(Last Updated on : 14-02-2014)
Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus
, wife of St. Joseph, and the greatest of all Christian saints. According to Roman Catholic doctrine and the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, the Virgin Mary's soul and her physical body were transported into Heaven. Mary's passage into Heaven is called the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Roman Catholics. The belief that Mary's body was assumed into heaven is one of the oldest traditions of the Catholic Church. Pope Pius XII declared this Catholic dogma in 1950.
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount more commonly known as Mount Mary is a Roman Catholic Church in the city of Mumbai
, India. The church is one of the most visited churches in the city located in the suburb of Bandra. Every September, the feast of Mount Mary is celebrated on the Sunday following the September 8. This is a week long celebration known as the Bandra Fair and is visited by thousands of people, since the seventh century.
Virgin Mary feasts attract a great number of pilgrims, even non-Christians. During the Bandra Fair, the entire area is decorated with festoons and buntings. Many pitch up stalls selling religious objects, roasted grams and sweet items which is a must buy for most people visiting. Stalls sell sticky Goan sweets and wax idols of the Virgin along with an assortment of candles shaped like hands, feet and various other parts of the body. The sick and suffering choose one that corresponds to their ailment and light it in Church, with the pious hope that Mother Mary will consider their appeals for help.
Another important Marian shrine frequented by all communities, is the Church of Virgin at Vailankanni in Thanjavur district. Vailankanni is now called Lourdes of India. The fair held in September attracts pilgrims from all parts of South India.