோக்கிய அன்னை
ND de Fourvière ND de Vailankanni.jpg
Location Velankanni, India
Date 16th and 17th century
Witness Young boy
Type Marian apparition
Holy See approval Pending approval by the Holy See
Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Velankanni, India
Feast day, 8 September

Our Lady of Good Health (Tamil: ஆரோக்கிய அன்னை Ārōkkiya annai), also known as Our Lady of Vailankanni, is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by those who believe that she twice appeared in Velankanni Town, Tamil Nadu, India in the 16th to 17th centuries.[1] According to tradition, the first Marian apparition is said to have occurred to a young boy delivering butter-milk to a man who lived far away. During his travels, the boy stopped to rest beside a lake that was shaded by a Banyan tree. A beautiful woman, carrying a child, is said to have appeared, and asked the boy for some milk to feed her child, which he gave. When he reached the home for his milk delivery, he apologised for the delay and that there would be less milk in his pot. But when they opened the lid of the milk pot, the container was brimming with milk.

The second apparition occurred a few years later. A lame boy would sell buttermilk to passing travellers, who would pause in the shade of a large Bayan tree, to escape the heat of the day. However, he had no customers. Suddenly, an ethereal woman, holding a child appeared before him, and asked for a cup of buttermilk. He gave her a cup, which she fed to her child. The woman asked the boy to go to Nagapattinam, and find a certain Catholic man in the town, and tell him to build a chapel at Vailankanni in her honour. Apparently cured, the boy ran to Nagapattinam, where he found the man and told him his story.

These apparitions have not been approved by the Holy See.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health erected by the Portuguese and the Indians stands at the site where the buttermilk seller saw Mary and Jesus.[2] The iconic depiction of the Madonna is unique in that it is one of two only icons where Mary is portrayed wearing an Indian Sari, while the other statue is said to have been buried with Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor .[3] The basilica is known as a site for pilgrims from all over India and its assembly of multilingual prayers every Christmas.[4]


Though there is no historical document or record about the reputed apparitions of Mary at Vailankanni, only oral tradition ascertain the two apparitions in the 16th century and the saving of the Portuguese sailors from a tempest in the Bay of Bengal in the 17th century.[5]


Basilica (Extension) of Our Lady of Good Health

A Gothic-styled basilica stands in Velankanni in memory of the apparitions

Feast day[edit]

September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, is also commemorated as the feast of Our Lady of Good Health. The celebration starts on 29 August and ends on the day of the feast.[6] The feast day prayers are said in Marathi, East Indian, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Konkani, Hindi and English.[7]

Other churches and shrines[edit]








Sri Lanka[edit]

United States[edit]


A Tamil language movie was made in honor of Our Lady of Good Health with the title Annai Velankanni in 1971. The movie was directed by K. Thankappan, starring major stars of Tamil cinema including Gemini Ganesan, Kamal Haasan, K. R. Vijaya, Jayalalitha and Padmini.[11]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]