MADURAI

St. Lourdes church was filled with revelry as several devotees celebrated the penultimate day of the 8-day centenary celebration with the pulling of the ‘ther’ or church car here on Saturday.

Bright lights, pictures of mother Mary and infant Jesus, and flowers regaled the church premises as thousands sat down in the open ground for the special mass organised.

Bishop of Tuticorin Roman Catholic Diocese Rev. Fr. Yvon Ambrose conducted the special prayer after which the church car was taken around Sanathana Mata street, Matha Koil street, Bharathiar Main road and Alagar Koil main road at around 8.45 p.m.

The ‘ther’ festival is the most important part of the centenary celebrations of this church, he said and recalled its history starting from 1920 when the institution first established a chapel. He said that a cathedral was later built in 1931 and ever since, numbers have grown.

Devotees from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and all the southern districts participated in the ceremony, said a church official.

Children were dressed like Biblical characters and people dressed in new clothes.

S. Stalin, a regular churchgoer, said that he enjoyed the eight-day celebration with his family. “Our relatives from different parts of the country have come down. It feels like a get together,” he said.

On Sunday, a ‘pongal’ celebration will be held to mark the last day of the festivities.

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