A walk with Mama Mary on her feast day

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Not very far from the coast of Arabian Sea, stands a historic edifice in all its glory—one of the finest churches of India where artistic grandeur meets history—the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica—the delight of many a Kochite. Fort Kochi, the place where the church situates, is known to be the 'cradle of Eurasian culture', and is home to the descendants of the port city's colonizers, namely the Dutch, the Portuguese, and the British (identified by the term 'Anglo-Indians'). The church and its feasts are an intergral part of their life and being—it is indeed 'a home away from home'. Though the titular feast of the Basilica is the the Triumph of the Cross, observed annually on September 14, the feast of the Most Holy Rosary is never an ordinary one. Celebrated in grand fervour with an elaborate procession, led by the Bishop of the Diocese of Cochin, on the first Sunday of October, the feast of the Most Holy Rosary, is an event of jubilation and delight. The observance of the feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, dates back to the 16th century when the allied forces of the Holy League of 1571 won over a crucial battle against the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Lepanto. Therefore, the feast is undoubtedly a link to the legacy and colonial roots of the Anglo-Indian community in Fort Kochi. Let us next have a glimpse of the celebrations held this year.

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