The annual feast, known as Lourd Mata Mahotsav, commenced with the hoisting of a flag at Seminary Hills grotto on Thursday. The theme of the flag hoisting was 'Mary, star of evangelization' and St Francis De Sales Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Church conducted it, The Times of India reported.
According to the Christian faith, the evangelisation means to convert to Christianity by preaching the gospel (Christ Teaching).
According to Christian's faith, the most popular apparitions of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Jesus, was the one at Lourdes, France, where she appeared as a little girl named Bernadette several times and gave messages to her and the world. Christians believed that she cured many sick.
In preparation of the annual feast that will be celebrated on February 9, Novena prayers are scheduled for nine days at 6.30 am and 5.30 pm, respectively.
The Novena prayers means the prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks. Novenas are most often prayed by members of the Roman Catholic Christians, but not by the Protestants Christians.
On this occasion, the novena prayers will be held at St Antony's Church, St Pius X Church, Our Lady of Fatima Church, Infant Jesus Church, Holy Family Church, Queen of the Apostles Church, and others.
A group of people will pray for various needs of the people daily at Lourd Mata Mandir from 10 am to 1 pm.
Archbishop of Nagpur Elias Gonsalves will celebrate holy mass along with a large number of priests. Mass will be offered in English, Konkani, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. People from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Assam, Delhi and other states will be visiting on this occasion. 'Preeti bhoj' will be given to all the devotees on the feast day.