Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mgr Govindu Joji: Christmas in Vijayawada, India, dedicated to the Adoration of the Magi

Vijayawada - For the million-strong Catholic community in the Diocese of Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Christmas in the Year of Faith is dedicated to the Magi. For the occasion, the Conference of Religious India (Cri) brought together more than 400 priests as well as men and women religious last Monday at the NSM Monfort School Hall.

Mgr Govindu Joji, apostolic administrator of the diocese, opened the meeting with a procession that ended with the statue of baby Jesus placed in the crèche. Some young people sang Christmas carols and presented traditional Indian dances.

"As the world is struggling with bad news," the bishop said, "men and women religious are like lamps set on a hilltop to light the path of faith to their fellow beings and lead them to salvation through the merits of Church teachings and faith in Jesus."

After congratulating the CRI for the meeting, Mgr Joji called on participants "to emulate Mary in her fiat, the shepherds in their simplicity, the star in its right track, and the Magi in their effort to find God."

The gathering ended with the presentation of a replica of the Adoration of the Magi (1423) by Gentile da Fabriano, in tempera with silver and gold, whose original is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

The Church in Andhra Pradesh includes 13 dioceses and more than 2 million members, half in the Diocese of Vijayawada, which has more than 145 religious congregations and a thousand consecrated men and women.

*Missionary of the Immaculate, a women's congregation associated with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME).

- AsiaNews