Our Lady of Good Health

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Coordinates: 10°40′49″N 79°50′51″E / 10.6803068°N 79.847429°E / 10.6803068; 79.847429

Our Lady of Good Health
Our Lady of Vailankanni
Holy Mother of Good Health
புனித ஆரோக்கிய அன்னை
ND de Fourvière ND de Vailankanni.jpg
LocationVelankanni, India
Date16th and 17th century
WitnessYoung boy
TypeMarian apparition
ApprovalPending approval by the Holy See
ShrineBasilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Velankanni, India
Feast day, 8 September

Our Lady of Good Health (Tamil: ஆரோக்கிய அன்னை Ārōkkiya annai), 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.[1]


Though there is no historical document or record about the reputed apparitions of Mary at Vailankanni, only oral tradition ascertain the two apparitions in the 16th century and the saving of the Portuguese sailors from a storm in the Bay of Bengal in the 17th century.[2]

According to tradition, the first apparition is said to have occurred to a young boy delivering buttermilk 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 apologised 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 travellers, 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 honour. 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.


Basilica (Extension) of Our Lady of Good Health

A Gothic-styled basilica stands in Velankanni in memory of the apparitions. The basilica erected by the Portuguese and the Indians stands at the site where the buttermilk seller saw Mary and Jesus.[3] 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 .[4] The basilica is known as a site for pilgrims from all over India and its assembly of multilingual prayers every Christmas.[5]

Feast day[edit]

September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, is also commemorated as the feast of Our Lady of Good Health. The celebration starts on 29 August and ends on the day of the feast.[6] The feast day prayers are said in Tamil, Marathi, East Indian, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Konkani, Hindi and English.[7]

Churches and shrines[edit]

The following churches and shrines in locations around the world are dedicated to Our Lady of Good Health.




  • Our Lady of Velankanni Matha Shrine, Tuet, Kollam.





Sri Lanka[edit]

United States[edit]


The Tamil language film Annai Velankanni was made in honor of Our Lady of Good Health with the title Annai Velankanni in 1971. It was directed by K. Thankappan, starring Gemini Ganesan, Kamal Haasan, K. R. Vijaya, Jayalalitha and Padmini.[11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Description of the miracles at the Velankanni Shrine
  2. ^ History of the Basilica on its home page Archived December 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Mukherjee, Rila. 2009. 'Locality, history, memory: Vailankanni and a new geography of citizenship.' In Mukherjee, Rila and Tajesh, M.N. (eds.), Locality, History, Memory: The Making of the Citizen in South Asia, pp. 152–181. Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  4. ^ R.V. Smith Mother Mary... in a sari from The Hindu
  5. ^ "History of Vailankanni
  6. ^ Velankanni festival ends with feast mass on The Hindu news
  7. ^ "Velankanni Feast Day 2018 | Our Lady Of Good Health | Vailankanni.info". Velankanni.info. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  8. ^ Photographs of a privately erected shrine in Bangalore
  9. ^ Religious Societies in the Dioscese of Tiruchirapalli
  10. ^ http://www.kintera.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=etITK6OTG&b=309286&ct=160559
  11. ^ Our Lady of Good Health on IMDb
  12. ^ News article regarding the revival of Nuestra Señora de la Salud

External links[edit]