An annual popular Marian pilgrimage was held at the Mary Mother and Protectress Church, Nobai Bottola in the Rajshahi Catholic diocese in Bangladesh on 16 January.
As part of spiritual preparation, Novena prayers, candle lighting, and other forms of giving honor to the Blessed Virgin Mary were held from 7 to 15 January ahead of the pilgrimage.
On January 16, people held a "Way of the Cross" and attended Mass led by Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi diocese.
History says that, the great annual popular Marian Pilgrimage at Nobai Bottola is held in remembrance of saving help of our Lady as “Protectress” (Rokkhakarini Ma, in Bangla) in 1971.
Bishop Gervas Rozario said, "An unforgettable miracle took place on November 8, 1971, at Nobai Bottola village. On that day, Mother Mary saved this village from Pak aggressors. From that time local Christians are devoted to Mother Mary."
"Today we have gathered here to express our heartfelt devotion, faith, respect, prayer and love to our Mother Mary," said Bishop Rozario.
Our Lady as “Protectress” (Rokkhakarini) Maria is with us and She is going with us to our pilgrimage," said Bishop.
Pilgrim Martin Tudu said, "In my life, I received many blessings from Mother Mary and She saves me from different kinds of dangers and protected me during the pandemic time. That is why I came on this pilgrimage with my family to give thanks to Mother Mary."
Filomina Palma, a Marian devotee, expressed her feelings and said, "I have a deep devotion, faith, and love for Mother Mary that is why I participate in this pilgrimage to express my thanks and gratitude to Mary."
The Nobai Bottola Mariam pilgrimage is one of the most popular in the Rajshahi diocese in the northern part of Bangladesh. Every year, the activity attracts thousands of people who join in a candle-lit prayer of the rosary and other religious activities.
It is a diocesan Marian pilgrimage place in Bangladesh. During this pilgrimage, not only Christians but many Muslims and Hindus also come to the gathering to offer gifts.
As many as 32 Priests, 25 nuns of different Congregations, and about 8,000 devout Marian pilgrims took part in the Eucharistic Celebration. - Nikhil Gomes
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