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Our Lady of Good Health

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Location: Velankanni, India

Date: 16th and 17th Century

Witness: Young Boy

Type: Marian apparition

Holy See Approval: pending approval

Shrine: Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Velankanni, Indian

Feast Day: September 8

Our Lady of Good Health, also known as Our Lady of Vailankanni, is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by people as she twice appeared in the town of Velankanni, Tamil Nadu, India, in the 16th to 17th centuries. According to tradition, the first Marian apparition is said to have occurred to a young boy delivering butter-milk to a man who lived far away. During his travels, the boy stopped to rest beside a lake that was shaded by a Banyan tree. A beautiful woman, carrying a child, is said to have appeared, and asked the boy for some milk to feed her child, which he gave. When he reached the home for his milk delivery, he apologized for the delay and that there would be less milk in his pot. But when they opened the lid of the milk pot, the container was brimming with milk.

The second apparition occurred a few years later. A lame boy would sell buttermilk to passing travelers, who would pause in the shade of a large Banyan tree, to escape the heat of the day. However, he had no customers. Suddenly, an ethereal woman, holding a child appeared before him, and asked for a cup of buttermilk. He gave her a cup, which she fed to her child. The woman asked the boy to go to Nagapattinam, and find a certain Catholic man in the town, and tell him to build a chapel at Vailankanni in her honor. Apparently cured, the boy ran to Nagapattinam, where he found the man and told him his story.

These apparitions have not been approved by the Holy See.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health erected by the Portuguese and the Indians stands at the site where the buttermilk seller saw Mary and Jesus. The iconic depiction of the Madonna is unique in that it is one of two only icons where Mary is portrayed wearing an Indian Sari, while the other statue is said to have been buried with Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor. The basilica is known as a site for pilgrims from all over India and its assembly of multilingual prayers every Christmas.