Wednesday, June 07, 2006

St. Antony's Shrine at Kerekatte, Mangalore Diocese

The Story of St. Antony's Shrine at Kerekatte

Kerekatte is a small hindu village in Kundapur Taluk of Udupi District located between the towns of Hosangadi and Siddapur.

The story goes that an image of St. Antony of Padua was found here while digging a field many years ago. From then on the people of that place began venerating the image of the "miracle worker".

Around 1684, the Blessed Joseph Vaz installed this image in a small thatched roof hut. People of the surrounding areas would come there to pray and make offerings. Even bullock carts passing that area stopped to make an offering. It is said that the bulls would refuse to pull carts if no offering was made or if they did it would results in mishaps. Even today some of the buses plying along that route, stop in front of the shrine to make an offering while pilgrims in others throw their offerings from the running bus.

With the increase of devotion over time, the then Bishop of Mangalore, Victor Fernandes (1931-1955) constructed a little "gudi", a shrine, at the place where the later Bishop Basil Salvadore (1965-1996) erected a 13 foot tall image of St. Antony carved from stone.

Now has been added, a chapel, a few rooms and a kitchen. There aren't any Christian families nearby. So the chapel is cared for from the Basrur Parish 28 kms away, of which it is a sub-station.

Requests for Masses by pilgrims, arrangement of rooms for staying, and thanksgiving offertories may be addressed to the Parish Priest of Basrur.

Grand festal masses at the shrine are celebrated twice a year, on 15th February and on 13 June. People of other faiths too visit the shrine during the feast days. Buses ply along this route all day and streams of pilgrims visit here to go for confessions, receive communion, make offerings, and offer masses.

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