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Vailankanni The Lourdes of the East

A documentary film about the apparitions and miracles of Our Lady of Vailankanni,
also known as Our Lady of Good Health, in a small town in the south of India.
Millions of devotees from all across India and from around the world visit Vailankanni each year, but despite its 450-year history,
it is still one of the best-kept secrets in the Catholic world outside India.
A unique and inspiring story about incredible faith and devotion to the Blessed Mother.

Approximately 30 minutes

DVD Price: $19.75

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Vailankanni Shrine History

According to a long held tradition, devotion to our lady of Vailankanni began in the mid 16th century and is attributed to three miracles . The first was the apparition of the Blessed Mother¾ Mary with infant Jesus to a young boy delivering milk, the second apparition to a lame boy selling buttermilk by the roadside and third, the rescue of a shipfull of Portuguese sailors caught in a violent hurricane in the Bay of Bengal thru the intercession of¾ the Blessed Mother Mary.

In the early sixteenth century Vailankanni was just a small fishing village of a few dozen residents. Each day the fishermen of Vailankanni would cast off early in the morning and return later in the day, their boats overflowing with the day's catch. The women and children meanwhile would work in the nearby fields or tend cattle and sheep. Each day they would carry the fish, produce and dairy products to Nagapattinam a town of wealthy merchants and portuguese traders a few miles away. On their way they would pass a small pond of fresh water with a huge banyan tree by the side. Sometimes they would stop here for a few minutes to drink the cool water from the pond or to rest under the shady banyan tree, before resuming their errands.

During this time there was a young boy from a very poor family who used to work as a milk delivery boy. Each morning he would pick up a pot of milk from a local farmer and would go door to door delivering the milk. Sometimes during his rounds he would stop at the pond to get a drink of fresh cool water and rest for a short while under the banyan tree before resuming his errands. On one particular day as he was going about doing his errands the boy began to feel very tired and very thirsty. When he reached the pond he set the pot of milk under the banyan tree and quenched his thirst with the cool water from the pond. He then lay down under the banyan tree to rest for a few moments before resuming his errands. As he lay there resting he was suddenly surrounded by a brilliant light and a beautiful lady with an infant in her arms stood before him .

The lady asked the boy if he could spare a little milk for her child as the child was hungry. Without hesitation the boy handed the pot of milk to the lady. The lady took the pot of milk from the boy and fed her child. After the child¾ had enough milk the lady handed the pot back to the boy and thanked him. but before the boy could speak the lady and the infant vanished. The boy's astonishment soon turned to fear, as he realized that not only was he late with the delivery, but he did not have any milk to deliver either, as the pot was nearly empty. The boy knew¾ that his master would be very angry as they depended on this pot of milk to feed their little baby and make buttermilk and yogurt for their meals. Nevertheless The boy decided that it was best to go to his masters house and offer an explanation as to why he was late, and why there was not much milk left in the pot.

When he arrived at the house he told his master about the beautiful lady and the infant who drank up all the milk. But the master was very angry. As the master began to berate the boy the pot suddenly¾ began to overflow with milk. The master and the boy were startled to see the empty pot overflowing with milk. The master then realized that the boy was telling the truth and that the lady he saw must have been a divine person. He asked the boy to take him to the spot where the apparition had taken¾ place. The boy led him to the banyan tree by the small pond and they both said a prayer to the divine mysterious lady.

But this was no mystery to the Catholics living nearby , they knew that this was an apparition of our Blessed Mother Mary with the infant Jesus in her arms. They too visited the banyan tree by the pond to pray to the Blessed Mother. Some of them began to experience miraculous cures after visiting the small pond and drinking the water and praying to the Blessed Mother Mary. They began referring to her as the lady of good health, a name that has stuck till today. And the pond came to be known as our lady's tank.

A short time after the first apparition, in another part of vailankanni there lived a poor widow and her only young son who was lame. Although the boy was handicapped he would try to help his mother as much as he could.

Each day the boy's mother would make a pot of buttermilk and the boy would sit under a tree by the roadside and sell the buttermilk. The cool and refreshing buttermilk was quite popular in the neighborhood and the boy would normally sell the whole pot by the end of the day. One morning as he sat under the tree waiting for customers he was startled by a strange and brilliant light that surrounded him and within this light he saw a beautiful lady carrying an infant in her arms.

The lady asked the boy if he would be kind enough to give some buttermilk for her child. Without hesitation the boy poured a cup of buttermilk and offered it to the lady. After the lady had finished feeding her child, she asked him if he would go to Nagapattinam, a town a few miles away and deliver a message to a certain Catholic gentleman there. The boy replied that he would like to but unfortunately he was lame and therefore unable to make the trip. The lady then asked the boy to stand up.

Without hesitation the boy stood up and was surprised and exhilarated, that he could walk, and jump, and run . Things he had never experienced before. The lady then asked him to go to Nagapattinam and deliver the message to the Catholic gentleman there that he should build a church in her honor. The boy immediately set off for Nagapattinam to deliver the message to the Catholic gentleman. The villagers were surprised and happy to see the lame boy running down the roadway on his way to Nagapattinam and instinctively knew that¾ their mother of good health had worked yet another miracle in their little village.

