Seeking repose and asking pardon for their trespasses, scores of pilgrims from across three states of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra on Friday thronged to the Miraculous Cross atop Nandgad Hill, about 35 kms from Belagavi. Taking part in the day-long Lenten pilgrimage, observed as the “ Day of Reparation,” by the Diocese of Belagavi, about 15,000 pilgrims offered their prayers and petitions seeking special blessings of the Miraculous Cross. Archbishop Emeritus of Bengaluru Diocese Rev Dr. Bernard Moras accompanied by the Administrator of the Diocese Rev Fr Eusebio Fernandes offered special mass and prayers.
The day commenced from Immaculate Conception Church, Nandgad, with the live Way of the Cross, where the youth from Tumarikoppa village presented the live scenes of Jesus Christ’s agony till the Crucifixion. Offering prayers, the pilgrims walked till the Nandgad Cross for over two kilometres after which two special prayers services in Kannada, by Fr Freddy Raj and English by Fr Philip Kutty were held. During the main celebration that was held at the huge pandal set at the foothills, a mass in Konkani was offered.
In his homily, Archbishop Bernard Moras urged people to repent for their sins and seek forgiveness on those who have offended them. “ Praying, offering mass and taking part in religious rituals is not enough, we have to go beyond this and if we have done something wrong or evil of others, we must go to the Lord and repair ourselves, seeking pardon,” he said. Quoting from the Holy Bible the archbishop also urged not seek ‘an eye for an eye ‘ or ‘ tooth for a tooth’ and forgive those who offenders.
Speaking on the occasion Parish Priest Fr Vijay Mendith and Administrator Fr Eusebio Fernandes urged people to come forward and support the developments at Nandgad Hill where the Diocese of Belagavi is developing the place as a pilgrimage Center setting up a religious infrastructure like a retreat house and a special prayer cum spiritual centre.
A large number of priests, nuns was also present of the day-long prayer services that culminated at 5 pm.