|St Antony' church in Uvari, Tamil Nadu. catholiconline.in|
|St Antony' church in Uvari, Tamil Nadindianetzone.com|
|Velankannimata (Virgin Mary)saving Portuguese sailors rchive.is|
The legend associated with St. Antony's church is more or less similar to that of the Velankanni Arogiamata church (the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health) in Nagapatnam district. Believe it or not, annually, 20 million pilgrims come to the shrine from all over India and abroad to get blessed by Virgin Mary who is known to have performed many apparitions. In the 17th century, the merchant ship on the way to Ceylon was caught in a severe cyclonic storm almost facing shipwreck off the coast of Velankanni village in the Bay of Bengal. The Portuguese sailors having no other recourse took refuge in Virgin Mary's divine protection. Soon, the cyclone weakened and the sea became calm; later the ship was washed ashore safely. Having been saved from near death by Virgin Mary's miracle, to express their gratitude, the Portuguese sailors established a small shrine in a thatched building which later developed into one of most popular Basilica in SE Asia.
|St Antony' church in Uvari, Tamil Nadu commons.wikimedia.org/|
|Annual festival, St Antony' church in Uvari, Tamil Nadu,maalaimalar.com|