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Sri Lankan pilgrims gather at Our Lady of Matara

The shrine is one of the major pilgrimage destinations for the island nation's Catholics

September 13, 2016

Hundreds of pilgrims gathered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Matara in southern Sri Lanka on Sept. 11 to celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Mother.

Bishop Joseph Ponniah of Batticaloa, Bishop Raymond Wickramasinghe of Galle, Buddhist religious leaders, and members of parliament attended the church for the feast’s evening prayers.

Housed in the church is a statue of Mary with the infant Jesus that is believed to be over 400 years old.

The shrine is a major pilgrimage destination for Sri Lankan Catholics.

Galle Diocese, where the shrine is based, was erected in 1893.

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