A Gift of Love

It is a common belief among pilgrims to Bandel Basilica that Mary gives the gift of a child to childless couples who have recourse to her. One lady narrated a story: “ was on a city bus plying from Bandel Station to the Shrine. I soon exchanged a few words with a lady sitting beside me. She was holding a bouquet of flowers in her hands, I asked her where she would get down. “At Bandel Church,” she said. Then she went on telling why she was going there: “Every year on this day I go to thank Mary for the great gift she made to me: She granted a child to my family after twelve years of marriage. My days and years were passing, sad, and dull. A friend told me to pray to Our Lady of Happy Voyage at Bandel Church. I did so. 

 “The following year I came to Bandel to give thanks to Mary carrying a lovely child of my own in my lap. Every year, the growing little girl would come with me on this day, but she has grown up and has to sit for the MBBS exams at the Medical College of Calcutta. So, this year, I have come alone to offer prayers, flowers, and light votive candles.” Then the friend asked the lady: “Did you convert to Christianity after receiving such a great favor?” “No,” she replied: “But I know that Mary is the Mother of Jesus. It is written on one of the tablets in the Basilica that her Son died for all mankind. I think his Mother too loves all. Nobody can stop me from loving Jesus and Mary.