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Velankanni Mother Mary My Pilgrimage Center

Updated on March 3, 2013

Shrine Vailankanni

Vailankanni Church
Vailankanni Church

We visit Vailankanni every year from the nearest airport at Tiruchy (154 kms). No words can express the happiness and peace that we feel in the presence of our beloved Mother.

Velankanni (Vailankanni), a hamlet on the sandy shores of the Bay of Bengal, is located 350 kilometers south of Chennai (Madras) in South India and 12 kilometers south of Nagappatinam. The coastal town Nagapattinam was referred by early writers and the Portuguese as "the city of Coramandel' (Imperial Gazetteer of India, XIX, 3). Vailankanni is fondly known as the 'Lourdes of the East' because millions of pilgrims visit the Shrine throughout the year. Many came with eager and earnest prayers for favors, and immediate help; many more came with hearts filled with gratitude to show thanks to the miraculous Mother, our lady of Lourdes for favors granted.

Novena prayer

Mother Mary pray for us
Mother Mary pray for us
Our Lady of Health Vailankanni
Our Lady of Health Vailankanni


Historical notes reveal that people in this area traded with Rome and Greece, the ancient commercial centers of the western world.  Vailankanni was once a port and there is evidence to prove this. Vellayar River, a minor branch of the river Cauvery, runs on the south of the village and flows into the sea.

Sometime during the sixteenth century, Our Lady with her infant son appeared to a Hindu boy carrying milk to a customer’s home. Festival of Our Lady of Health - Mother Velankanni  is celebrated every year from August 29 to September 8.

We say Rosary

Time for Rosary
Time for Rosary
Ave Maria
Ave Maria


The Growth of the Shrine- Timeline

·         A small church of 24 ft. x 12 ft. was built by the Portuguese sailors

·         Preserving the ancient little sanctuary and the Altar, it was expanded to 70 ft. x 22 ft. by Fr. Rozario, a Franciscan priest

·         In 1917 Fr. Sebastio Xavier de Noronha expanded the Church by another 20 ft. from the nave of the Church. In addition, two gothic domes of 82 ft. each on either side of the entrance facing the sea were also constructed.

·         In 1933 two new wings were constructed, to the right and to the left of the 'Main Altar', meeting the nave at right angles.

·         In January 1961, the former altar made of cement concrete was replaced by a beautiful central altar made of spotless white marble

·         The Basilica was extended with the two story church in 1974-75. Today this magnificent edifice with its 93 ft. high dome and two 82 ft. high gothic spirals dominates the skyline of Vailankanni.

The majestic Shrine Vailankanni

At Vailankanni we can buy garlands, coconuts and candles from vendors and offer to Mother Mary. Also we can buy rosaries, photos and rings of Mother Velankanni, imitation jewellery, toys and food stuff from the shops run by the church authority. After lighting the candles we can proceed to the main altar to kneel down and pray.

A path, called the "Holy Path", strewn with sand, lead the pilgrim from the main shrine to the place where the Mother first appeared before a shepherd boy. On the left side of the path we see beautiful sculptures representing the life of Jesus on the cross, "Stations of the Cross". On the right side we see "Stations of Rosary". The devotees of all ages and ailments walk on their knees along this path.

We can visit a lovely small chapel at the “Place of Apparition”, called the Lady's Tank and a museum that was built to house the offerings. A trip to Vailankanni is never complete without trodding on the shores of the Vailanakanni beach.

Vailankanni Church at night

Car procession in Vailankanni


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    • teddy lyons profile image

      teddy lyons 3 years ago from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

      I had been suffering with my right kneecap in my early years,that was in the sixties,I was a Bollywood group dancer & that was my living,i used to take pain tablets every day & could not sleep at night with the pain I used to cry myself to sleep & get up to go to the film studio with that horrible pain.

