Bradly Rozairo OMI – Dear friends, as we begin the month of May with Mary our Mother I would like to share a short story with you.
Trincomalee is the name of my hometown situated in the northeastern region of Sri Lanka. My parish of Palaiyoothu in Trincomalee, which is dedicated to our Lady of Lourdes, has a grotto surrounded by natural beauty. The origin of Lourdes and the devotion to Mary in my parish are written in the diaries of the Jesuit Fathers who worked in Trincomalee.
In the year 1900 cholera broke out in the Eastern Province and began moving towards Trincomalee. Jesuit Fr. Heimburger called his parishioners together and encouraged them to make a vow to our Blessed Mother, that if they were spared from this epidemic they would build a shrine honoring her apparitions at Lourdes. Sure enough, it did happen that cholera stopped and did not touch Trincomalee. Hence in order to fulfill the vow, a shrine was inaugurated at Palaiyoothu, and on April 14, 1902, a statue of our Blessed Mother was sent from France. Since then this shrine has remained a place of pilgrimage.