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Playing Host to DeityFestival Religion in the South Indian Tradition$
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Paul Younger

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195140443.001.0001

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Healing Mother Vēḷaṅkaṇṇi

Healing Mother Vēḷaṅkaṇṇi

Hindu Patterns of Worship at a Christian Shrine

(p.109) 9 Healing Mother Vēḷaṅkaṇṇi
Playing Host to Deity

Paul Younger

Oxford University Press

The largest crowds at any ten‐day festival in South India today are those at the Roman Catholic shrine of Mary or Healing Mother Velankanni. This is clearly a ”new” style of festival, partly because we know the shrine was built in the sixteenth century and it cannot predate that, but also because it does not deal with issues associated with hunting or agriculture but with the dislocations of a changing social order. Some of the worshipers are devout Catholics from distant parts of India, but the vast majority of the worshipers are from the crowded villages nearby and many are accustomed to the worship of Mariyamman. While the worshipers look and act much as they do in the worship of

Keywords:   Mariyamman, Mary, miracle, Mother, new style festival, stories, Roman CatholicVelankanni

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