September 8th is the Feast of Our Lady of Vailankanni, Our Lady of Good Health. It is also the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The feast day is especially celebrated in the Tamil Nadu State of India where the Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health Church and Complex are located. It is the destination of pilgrims where thousands converge in the beautiful coastal city of Vailankanni to celebrate Our Lady’s birth, give thanks and pray for additional miracles through her intercession.
Our Lady of Vailankanni (Vay-lun-kun-nee) appeared in Vailankanni, India three times during the latter part of the sixteenth century and miracles of healing are attributed to her. The Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health Church at Vailankanni is also called “Lourdes of the East.”
The image of Our Lady of Vailankanni in art has some distinctive features including the Blessed Mother wearing a yellow or golden sari highlighting the fact that her apparitions occurred in India. Her crown and the scepter in her right hand represent her status as Queen of Heaven and Earth. She holds her crowned Infant Jesus in her left hand who frequently holds a globe protectively in His hand. Many images show her standing atop a crescent moon and her head surrounded by twelve stars bringing to mind the passage from the Book of Revelation, “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Rev 1:1)
Statues, paintings and other forms of art depicting Our Lady of Vailankanni are abundant in India, but they can also be seen in the U.S., such as the shrine dedicated to her at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. If you have an opportunity leading up to September 8th, visit a church in person or virtually to see, and pray before, an image of Our Lady of Vailankanni.
Read more about Our Lady of Vailankanni at https://churchwonders.com/