Newly built shrine of St. Antony at Kerekatte blessed and inaugurated


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Report and Pictures by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network

Basrur, 16 February 2010: St. Antony’s Shrine at Kerekatte under the parish of St. Philip Neri at Basrur has been attracting thousands of pilgrims and devotees since the middle of the last century. The  statue of St. Antony that is believed to have been found miraculously many years ago by a Hindu farmer, Manjayya Shetty  while cultivating his land has been the centre of devotion in this region. It is said that after discovering the statue of St. Antony, the farmer took it to the church of St. Philip Neri at Basrur and presented it to the then parish priest, Fr. Joseph Vaz. However, the next day the statue is said to have miraculously reappeared at Kerekatte.

Realising the miraculous nature of the incident, the Fr. Joseph Vaz requested some of the Hindu families of Kerekatte to erect a makeshift wooden and hay structure to install the statue of St. Antony where prayers were began to be held every Tuesday. It is said that at that time there was not a single Christian family in Kerekatte. Presently there are around fifteen Christian families in the vicinity of the shrine.

As the news of the miraculous statue of St. Antony at Kerekatte spread far and wide, devotees of St. Antony and pilgrims gradually began to make their way to the shrine. It was in 1940-41 the wooden and hay structure was replaced by a more durable small building which was blessed by the then Bishop of Mangalore, Dr. Victor Fernandes. Later, a larger monolithic statue of St. Antony was installed outside the structure.

On Monday, 15th February 2010, the present Bishop of Mangalore, Dr. Aloysius D’Souza blessed and inaugurated the enlarged and newly built shrine of St. Antony at Kerekatte at 10.15 am followed by solemn feast Mass at 10.30 am. Earlier the Bishop was received in procession  and band. Following the feast Mass and a brief function to felicitate the previous and present parish priests of Basrur parish, the caretakers of the shrine, nearly 12,000 devotees were provided free lunch.

Earlier on 12th February 2010 at 4pm there was prayer service and sermon preached by Fr. Andrew D’Souza, parish priest of Mudipu. On the same day people from neighbouring parishes of the Kundapur Varado and even many Hindu brothers brought in procession various gifts to the shrine in the form of  ‘vojem’(Horake Kanike) to the shrine consisting of  grains, vegetables, etc. which was used for providing free lunch on Monday, 15th February 2010 to the pilgrims who had come from different parts of  Udupi and DK districts irrespective of their faiths.

One familiar sight when someone visits Kerekatte is the small shop of Subbakka in front of the shrine who has been a staunch devotee of St. Antony. For many years she has been a guide to the pilgrims and devotees visiting St. Antony’s Shrine at Kerekatte.

Fr. Xavier Pinto who has been the parish priest of St. Philip Neri Church at Basrur and also the Director of St. Antony’s Sheine at Kerekatte has been working hard to develop the pilgrim centre. During these six years he has provided facilities to the pilgrims, erected a bell tower, built a prayer house and a canopy over the monolith statue of St. Antony.

Every Tuesday of the week there are novenas at 10.30 am  and on every Sundays Masses and prayers are offered at 4pm at the shrine of St. Antony at Kerekatte. Special prayers are offered at the shrine for the welfare of the children and animals.

 

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Comments on this Article
Mary, Australia Tue, October-12-2010, 4:20
I happened to see this beautiful article, while browsing the net for St Anthonys Shrines. How beautiful to know of this beautiful place, the wonderful devotion to a great saint, and the great people who work to spread this devotion. God Bless the parish priest for his wonderful work there, and God Bless all the people involved, who help serve others in the name of St Anthony, a truly miraculous saint.
Royston, Goa Sat, March-27-2010, 1:11
I am happy to see this building which is newly constructed there, this all credits goes to rev. Fr.xavier Pinto, Kerekatte St.Anthony pray for us
Victor D almeida, Moodubelle/Bahrain Tue, February-16-2010, 9:53
St Anthony s Shrine at Kerekatte is a sacred place famous for its miraculous,only few people knows this place,we came to know through Anil Alvas mother after that when we go for vaction every time we are visiting this holy place, really it is in a remote area doesn t matter faith is more important, I witnessed many truck drivers stops their vehicles no matter which religion they belong, whether there is rain or wind they bow their head put some flowers to the statue and moves on. Thanks to Belle vision and Anil Alva because you made us to know that Glory of that miraculous St Anthony statue at Kerekatte. God bless you all. ST ANTHONY PRAY FOR US
Simon Muscarenhas, Kundapur/ Sharjah Tue, February-16-2010, 4:56
St. Anthony Pray for us. Its amazing to see such a huge number of devotees coming in from far and near though this shrine is located in a very remote area. I heard about this place long ago, but did not get a chance to visit. Quite interesting to know about the history and inter religious faith.Praying for blessing of lord through St. Anthony to all the hands involved in the renovation work of this shrine.
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