The Latin Catholic Church in India will hold a one-hour national thanksgiving prayer service on Friday, June 24, on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The event will take place from 8.30 to 9.30 in the evening (local time) to pay tribute to newly canonized Saint Devasahayam and consecrate all families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Pope Francis canonized Devasahayam including 14 others in the Vatican. Saint Devasahayam is India’s first lay Catholic Saint.
The prayer will be conducted from the tomb of St. Devasahayam at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Kottar, Tamilnadu, said Father Dr Stephen Alathara, deputy secretary general of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) in a press statement.
According to him, a special prayer service with a Eucharistic Benediction will be telecast on Catholic satellite television channels like Madha TV, Shalom TV, Goodness TV, Divyavani TV, Atmadarshan TV, Ishvani TV, CCR TV and Prarthana Bhawan TV. It will also be streamed through leading Catholic YouTube channels.
Archbishop George Antonysamy of Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, vice president, CCBI will initiate the prayer service.
Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi, secretary general, CCBI along with Bishop Nazarene Soosai of Kottar and Sister Annie Kuttikadu, a member of Sisters of Mary Immaculate will chant the psalmody.
Father Dr John Kulandai, vice postulator, Canonization of St. Devasahayam will proclaim the Gospel and Cardinal Oswald Gracias and the Archbishop of Bombay will give the homily.
Father Dr. Yesu Karunanidhi, executive secretary to the CCBI Commission for Bible along with seven Catholics from different parts of India will lead the prayers of the faithful in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali and Badga languages.
Archbishop Thomas J. Netto of Trivandrum will recite the prayer to St. Devasahayam. The litany to St. Devasahayam will sing by the choir invoking the intercession of the saint.
Cardinal-Elect Filipe Neri Ferrão, the president of CCBI and the Archbishop of Goa and Daman will consecrate all families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Archbishop Antony Pappusamy of Madurai will recite the concluding prayer and Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Nuncio to India will give Eucharistic Benediction.
The Circular, issued by the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, requests everyone, particularly families and religious communities, to join in the prayer service and asks that this event be shared also with those whose family and community members are abroad, so that they too may join in as one family.
All Catholics in India will spend this one hour as one family, thus giving witness to the Catholicity and cultural and linguistic diversity of the Church.
There are 132 dioceses and 18 million faithful in the Latin Catholic Church in India.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.