Friday, April 4, 2014

Building Mary's New Home

Fr. Varghese gave this image of Our 
Lady of Guadalupe to the Hindu 
statue maker to use as his model.
Villagers in Yerraverram, India, gathered to build a new home for Our Lady of Guadalupe. The largely Hindu village boasts the tallest idol of Hanuman the monkey god in all India, but also is home to Our Lady of Help Mission, one of the scattered mission outposts served by Fr. Varghese Kalapurakudy. The mission serves a population of day laborers or "coolies," once referred to as "Untouchables."
Hanuman, as seen from Our Lady of Help Mission.
One local Catholic did the masonry work on a new shrine for the Blessed Mother (see more of the story here), while volunteers helped transport rocks and sand. A Hindu statue-maker used clay and cement to form the figure of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which Fr. Varghese says may be the first one in a grotto in all of his Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam.
Volunteers sift sand from gravel for their new shrine.
Fr. Varghese snapped these photos of a villager's
kitchen right next to his mission compound. He said
the poverty of the people brings tears to his eyes.

Many hands build the shrine's new shell.

The laborers are excited to
see the new little structure
take shape.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

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