*The faithful entrust their lives to Our Lady during the pilgrimage to the Marian shrine, after the war fought by the military and the Tamil Tiger. She is the symbol of “love and protection”. Mgr Gomis, archbishop emeritus of Colombo, led the Solemn Mass.
Tewatte (AsiaNews) – Thousands of Marian devotees have celebrated Our Lady of Lanka praying for peace. Mgr Oswald Gomis, archbishop emeritus of Colombo, shared in their action. Last Sunday he led the solemn Mass held at the National Basilica, one of the first celebrations to take after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, the pro-independence movement that fought for decades for a Tamil homeland in northern Sri Lanka. However, hopes for a lasting peace appear to be fading as the country is torn by a power struggle between the government and the opposition that could lead to a new phase of violence.
In order to strengthen the sense of national unity among the country’s various ethnic groups, five masses were celebrated in Sinhala, Tamil and English. Mgr Oswald Gomis celebrated the main Mass at 7.30 am on 7 February along with five priests from the capital and the Diocese of Colombo where the Marian shrine is located.
The prelate urged the faithful to offer the Mass in thanksgiving to Our Lady for heeding “our prayers” to end the war. During the homily, he said, “God listened to our prayers through the intercession of Our beloved Lady of Lanka.”