On the right to the main building is the chapel of Annai Velangkanni and was built whilst waiting for the building permit for the construction of Graha Maria. Initially Fr. James built a small chapel in April 2001 and conducted weekend Novena services with a small group of Tamil Catholics.
The chapel was then expanded many times over the years to cater for the increase in inflow of devotees visiting the chapel every day to venerate Mother Mary and to seek her intercessions for all their needs, and offer thanksgiving. The chapel offers a peaceful and inviting environment that is conducive to quiet prayer, reflection and meditation.
As one enters the chapel, you can see a beautiful statue of Mary in the center of the altar with water flowing from the base of the statue into a receptacle.
The large circular dome above the altar portrays the crowning of Mary in heaven. By her very relationship as the mother of Jesus, Mary is queen because Jesus is King. Who is a king’s mother? A queen of course. And Mary is the greatest queen ever for she is the mother of the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace, Jesus. Mary received the promised “never fading crown of glory” because her life so perfectly resembled that of her Son’s and because she shared in all His sufferings (1 Peter 5:4).
In the New Testament Mary is present at almost every major event in the life of Jesus:
- His conception (Luke 1:2)
- His development in the womb, including the fetal development of John the Baptist (Luke 1:43)
- His birth (Luke 2:7)
- Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (Luke 2:22)
- Early childhood (Luke 2:22-38)
- His prophetic announcement of his mission at 12 years old (Luke 2:49)
- His start in public ministry and the first of his miracles, which she instigated (Wedding at Cana John 2:3)
- His death on Calvary (John 19:26)
- The birth of the Church at the Pentecost (Acts 1:14)
The important events in Mary’s life are captured on the painting on the dome above the altar of the chapel.
It was in A.D. 431, at the Third Ecumenical Council, in Ephesus, that she was officially named Theotokos (Bearer of God). What does Mary say about herself in the Bible? In the Bible, Mary clearly spells out her role in eternity:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of his maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. (Luke 1:46-49)”
The Bible says Jesus is magnified by Mary’s soul. A soul is eternal and not limited by life on earth. Mary reinforces her eternal ministry by saying “all generations will call me blessed“. If the Bible intended Mary’s ministry to end with the birth of Jesus, or at his death, or even at Mary’s death, it wouldn’t use that language.
Mary was perfectly humble, perfectly obedient, completely pure and completely chaste. Praying for the Blessed Mother’s intercession and being devoted to her is central to Catholic church teaching. The notion of Mary as intercessor with Jesus begins with the miracle of the wine at the wedding at Cana, when, according to the Gospel of John, she tells him, “They have no wine left,” thus prompting his first miracle (John 2:1-5). As a universal symbol of maternal love, as well as of suffering and sacrifice, her mantle offers both security and protection.
The annual Feast of Annai Velangkanni coincides with the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8. In preparation to the feast, hoisting of the flag with nine days of Novena service is observed, in which the people participate with ardent devotion. The feast is preceded by a cart procession within the shrine complex on 8th September. The flag is lowered at the valedictory function.
As the feast celebration draws not only multitudes of Catholics from Medan but also many Catholics and non-Catholics from all parts of Indonesia and neighboring countries like Malaysia and Singapore, the feast mass is often forwarded to the nearest Saturday. Please check the dates for this year’s feast at the Mass Times page.
In addition special masses, devotions and prayers take place regularly during festival seasons and other special occasions.
The Truth About Mary and Scripture
Mary has always been a central figure in Christianity and the Bible actually has quite a bit to say about Mary, both explicitly in the New Testament and implicitly (prophetically) in the Old Testament. This presentation reveals the incredible insights on the Biblical basis for the Catholic teachings regarding Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. This presentation will help shatter many misconceptions and clearly demonstrate how Catholic teachings are unmistakably rooted in Sacred Scripture.
Courtesy – True Faith TV