Devotees gather in large numbers at Madhu
A large number of Catholic devotees turned up yesterday at the Shrine
of Our Lady of Madhu for the festive High Mass which was held in a free
environment for the first time. Devotees in their public and private
vehicles had a hassle-free journey sans security checks to participate
in the feasts, and enjoyed their religious freedom having stayed
overnight at the church premises which was cleared of mines by the
Security Forces ensuring their safety.
Some officials said that the turn up of devotees exceeded their
The Madhu shrine premises was filled to its full capacity as the
final day mass began yesterday morning. Devotees irrespective of ethnic
differences gathered there, displaying a rare gathering of unity in a
Rt. Rev. Malcom Ranjith Fernando,the new Archbishop said that the
Madhu feast is celebrated in a peaceful country for the first time.
“We should rise above our narrow differences to march towards a
society where morals and values reign, he said.
He said people should be committed to create a society where they
react to situations not by their emotions but by their brains. He said
he prayed that all the displaced civilians now living in camps will be
soon resettled and allowed to participate at the feast to make it a real
feast in a peaceful country.
Above all these facilities what we admire is the free access made
available by the Government, Edvin Calistas who used to visit this
shrine annually for decades, said.
Former Archbishop Oswald Gomis, Jaffna Bishop Thomas Saundranayagam
and Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph also participated in the mass.
Ministers Milroy Fernando, Sarath Kumara Gunaratne and Northern
Province Governor Major Gen. (Retd) G.A Chandrasiri also participated at