Berhampur, November 27 (LocalWire): With lighted candles in hand and songs dedicated to Mother Marry on their lips, hundreds of Christians on Wednesday took out a procession in the Silk City to mark the occasion of Feast of the Queens Missions or the Candle Festival.
Besides the locals, men, women, and children from across Odisha and other states thronged the historic Queens of the Mission Church to seek the blessings of the Mother Marry.
“The shrine is the oldest and historical pilgrimage center for the Christians in the country,” the church priest Suresh Nayak said.
Though the Christmas festival is about a month away, the congregation of the hundreds of the Christians bought to life the spirit of the day.
The procession was joined by Bishop Berhampur and several fathers of different churches across the state.
“We celebrate the festival every year as Mother Marry had appeared several times to Catharine Labore to deliver sermons about world peace.
The last time she appeared before Labore was on 27 November 1830,” the Bishop of Diocese of Berhampur S Ch Nayak said.
“Since the Queen of the Missions Cathedral is the oldest church in the country dedicated to Mother Marry, Christians from across the country come here and to have a glimpse of the Mother and to get blessings from her,” he stated.
“We have no records about the beginning of this unique festival in Berhampur.
The annual festival might have been observed since the establishment of the church,” Nayak stated.
At least three platoons of forces were deployed to maintain law and order near the Church, while traffic arrangement was made for the candle procession.
Footpath vendors were also asked to vacate the roadside, a police officer said, adding that the procession went off peacefully and no untoward incident was reported during the festival.