A vehicle rally carrying the statue of Pope St John Paul II was held here on Sunday November 23 from the Bishop’s House, ahead of the inauguration and blessing of St John Paul II Shrine in Bajpe scheduled to be held on Thursday November 27
Bishop of Mangaluru diocese Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza blessed the statue of Pope Saint John Paul II. Joachim D’Costa, the convener of the vehicle rally handed over the flag to the bishop and to the parish priest of Bajpe Fr Leo Lobo.
The 6.5 ft bronze statue of Pope Saint John Paul II weighing 900 kg was taken in a procession from the Bishop’s House to Bajpe parish. The statue was made in Indonesia and was given by Vatican City to Mangaluru district.
On November 27 the statue will be inaugurated by the Apostolic Nuncio to India Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio.
Prior to the rally, Bishop Dr Aloysius D’Souza blessed the occasion and said, “We are going to install the statue at the place that St John Paul II had visited a long time back. Let St John Paul II be the closest one to all of us.”
Members of St Lawrence Church, Bondel along with their parish priest welcomed the statue and sought blessings.
MLC Ivan D’Souza, Rachana vice-president Stany Alvares, M P Noronha, Fr Denis Moras were present. Hundreds of vehicles were part of the rally.
Twenty-nine years ago Pope John Paul II had visited the coastal town. During the Papal visit devotees from all over had gathered in lacs at Bajpe where the Pope addressed them. The Shrine was built to immortalize his visit.