Bangalore, September 8, 2023 - Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangalore, presided over the solemn Holy Eucharistic celebration on the annual feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Mary's Basilica in Shivajinagar, Bangalore. The event, steeped in tradition and spirituality, drew thousands of devotees from various faiths to join in prayer and celebration.
The annual festivities, which spanned nine days of naveena, culminated on September 8, marking the feast of the birth of Mother Mary. Devotees poured into St. Mary's Basilica to offer their prayers and thanksgiving.
In a notable gesture, Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri. Siddaramaiah visited St. Mary's Basilica on this special occasion, extending festal greetings to the gathered devotees. Archbishop Peter Machado, along with Vicars General and Rector of St. Mary's Basilica Rev. Fr. Martin Anand Kumar, felicitated the Chief Minister during his visit.
Archbishop Machado took the opportunity to share the rich history of St. Mary's Basilica and made a heartfelt request for financial assistance from the government for the renovation of this historic place of worship. He also appealed to the Chief Minister to consider naming the upcoming metro station as "St. Mary's Metro Station."
Responding to the Archbishop's requests, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah praised St. Mary's Basilica as an epicenter of communal harmony, where people of different faiths unite in prayer and thanksgiving. He expressed gratitude to the Christian community for their support and said that his government has already announced the establishment of a Christian Development Board with a budget allocation of 100 crores.
In a promising development, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah assured the Archbishop that his government is more than willing to provide all necessary aid for the renovation of the historic church, acknowledging its cultural and spiritual significance.
The day's festivities were further graced by the visit of Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri. D K Shivakumar, who, along with the Chief Minister, inaugurated a grand chariot carrying the statue of Mother Mary. The Car Procession circled the Basilica, and the annual celebrations culminated with the Benediction, leaving the devotees with a sense of spiritual fulfillment and unity.
St. Mary's Basilica continues to be a symbol of interfaith harmony and devotion, where people from all walks of life come together to celebrate their shared faith and heritage.