To Calvary with Mary

Source: District of Asia

A Traditional Lenten Recollection with Fr. Karl Stehlin the District Superior of Asia SSPX

The Traditional Latin Mass Community of Chennai organized their Lenten Recollection in the Shrine of our Lady of Good Health Vailankanni in Besant Nagar, this shrine of our Lady is locally known as “Annai Vailankanni Shrine” and is one of the largest parishes in Chennai, many devotees throng to this shrine to seek the blessings of our Blessed Mother. We too sought her powerful intercession as we decided to approach the Parish to allow us to have our recollection in their Church, What a welcome sign it was, when the Parish Priest Fr. Francis Xavier not only readily accepted our request but went one step further and made it a parish event encouraging all his parishioners to attend the recollection and the Tridentine Latin Mass.

On the 25th of March the Solemnity of the Annunciation and the joyful coincidence of the 26th death anniversary of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, we began our recollection with Fr. Stehlin leading us in meaningful meditations on the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, a fitting start to an amazing day with Jesus and His Blessed Mother.

For many it was their first brush with Tradition, the prayerful atmosphere devoid of the otherwise loud and chaotic scenes brought many to the realisation of how a meaningful recollection ought to be.

Nearly 300 people filled the church to listen to Fr. Stehlin preach about The Cross and how we can count on our Most Holy Mother to lead us to Jesus, people listened with awe all day long as Father spoke about how to lead a life pleasing to Christ and how our Blessed Mother leads us by the hand to her Son on the Cross. “Who better to lead us to Calvary” he said “Than the one who followed her Son every step of the Via Crucis”

The jewel in the crown was the Tridentine Latin Mass held in the parish for the very first time. The emotions of the people gathered could be summed up with just one statement from a lady who attended for the first time, she said “For the first time in my life as I approached the Communion line, I cried with joy as I knelt to receive my Creator”. 150 people were imposed with the Brown Scapular of our Lady of Mount Carmel while the Choir prayed the Holy Rosary and sang the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Latin.

The day came to a close with the enrollment to the Militia Immaculatae, after a brief introduction to the Militia Immaculatae father invited those interested to come forward and consecrate themselves to Our Lady, 73 knights enrolled and pledged their love and service to Mary their Queen and Mother.

We are grateful to Fr. Stehlin who preached this recollection for us and to the Parish Priest of Annai Vailankanni Shrine Fr. Francis Xavier for supporting us wholeheartedly in all our efforts.

God Bless our Priests! God Bless the SSPX!