Cardinal Wuerl concelebrates Mass for the annual pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Good Health-Vailankanni

“Mary is a model of what our faith should be.”

September 07, 2013

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington concelebrated Mass with Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakalam-Agamaly and Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath of Saint Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago in honor of Our Lady of Good Health-Vailankanni. The annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was organized by the Syro-Malabar Catholic Mission of Greater Washington and the Indian-American Catholic Association, comprised of the diverse Catholic community from the Indian subcontinent residing in the United States.

“The oratory of Our Lady of Good Health-Vailankanni proclaims a devotion that can be traced to the mid-16th century and is attributed to a number of miracles, most particularly, the rescue of the Portuguese sailors from a violent sea storm,” said Cardinal Wuerl in his homily. “…We gather here today to recognize Mary’s particular role in the life of the Catholic faithful in India and how that heritage continues to be lived and loved here in our country in this chapel in America’s great house of Mary.”

“The Gospel today challenges us to see with the eyes of faith as Mary did,” said the Cardinal. “Mary is the model of what our faith should be. Like us, Mary was a human being who had to be open to hear and accept God’s word and to grasp the mysterious ways in which God works. She did so with such consummate fidelity that she is forever the example of what we mean by faith — true, profound faith…While we cannot equal Mary in the wondrous mysteries in which she participated and in the privileges she received, we can certainly emulate her faith that says, although God’s ways are mysterious and I do not always understand the unfolding of God’s plan and God’s providential order, nonetheless, if God calls, I accept. If God challenges, I respond. My faith and yours — the faith of believers is challenged to be the faith of Mary.”

The Cardinal called on those present to be agents of the New Evangelization by renewing and deepening their faith, growing in confidence in its truth and joyfully sharing it with others. “Jesus gave his first disciples the great commission to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Saint Thomas took seriously the charge and brought to India the life-giving Word of God. That commission is now ours. We must share our faith and the opportunities are everywhere,” he said. “…Like the Apostle Thomas, we, too, can be Jesus’ witness and proclaim his Good News in our everyday lives. With our hearts transformed by Christ, we can change the hearts of others, and transform the world. In order that we might have the strength to do all that Christ asks of us, we turn to Mary, his Mother.”

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 96 Catholic schools, located in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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