Mazhai Malai Madha Arulthalam is located on the National Highway about 95 kms from Chennai enroute Trichy. Geographically, it is situated near Melmaruvathur having Mathuranthagam as its Taluk and falls under the Jurisdiction of Kancheepuram District. Ecclesiastically, it belongs to the Chingleput Diocese, a new born babe of the Archdiocese of Madras – Mylapore. The Shrine is located in the midst of a very serene and beautiful vast stretch of lush pasture hill slope.
Mountain : A Symbol of God’s Presence
For ages past, Mountains have been articulated as a place where God’s mighty presence is conceptualized. India, in particular, which has this sublime uniqueness of nurturing different sects of communities, practices multifarious religions,linguistic, cultures and life styles deem Mountain as a sanctified, vibrant and vivacious God’s presence.
From the Biblical perspective , in 1 Kings 20 :30, it is predominantly mentioned as “God of Mountains”. Mount Horeb was called the Mountain of God (Exodus 3:1).
Even in the life history of Jesus, Mountains have been a place of prominence for his Psycho- Spiritual pursuits.
For Jesus , Mountains became
A place of Prayer, Lk- 20 : 39,
A place of Contemplation, Mt-14 : 23
A place of Temptation and Renunciation, Mt- 4 : 8,
A place of Transfiguration, Mt-17 : 1
Eventually it is conspicuous that Mountains and the presence of God are strongly interlinked. Therefore, Mountain experience is considered to be a manifestation of FAITH EXPERIENCE.
1. Rev. Fr. A. Pushpam – Parish Priest ( 1962 – 1973)
During his tenure, this parish was the part of the archdiocese of Pondy – Cuddalore.People experienced severe drought in Tamilnadu and particularly in this vicinity, were suffering to the core. At this moment, Fr. A. Pushpam decided to organize a car procession for Our Lady specially interceding for good rain. When the car procession ended at a place called Nallayan Kundru (the hill of Good Shepered) there was a heavy down pour with thunder and lightening slashing the place like never before. A beautiful shrine was constructed at this place and hence the name Mazhai Malai Madha was inscripted to our Lady in view of this astounding miracle.
2. Rev. Fr. Joseph Kuncherakatt (1973 – 1989)
Started a home for the physically handicapped
3. Rev. Fr. D.F. John Bosco (1989 – 1996)
In view of the Silver Jubilee in the year 1994, he laid a well planned concrete pathway for the pilgrims to visit Mazhai Malai Madha on the top of the mountain.
4. Rev. Fr. G.G. Lourduraj (1996 – 1998)
5. Rev. Fr. G.Backiya Regis (1998 – 2008)
He is a congenial personality with lots of poise and inspiration with a foresight to transform this Holy Shrine as a renowned landmark for pilgrims from all over the country. There has been a massive spiritual, social and cultural renaissance since his inception. He is a visionary carrying out his missionary tasks to his heart’s content. He has started his vocation form the scratch and one would go spellbound to find the meticulous ways in which he has constructed the shrine and his plans of erecting a mighty Tower of Faith encapsulating the Catholic Faith, Tradition and Doctrines.
Rev. Fr. G.Backiya Regis with his mammoth efforts accomplished his desire of constructing a church and dedicated it to Mazhai Malai Madha. The late Arch Bishop of Madras- Mylapore, Dr. Arul Dass James, was the force behind him in all his endeavors. This church was inaugurated and blessed by Rt. Rev.Dr. Lawrence Pius, the Auxiliary Bishop of Madras – Mylapore . The uniqueness of the church lies in the opening ceremony which took place at midnight of the beginning of the III millennium (01.01.2001)!.
6. Rev. Fr. K. Roch Ignatius (from 2008)
He is the presently Rector of the Shrine.
Tower of Faith:
As a monument of our faith we have planned to construct a Tower of Faith in the shrine campus. The foundation stone for the great project was laid on 06.09.2003 by His Eminence Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy, Rome. We started the construction work on 27th October 2004.
The mega monumental project is in the fray. The proposed Tower would consist of Seven floors cascading the pilgrims into a world of Divinity. It is very essential to cultivate the requisite spiritual arousal and strengthen the faith of Christians. One would be enthralled to find this Tower as an exclusive monument depicting the evolution of faith.
The Tower of Faith is not just a Palatial structure promulgating idols of our religious icon but an incarnation of the Catholic Tradition. The word tradition derived from the Latin root ‘tradare’ which means “ handed over” – by and large what has been handed over to us down the centuries by our spiritual forefathers who have been expeditiously configured in this mighty Tower, Therefore this cenotaph would be an inspirational edfying and enlightening place of veneration which empower our posterity. The mount by itself forte to be cherished and inculcate in our mind the preaching and practice of our stalwarts of faith.
The concept of the Tower of Faith is to bring in the celestial world here and now and this place would become a place of penance, a place of meditation, a place tranquillizing turbulent mind a place of spiritual transformation and a place of magnified faith.
According to Vatican II “Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life”. Our Christian faith revolves around the Eucharist. Hence this forms as the foundation of the Tower of Faith and it is very appropriate to build the chapel of the Eucharist at the base of the Tower.
