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  Metros   Kolkata  25 Dec 2017  Bandel Church chooses Mother Earth as theme

Bandel Church chooses Mother Earth as theme

PTI
Published : Dec 25, 2017, 12:13 am IST
Updated : Dec 25, 2017, 12:13 am IST

The Bandel Church has recently restored and put back on display a historical ‘mast’, which was damaged during a storm in 2010.

The mast was a votive offering to the Church from the captain of a Portuguese ship that was miraculously saved in a tempest in the Bay of Bengal in 1655.
 The mast was a votive offering to the Church from the captain of a Portuguese ship that was miraculously saved in a tempest in the Bay of Bengal in 1655.

Bandel: The 418-year-old Bandel Church here, one of the oldest in eastern India, has picked the novel cause of caring for Mother Earth as its Christmas theme this year.

Bandel Church prior, Salesian Fr T.L. Francis, said a giant Christmas crib made of bio-degradable and environment-friendly materials depicting the birth of Jesus has been put up for Christmas.

 

A newly-erected 20-feet mural of The Last Supper would be another attraction for thousands of visitors at the centuries-old Marian shrine on the banks of the Hooghly river, about 40 km from Kolkata.

Visitors this year would also get to see a rare representation of Jesus as Good Shepherd juxtaposed with Mother Mary holding Jesus in one hand and a lamp in the other, he said.

“Let us give and share with a view of building a new heaven and new earth, where nature is taken care of and we live in peace,” Father Francis said in his Christmas message.

This year, the Bandel Church, founded in 1599 by the Augustinian monks, is expecting record number of visitors as the X-mas eve is on a Sunday, followed by Christmas on Monday.

 

“Each year, over a lakh visitors cutting across religious beliefs visit the Bandel Church during the Christmas season. It has larger-than-life statues of popular Christian saints like Mother Mary, Mother Teresa, Don Bosco, St Joseph, St. Augustine, St Francis Xavier and others. “There is also the life-size Station of The Cross depicting 14 scenes from the final hours of Jesus’ life, and 54 statues and a Christmas crib depicting the birth of Jesus,” he said.

Natural materials like bamboo, jute and moss have been used to construct the crib this year, said Subrata Ganguly of Kolkata-based firm ‘Church Art’, specialising in designing art work for churches, museums and schools in India and abroad.

 

“We wanted to convey the Christmas spirit through Mother Mary who nurtures and cares for Jesus. The Mother also takes care of the weak and helpless in the creation,” he said. The Bandel Church has recently restored and put back on display a historical ‘mast’, which was damaged during a storm in 2010.

The mast was a votive offering to the Church from the captain of a Portuguese ship that was miraculously saved in a tempest in the Bay of Bengal in 1655. 

Tags: christmas, mother earth, bandel church