Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Happy Birthday to Mother Mary

I remember as a child we carried flowers everyday to the Church for the Novena to BVM for nine days. Returning from school we would collect the flowers all along the way. We would come home and Mom would give us small plates to place the flowers and then take us to the church for the Novena. After the Mass a long queue of children to offer flowers and sing a hymn to Mother Mary "Let us all mingle together". It was a great experience to offer flowers of our choice selected and even  taken from someones garden.......It was a spiritual thrill to stand before Mother Mary and Pray Hail Mary.....
 At the end of the offering of flowers we would receive some sweets or boiled grams....oh once again we would long and wait for these small gifts as Mothers gift for all of us. Every year in the Month of September, the last month of Monsoon ....rains would show up every now then...but great experience to get wet on the Novena days...we would consider it as a blessing from above....
 Joined Capuchin Order in 1979....i was sent to Mangalore....my childhood experiences continued even in Mangalore Frangipet.....the Catholics here also have the same traditions....i felt home....during the Novena we too would offer flowers at Monte Mariano....Late Fr. Cyril Andrade was the gardener and he would ask us to pluck particular flowers only to be offered....Nine days full of devotion and fun....it was growing up in devotion to Mother Mary...Konkani Hymns....were melodius and were similar to Marathi Hymns.....
 After nine days of prayer and devotion comes the great Day it is called MONTHI FEST in Mangalore...it is a day of Vegetables....all family members gather together for this feast....to eat variety of vegetables....at the end a piece of sugarcane.....all so wonderful experience....
 Today the same devotion has been continued but the vigor and thrill is not the same....children no longer go in search of flowers but their parents buy flowers from market and give to the children to offer them to BVM.....it is a different and rich experience to pluck with your own hands and of your own choice....
 Today vegetable meals have become fashion.....even risky as most of the vegetables contain a lot of pesticides....it is dangerous to buy them...at the end you take poison.....Earlier vegetables were grown in your own garden and there was a joy to eat all those vegetables....

 May Mother Mary bless all our families....May she bring all those who have gone away from her...because they think that she is given undue importance.....not undue but she deserves all that Importance....She is the Mother of God and Mother of the Universe....how can we forget and abandon here....We love you Mother Mary...
 Bandra is the Place where millions of people will visit the shrine of Mother Mary...called MOUNT MARY....as small children we would wait for the month of september to visit this shrine.....the feast goes on for 10 days...people from all walks of life and religion come to offer their prayers...she is the real Mother of the universe as we see many people....we would go there not only to pray also to participate in the fair...to sit in the giant wheel ....to buy black big grams.....then buy a colored thread to tie around your hand......

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