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Yangon honors Virgin Mary

Thousands take part in kneeling procession to commemorate feast day

Yangon honors Virgin Mary
Devotees from various faiths kneel in procession to mark the feast day of the Virgin Mary in Yangon reporter, Yangon

September 8, 2011

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More than 3,000 Catholics, Hindus and Buddhists in Yangon gathered today at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church for a kneeling procession to commemorate the Virgin Mary’s feast day. U Raja, 57, a Catholic businessman who took part in today’s events, said he has attended commemorations for the feast day for more than 30 years. “Life is so different after participating in the kneeling [which] helps me to increase devotion to Mother Mary. It also deepens my faith.” He added that all are sinners and must show penance, which is the reason behind the kneeling procession. Ko Hla Win, 48, a Hindu retailer from Yangon, said he first began attending the feast day event because he had been working with a group of Catholic youths. “I realized that it was the same as our Hindu custom and I started joining them. Since that time, about 20 years ago, our family’s life, health and finances have improved and from that time I have joined in the kneeling.” Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon diocese concelebrated Mass with priests from the former capital today. More than 10,000 participants from various faiths took part in the celebration.
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