The boy gave the Catholic gentleman the message from the beautiful lady with the infant in her arms and told him that he should build a church in her honor in Vailankanni. The Catholic man had no trouble believing the boy. He knew it was the Blessed Mother Mary with the infant Jesus that had cured the boy. He asked the boy to take him to the spot where our lady had appeared and they offered a prayer of gratitude. The Catholic man in keeping with our Lady's wishes built a small church. Word of the healing of the lame boy and the apparition of our Blessed Mother a second time soon spread to many of the nearby towns and villages, and soon dozens of pilgrims started coming to Vailankanni each day, to pay homage to mary and to petition her for favors.

In the late 15th century there was great interest in Europe to find a direct sea route to India. The reason ? India's spices. Especially pepper which at that time was selling in Europe for a higher Price than gold. The king of Portugal commissioned Vasco Da Gama, a much decorated naval commander to lead an expedition to discover a sea route to india.

Vasco Da Gama set sail on July 8 1497 from Lisbon ,reaching the Malabar coast in the south of India on May 18 1498. They were received warmly by the natives. Portugal wasted no time Colonising this part of India and within a few years there were over a dozen Portuguese colonies along both the east and west coasts of southern india including one in Nagapattinam just a few miles from Vailankanni. In addition to being great sailors, the Portuguese were also ardent Catholics and they soon began building churches and converting many natives to Catholicism. By the mid sixteenth century the Portuguese navy was considered the most powerful in the world, and they pretty much controlled the spice trade. But still, this was the sixteenth century ,and ships were made of wood and were equipped with the most basic navigational tools. The Portuguese navy's biggest fear was the dreaded monsoon season in the Bay of Bengal, when violent hurricanes or cyclones, as they are called in this part of the world, would appear out of nowhere and turn their ships into driftwood.

It was during the monsoon season in the mid 16th century that a portuguese vessel was making its way from the portuguese colony of Macau in China to Ceylon, now known as Srilanka . The ship was almost near it's destination when the sky suddenly turned dark and thunder and lightning filled the sky, followed by a ferocious wind and rain storm. The ship was being tossed around, and the sailors knew, that their ship would soon break apart and they would all perish. Fearing for their lives, the sailors began to pray to the Blessed Mother Mary to save them. They made a promise that if their lives were spared they would build a church in her honor wherever they were able to land safely .In a short time the storm began to subside and in the distance they could see land.

The sailors steered their battered ship towards the land and came ashore. They immediately got down on their knees to thank the blessed mother mary for saving them. They were soon met by the natives and were told that they had landed in Vailankanni. They took the sailors to the small church, where they again offered their thanks to the Blessed Mother and then continued on their journey. But the sailors did not forget their promise to the Blessed Mother.

They returned a few weeks later to Vailankanni to begin constructing the church they had promised to build in her honor, right on the beach where they had landed. They decorated the altar with rare porcelain plates and statues. When completed the church on the beach facing the Bay of Bengal, was quite impressive in both size and beauty. People from distant cities started making pilgrimages to this small village to visit the church and to petition the Blessed Mother Mary.


The Shrine Basilica Of Our Lady of Vailankanni Today

Today over eight million pilgrims visit Vailankanni each year. The modest church that was built by the portuguese sailors has been expanded several times over the years, and has been transformed into a magnificent Shrine Basilica with three separate worship areas to accommodate the ever increasing number of pilgrims that visit Vailankanni each year. The sprawling campus now includes a chapel at Our Lady's Tank, A chapel at Nadathittu where Our Lady appeared to the buttermilk boy, The chapel of Reconciliation, The Fountain of Renovation, The Museum of Offerings, a Gift Shop and more. In addition the Shrine owns several Lodges where room rates vary from about a dollar a day for those who can afford it, to absolutely free to those who can't. The Church also operates several Orphanages, Home for the Aged and Hospitals.

Approximately 30 minutes

DVD Price: $19.75

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The definitive work on the New Age Movement. Explores its birth, its invasion, and its effect on western society. It explores the pagan roots of eastern mysticism, meditation, Yoga Conspiracy of the New Age Movement, and more. An eye-opening expose of the New Age movement. Shows how it was conceived in the early 1960's at a planning session by Hindu gurus in India as a means of converting Americans to Eastern mysticism. The seemingly innocuous devices used range from Yoga Conspiracy of the New Age Movement meditation to a belief in reincarnation. We are given an extraordinary inside glimpse into an eerie world of cult mentality and mindless obedience, and we see how an outright attack against traditional American beliefs has been successfully launched, not only from Hindu missionaries, but from unsuspecting Americans who have accepted the surface manifestations of this religion as trendy and fun. Many of these concepts, amazingly. have found their way into American churches which, themselves, are the very target of the attack. The film covers the chilling parallels between the belief structure in today's New Age subculture and that in Hitler's Third Reich two generations ago. This is a program you will not soon forget. 1 hour 43 minutes. Believe this is the most important Christian film of the decade. 1 to give heed to its urgent warning.'
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The film uncovers the chilling paralels between today's Western culture. and the similar climate that bred Hitler's Third Reich a generation ago!
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(103 min)...........$ 24.95
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