Our Lady’s apparitions at various places will be sculpted and her message to the world will ordain this floor. Dogma of the Church on Mother Mary will also be picturized.
3. Mount Carmel
1. Mary mother of God
2. Jesus in the womb of Mary
4. Mary intercedes
5. Our Lady of Sorrows
6. Praying Mother
Jesu from birth to ascension. The various facets of Jesus’ stature would be exhibited in this floor.
1. Baby Jesus
2. Child Jesus
3. Good Shepherd
4. Sacred Heart
5. Christ the King
6. Crucified Christ
7. Risen Christ
This floor would consist of statues of Apostles, Indian Missionaries, Martyrs and Saints who died on Indian soil.
1. St Peter
2. St Andrew
3. St James
4. St John
5. St Philip
6. St James
7. St Mathew
8. St. Simon
9. St Jude Thadheus
10. St Bartholomeu
11. St Thomas
12. St Mathias
1. St. Francis Xavier
2. St. John De Britto
3. BL. Kuraiakose
4. BL. Alphonsa
5. BL. Agnelo
6. BL. Joseph Vaz
7. BL. Mariam Therese
8. BL. Mother Therese of Kolkota
9. BL. Kunjachen
Well known Saints in India
1. St Joseph
2. St Antony of Padua
3. St Francis of Assisi
4. St Ignatius of Loyola
5. St John Bosco
6. St Sebastin
7. St Antony, the Hermit
8. St Paul, the Hermit
9. St John Mary Vianney
10. St Vincent De Paul
11. St. Louis De Montfort
12. St George
13. St. Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael, the Archangels
14. St Theresa of Child Jesus
15. St Mary Magdalene
16. St Martha
17. St Joachin & Anne
18. St Francis De Sales
19. St Dominic Savio
20. St Theresa of Avila
21. St John, the Baptist
22. St Mark, the Evangelist
23. St Luke, the Evangelist
24. St Simon Stock
25. St Aloysius
26. St Vincent Pallotti
27. St Timothy
28. St Patrick
29. St Maria Mazarello
30. St Thomas More
31. St Margaret Mary Alacogue
32. St John of the cross
33. St. Cecillia
34. St Stephen
35. St Alphonsus Liguori
36. St Augustine
37. St Ambrose
38. St Clare
39. St Antony Mary Claret
40. St Benedict
41. St Dominic
42. St Eugne De Mazonode
43. BL Ann Mary Jaouhay
44. St John Chrysostom
45. St Pius X
46. St Padre Pio
47. St Peter Claver
48. St Philomina
49. St Adolf Kolping
A huge bell
The motto of this Shrine is “Mariyin Vazhiyil Manidham Malara” The English translation of this quote is “Let Humane Blossom through the way of Mother Mary”. The Shrine is gathering momentum day after day with the increasing number of pilgrims. The Shrine indeed is a milestone of Spirituality and Faith in the Diocese of Chingleput. Rt. Rev. Dr. Neethinathan, the Bishop of Chingleput, issued a Decree on Mazhai Malai Madha proclaiming Her as the Secondary Patroness of the Diocese of Chingleput and the official Shrine of the Diocese on 6th September 2003. From 2004 May, the Shrine has been bifurcated from the Acharapakkam Parish and made as an Independent Shrine.
Mazhai Malai Madha Arulthalam – Miraculous Prayer
O Dear Blessed Mother,
Our Lady of Acharapakkam,
We honour you with love,
We kneel at your feet in gratitude,
for your Gentle presence in our distress.
Beloved Mother of God.
Teach us to follow you,
and cling to you in hope,
Bless us dear Mother,
with pure heart , and serene mind.
with deep trust in your powerful intercession,
We place before you,
the broken families, deserted children,
weak students, unemployed youth, unmarried girls,
people at business, those distressed with heavy loans,
O Mother of Justice,
Redeem the innocent victims, of the existing social evils.
Inspire us to partake in the sufferings, of our brethen,
in return to the innumerable gifts, that we receive from you.
Help us to find favour, among God and People.
Our Lady of Acharapakkam – Pray for us.
Our Father – 3 Hail Mary – Glory Be.
Everyday- 03.00 p.m. Divine Mercy Prayer, 06.00 p.m. Rosary & Mass
Saturdays – 12.00 Noon, 06.00 p.m., Special Novena Mass
First Saturdays – 12.00 Noon – Mass, 06.00 p.m. – Mass, 10.00 p.m. – 12.00 a.m., Vigil Service Followed by Mass at 12.00 a.m.
Sundays – 11.00 a.m. – Mass
Full Moon Days – 06.00 p.m. – Mari valam (Giri valam), 07.00 p.m. – Mass (at the hill top), 10.00 p.m. – 03.00 a.m., Vigil Service followed by Mass
New Moon Days – 07.00 p.m. – Car procession and Mass, 09.30 p.m. – 12.00 a.m. – Vigil Servi
Mazhai Malai Madha Arulthalam, Post Bag No. 1, Acharapakkam 603 301
Kancheepuram District, Tamilnadu, South India.
Phone : 044 – 27523312, 27522212, Marriage Bureau : 044-27523330, Cell : +91 9865520058, Fax : 044 – 27523391
For more information please visit: http://malaimadha.org.in/
Photo Courtesy: chennaiepages.com