Survey Promo
RVA App Promo Image

India: Odisha’s Dantoling Shrine attracts thousands of Marian pilgrims

Faithful gathered at Dantoling Marian Festival

The Feast Our Lady of Lourdes was celebrated in Dantoling Shrine in Eastern India on February 11. Three Bishops, about 100 priests, 50 nuns and around fifty thousand faithful assembled for the feast.   

“Mother Mary played an important role in the salvation of humankind. Mary being chosen by God, the Father, to bring Jesus Christ into this world, and her willingness to do so is great cause for celebration,” said Bishop Nayak,  the main celebrant in his homily.

Aplinar Senapati, CM, Bishop of Rayagada led the Eucharistic celebration on February 9, Niranjan Swalsingh, Bishop of Sambalpur on February 10 and Sarat Chandra Nayak, Bishop of Berhampur on February 11.  

Bishop Sarat explained the origins of this festival and the world-wide devotion, linked to great healing and anointing of the sick on February 11 and said that the Catholic Church intends this celebration as moment for “ prayer and sharing, of offering one’s suffering for the good of the Church and of reminding everyone to see in his sick brother or sister the face of Christ”.

Daughters of Charity sister Shalini Singh from Raikia, Kandhamal, told that she was healed by God through the intercession of Mother Mary and she has great respect, devotion, and trust in Mother Mary.

“I offered prayers and petitions through Mother Mary this year specially for the peace in Ukraine, Russia and healing touch for the people of Turkey which is hit by Earthquake,” said Smita Sahu, a young woman from Dantoling parish

The Dantoling Marian shrine is under Berhampur diocese, some 179 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, the state capital. The annual feast usually attracts thousands of faithful from many states in India.

According to the Parish Priest, Father Kabiraj Bastray, the shrine was established in 1917 by the French Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS), as a sign of gratitude to the Blessed Virgin Mary, after the people of the area, irrespective of their different faiths, believed that they were miraculously protected from the famine and pestilence, through her powerful intercession.

Dantoling Parish has about 250 catholic families.

“I am very glad this year, Our Lady of Lourdes, Dantoling, Berhampur brought at her feet thousands of believers  to commemorate  and to be strengthened spiritually in this popular feast. I thank the Lord for his abundant blessings and constant accompaniment throughout this Feast Day,” said Father Valentine Uthansing, the parish priest of neighbouring parish Bhanjanagar.

“The feast promotes deep respect, reverence and devotion to Mother Mary. It also teaches to posses the powerful weapon the Holy Rosary in the lives of faithful to fight against sin.” Affirmed Father Uthansingh.

Prior to main celebration on February 11, Novena prayers and Eucharistic celebration were organized from February 2. Father Mathew Nayak, CM, Provincial of the Mission (CM) in North India Province, Father Sanjeeb Kumar Nayak, Vicar General of Berhampur and many fathers from Berhampur diocese led the prayer service and Holy mass for the faithful. The nuns, youth, choir members too cooperated in the liturgical service.  - Purushottam Nayak


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.