Vijayawada: Thousands of devotees thronged the Holy Mary Matha shrine at Gunadala on Tuesday, the first day of the three day Gunadala Mary Matha festival.
The festival began with the holy mass early in the morning performed by Vijayawada Catholic Diocese’s new bishop Rev. T. Joseph Raja Rao amid large number of sisters, priests, brothers, seminary and convent students and devotees from across the state and neighbouring states, at the premises of Bishop Grassi High School located at the foot of the Gunadala hill.
The idol of Mother Mary called ‘Statue of Our Lady’ established in 1925 by Fr Arlati Pime, rector of St. Joseph’s Orphanage, witnessed a large number of devotees through out the day. Apart from visiting our lady statue in the middle of the hill devotees also reached the top of the hill where a huge cross of Jesus Christ is present and offered prayers.
The municipal authorities and police made elaborate arrangements for visiting pilgrims. Minister for water resources Mr Devineni Umamaheswara Rao too visited the shrine.
Medical camps were set up by the municipal authorities and other organisations to provide immediate medical help for the pilgrims. Day long prayers as well as other devotional programmes were held at the foot of the hill....