      Then when I heard about Our Lady of Valenkanni that has cured so many many people i decided i must go & get my healing, i had to travel about two days by train from Mumbai [Bombay ] to the Vailankanni Church,then it was at the old church that was built, this is the new one that got built, & to get a bus to take you to it, & to get back to the railway station you had to wait for the evening to take you back as it was a rare thing in those days being a new small Church,when i started walking from a field to the Church i was surprised to feel no pain with my leg which a constant feeling, i started to kick my leg up & down to realize that I got my cure,I looked up to the sky 7 i thanked our Heavenly mother for granting me the cure,I cried with happiness as I had that terrible pain for such a long time & its GONE,

      I went inside the Church & lit a candle & prayed & thanked our Heavenly Mother for interceding to our Heavenly father for my cure,Never ever got that pain EVER. If anyone wants to ask me anything regards my cure i;m giving my email address

      in Australia,Brisbane.

    • profile image

      Roman 3 years ago

      I d like to have statue of Holly Mary of Valenkanni at home , how to get this,

    • profile image

      Arulvalan Nayagam 3 years ago

      AVE Maria,

      Pray is the Lord Jesus,

      Pray for us.

    • profile image

      Taniys 4 years ago

      Our lady Vailankanni,please bless me with a child. My heart aches when I realize I am childless.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      I too love this church and have visited it several times. Though I am not a Christian, I believe in the power of Velankanni Mata. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Shared on my hub.

    • profile image

      Arun Bennis Loftus 4 years ago

      Dear sir got to learn that there is something called hubpage, g8

    • profile image

      janna 5 years ago

      i hoping may wish well be come to true to help of mamamary

    • profile image

      Maria 5 years ago

      My son Godwin health n job n the stress what he going through prayers r urgently required

      Widow petition


      Financial problem


      Stress going through

      Prayers r urgently required

      Gtks n big god bless

    • profile image

      Wilfred Evertsz 6 years ago

      is there some way we can bye candel from the church

      on line ?

    • profile image

      Cynthia D'souza 6 years ago

      Our lady of Vailankanni, Pray for me, Help me and give me special blessing for me and my children..... Help me for my job, so i can help my daughter. pls Mother help me and show me the way.

    • Rubanraj profile image

      Rubanraj 6 years ago from South India

      Leticia, May God bless You! You are called to the holy place Vailankanni. Let Mother Mary shower you with love and fortune.

    • Rubanraj profile image

      Rubanraj 6 years ago from South India

      Thanks, Joel. Your wish will be fulfilled soon.

    • profile image


      i have started asking the help of our lady of Vailankanni. I can feel that she is helping me. Hope I will have the privilege to see the place. Today i will try to distribute some materials about her as I see them in the internet. I love you Blessed Mother. Thanks Mama Mary! God bless everyone!

    • profile image

      Joel N. Mendonza 7 years ago

      Last i visited Vailankanni Shrine was in the year 1995 i.e 15 Years ago.

      I do long to visit the shrine, hope so Mother Mary will grant my request

      I wish all the pilgrimage visiting this year for their safe journey & good health with the blessing from Mother Mary

      I also pray for Mother Mary for peace in India & Whole World

    • profile image

      ddelsan 7 years ago

      Is there anywhere online where I can purchase a small statue or figurine of Our lady of Vailankanni. She is my grandmother's most cherised Our Lady. Thank you

    • Rubanraj profile image

      Rubanraj 8 years ago from South India

      Thanks gayana. May God bless you!

    • profile image

      gayana 8 years ago

      i visited the holy shrine of mother Velankanni in November this year. it was a dream come true for me. i am so glad i made it amidst many obstacles.i feel she is with me and in my mind i am always there in church with her.thank you mother for your help and continue to pray for me. it is a place everybody should visit someday.

    • Rubanraj profile image

      Rubanraj 8 years ago from South India

      Thank you, Jacobkuttyta, for your nice words.

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 8 years ago from Delhi, India

      Good information

      Keep posting