Thursday, 19 March 2015

Blessed by St.Lawrence - St.Lawrence Shrine, Karkala town, Karnataka, S.India

St. Lawrence Church in Karkala,Karnataka,India.The twin gates of the church.en.wikipedia.org
St. Lawrence Shrine  situated on the outskirts of  Karkala town, Udupi District in the state of Karnataka is characterized by its Attur Jatre or Attur Fest. This parish has a rich history that goes back to 1759.
St. Lawrence Church in Karkala,Karnataka,India.en.wikipedia.org
St. Lawrence, a Spaniard born in the 3rd century was an extraordinarily virtuous young man and  studied the Holy Scriptures and the maxims of Christian perfection under the guidance of St. Xystus, then the archdeacon of Rome. Under the tutelage of St. Xystus, Lawrence studied the holy scriptures, and the maxims of Christian perfection.
 

Christians suffered persecution  under Tipu Sultan during the eighteenth century 1784-1799 AD because he was under the wrong impression that the Christians were true supporters of the British East India company that gave him a lot of problems. Further, his main alley was the French rulers in India. So, the British hated Tipu Sultan.Tipu demolished several churches during his period including the  parish church that was originally  about seven kilometers away from the present church. 

Tipu Sultan was defeated and killed  in the  4th
Mysore war at Srirangapatna by the British forces led by Arthur Wellesley in 1799. A favorable situation developed in the present state of Karnataka for the Christians to come back and settle down there peacefully. A Church was built with thatched roof somewhere on the way to Nakre under the guidance of a Goan priest. As the church was too old to be used, devotees of St Lawrence  along with a Goan priest were on the look out for  a suitable site and were carrying with them a one-foot wooden statue of St Lawrence. As the journey was arduous, on reaching Attur they placed the  statue of the Saint on the ground for rest to continue the journey. When they had just resumed  the journey, they found it difficult to  lift the wooden statue as it remained firm on the  ground where it was kept. After their futile attempt to lift the wooden cross to move on, the priest and the devotees understood that a miracle had happened and it was divine dispensation to have a new church built in the area where the wooden statue stood unmoved.So, they decided to build the church there. The church was erected in the year 1839  and soon became a place of pilgrimage and was known for its miraculous history. Now, it is a place of worship and belief for all and people from all walks of the society without caste and religious distinctions come here to offer their prayers to St Lawrence.

In the year 1900 Rev. Fr. Frank Pereira had the present church built facing the north direction. This church was blessed and inaugurated on 22 January, 1901 by the Vicar General, Very Rev. Mgr Frachetti.

A new church built as a memorial of the Bicentenary was blessed on the 21st of January 2001 by the Bishop of  Mangalore. The Annual Festival known as 'Attur Jatre (Festival)' is both a religious and cultural fete. It takes place every year during the last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the month of January.

The devotees who invoke St. Lawrence of Attur without visiting the shrine have experienced his powerful intercession. Devotees in thousands visit  this place throughout the year and specially  during the feast days in the month of January. Those who come to him in faith and devotion will never return disappointed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Lawrence_Shrine