#31DaysofMary : Our Lady of Good Health

Our Lady of Good Health, or Our Lady of Vailankanni, India
Apparation of Our Lady that appeared twice in Vailankanni


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Around 1550 a shepherd boy was completing his daily chore of carrying milk from Vailankanni (a seaport town on the Bay of Bengal) to his master at Nagapattinam. He stopped along the way to nap and was awoken by a beautiful woman who asked him for some of his milk for her child. The boy obliged. His master did not believe the boy’s story, however upon examining the milk pot, not only was there no shortage of milk, the pot was actually overflowing. The spot where the apparition appeared became known as ‘Our Lady’s Tank’.

Fifty years later, in another spot of Vailankanni, a lame boy sat daily and offered buttermilk to thirsty travelers. One day a beautiful lady appeared from a bright light and asked for a cup of buttermilk. She then instructed the boy to tell a local Catholic man in Nagapattinam to build a chapel in her honor where she now appeared. Realizing his legs had been healed, the boy jumped up and ran to Nagapattinam. Having received another vision from Our Lady himself, the man set to work and built a small chapel on the site She requested.

In the 17th century, Portuguese sailors caught in a violent storm in the Bay of Bengal prayed for Mary’s intercession, vowing to build a church to her wherever they landed. On September 8th, Our Lady’s birthday, they safely landed in Vailankanni. They turned the simple thatched roof chapel built by the Catholic gentleman a generation prior, into a larger stone church. The church was renovated twice in the 20th century and made a basilica by Pope Saint John XXIII in 1962.

Considered the ‘Lourdes of India’, numerous other miracles have been reported, including the sparing of the Basilica during the devastating Indian Ocean tsunamis of 2004, despite it’s close proximity to the ocean. Millions of pilgrims visit Vailankanni every year.  Twelve other churches in India are dedicated to Our Lady of Good Health and there is an oratory dedicated to her in the crypt church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

(post sources 1, 2) (Visit the Basilica’s website for a super cool 360 degree virtual tour!)


O Most Holy Virgin! You were chosen by the Most Adorable Trinity from all eternity to be the most pure Mother of Jesus.

O tender Mother of the afflicted! grant me under my present necessities a special protection. Relying on the infinite mercies of Your Divine Son, and penetrated with confidence in your powerful prayers, I most humbly entreat you to intercede for me. I beg you to obtain for me the favours which I petition for in this Novena, if it be Holy Will of God to grant them; and if not, ask for me whatever graces I stand most in need of
(here specify your requests)

O Mother of God, accept my salutations in union with the respect and veneration with which the Angel Gabriel first hailed you “full of grace”.
(Recite the following Hail Mary – 9 times)

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death – Amen.

I beseech you, O Comfortress of the Afflicted to obtain for me the favours and graces which I have now implored through your powerful intercession. For this end I offer you my good works I do and sufferings I endure. I most humbly entreat you for the love of the Amiable Heart of Jesus, with which yours was ever so inflamed to hear my humble prayers and obtain my requests. Amen.

(prayer source)

Tomorrow, Our Lady of the Snows, Italy!

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