UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Thousands throng to Marian shrine for favors
’Miraculous’ statue popular among Christians and MuslimsBishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi incensing the Marian statue during the annual pilgrimage
- Uttom Stephan Rozario, Rajshahi
- January 18, 2011
Many of them come to give thanks for answered prayers or to intercede with the Blessed Mother to ask for favors.
âI suffered from a mental illness. My family and I prayed to Mother Mary and got well. So I came to thank her,â said Shefali Soren, a tribal Santal Catholic.
Forty-year-old Soren brought with her a sheep as manot (a thanksgiving gift) to offer to the Blessed Mother.
He was among 7,000 people who flocked to the Mary, Mother of Salvation Shrine at Nobai Bot-tala village of Andharkota parish in Rajshahi diocese on Jan. 16 for the annual pilgrimage.
Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi said people come to pray and present gifts at the Marian shrine.
âAfter several years of marriage I failed to conceive and was very disappointed. In 2009 I came to this shrine and prayed to Mary for a child. It really worked and I gave birth to a baby daughter,â said Shamima Akhter Sima. The Muslim woman claimed that she conceived through the intercession of Mary.
âI am now very happy with family life. With my husband and child, we came to thank Mary for her blessings," she said.
Carlos Marandi, 67, a tribal Santal Catholic, recounted the popularity of the Marian shrine.
He said many people fled from their villages and took refuge at the Church during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.
âWhen the invading Pakistan army pointed guns at usâŚwe began to pray to Mother Mary. Miraculously, the army didnât shoot (us) even though they set villagersâ homes on fire,â he said.
Since then, local Catholics have been celebrating the annual pilgrimage of Mary as a way of expressing their gratitude to Mother Mary for saving their lives.
âWe remember the great escape by celebrating the annual pilgrimage just one month after the victory day of Bangladesh on Dec. 16,â said Father William Murmu, the parish priest.
In 2004, the Bishop of Rajshahi declared the Marian shrine as his dioceseâs major shrine. After hearing about the miraculously favors, the shrine attracted more and more people.
The number of devotees this year exceeded our limit capacity for receiving 6,000 people, said Bishop Grevas Rozario of Rajshahi.
Bangladesh tea garden workers recall Marian âmiraclesâ
Popular Marian shrine opens new church
Marian shrine draws people to annual pilgrimage
More people flock to annual Saint Anthony celebration