HISTORY OF THE NIRMALAGIRI MARY MATHA SHRINE

India is very generous to have many religions and it is tolerant towards all that come from outside. South India is very famous for its pastures, valleys, mountains and Rivers. It is comprised of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Nirmalagiri is situated near the village called Gowripatnam. Nirmalagiri is a steep forest-hill area and is situated on the National highway of Chennai – Kolkatta facing the River Godavari at 20 k.m.  distance.

In the year 1974, on 10th May on this lonely deserted land the first seed of Christianity was sown by Rev. Fr. Dominic ofm Cap. The year 1976, 9th December, was a very special year and the day for West and East Godavari Districts. It had the happy memory of the bifurcation of the diocese from Vijayawada and the erection of the new diocese of Eluru and the election of Bishop John Mulagada as its first Bishop. In the year 1977, 5th May Bishop John Mulagada was consecrated and on 8th of May he took charge of the Diocese as first Bishop.


Magnanimous Edifice Millennium Jubilee Church  2000

In 1978 on 5th May, while Bishop was traveling from Eluru to Visakhapatnam, his native diocese for blessing a Church, his car got broke down exactly in front where the present shrine is situated. After he got out of the car, he noticed the steep forest hill on which the ascending and descending of the sheep and the shepherds and the flowing of the small streams from the hill tops. He was totally attracted to the blossom of the  nature. While he was immersed in the aesthetic atmosphere, he could hear  a divine inner voice  speaking to him that “Do not be afraid, I am with you always, I will protect you from all dangers and I want you to build a shrine dedicated to Blessed Mother Mary through which all should honor Her here at this place.  His immersion into the Divine was disturbed when his driver said, the car is repaired let us proceed further.

Fr. Jose Kaimlett
1 st Director of the Shrine

Fr. Kunnakatt Augustine
Director of the Shrine 1984-1986

Bishop assigned Fr. Jose Kaimlett, the then Bursar of the Diocese, to Nirmalagiri to design and construct the shrine and other institutions around. Fr. Jose Kaimlett masterfully designed the shrine in Indian style bringing the culture of the nation clubbed with local colour. So the diocese at present is called the "Temple diocese of Andhra”. In 1984, Fr. Kunnakatt Augustine was appointed Director of the shrine. In 1987 Nirmalagiri was  declared as an independent parish with Fr. Guzzula Michael as its first parish priest. During his tenure, he put up steps leading to the hill, stage and hall.

MARY MATHA SHRINE

 
     

On April 25th, 1992 Fr. Dirisina Aaron was appointed the Director of the shrine. In the same year  on July 3rd feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle to India, Bishop John blessed and laid the foundation stone for the Church. The Church was designed by Bro. K. Immanuel Ofm. Cap. From 1995 onwards work went on sturdily with rapid progress.

The blessing and consecration of the Church was officiated by the Most Rev. Lorenzo Baldisseri, Apostolic Nuncio and Rev. Msgr. Bernard Prince, secretary General of pontifical Mission Aid societies, Rome in the presence of all the Bishops of Andhra Church and many priests, on 25th March, 2000 the GREAT JUBILEE YEAR. This day is to be recorded with red – letters in the history of the shrine.
 The whole hill was full of pilgrims as it was the festival of Nirmalagiri shrine, the Annunciation.


 Fr.  Aaron Dirisina
 Director of the Shrine

     The Relics of St. Aurelius, St. Benegnene and St. Dennis the Martyr were installed in the Altar and was consecrated by the Most. Rev. Lorenzo Baldisseri, Apostolic Nuncio to India & Nepal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnanimous Edifice - Millennium Jubilee Church 2000
Diocese of Eluru

Consecrated on 25th March, 2000 by

Most. Rev. Lorenzo Baldisseri,
Apostolic Nuncio to India & Nepal.

Inaugurated by

Rev. Msgr. Bernard A. Prince
Secretary General of Pontifical Mission Aid Societies, Rome

In the gracious presence of all Bishops of the State Andhra Pradesh

 

 
Statue of Mother Mary

  • The Church's length is 200 ft., width is 100 ft., and the height is 120 ft.,

  • It is two storied. Down Hall is being used multi purposely. Down floor consists 12 rooms for the priests and the hall can be utilized for various activities of the Shrine. 

  • The whole Church construction was done with the special stone that doesn't absorb the water. 

  • The Hill Nirmalagiri is 500 ft above the sea level.

  • Fine Marble for the floor and  Fiber Sheets for the Windows were obtained from the State Rajasthan. 

  • Fine Teak Wood was obtained from the Bastar, the State Chattisghad. 

  • The 18 models of Mother Mary's Statues are installed in the Church.

                            


Inside the Church

 
Inside the Church


Devotees in  the Church

Devotees in  the Church

Most Rev. Pedro Lopez Quintana,  Apostolic Nuncio  Vatican's Ambassador To India & Nepal
Visit to the Nirmalagiri Shrine on 12.02.2004.

FUTURE EXPANSIONS

The will and wish of Bishop John Mulagada, Founder of the Nirmalagiri Shrine is to have a college for boys, shelter for the pilgrims to stay over night and to prepare for the coming SILVER JUBILEE celebrations of the shrine(2007).   

Nirmalagiri Mary Matha Shrine - Photo views

 

 

 

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