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Colombo, Sri Lanka: National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka

About Our Lady of Lanka:

In a suburb of the capitol city of Colombo sits the main Shrine to the Blessed Mother in Sri Lanka: The Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka.

In 1911, a small chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes was built on this spot, and then in 1917 a small grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes was added. The chapel was enlarged over the ensuing years and by the late 1930′ a large grotto replaced the earlier one.

World War II broke out in 1939, and there seemed to be no way to avoid destruction in the path of the Japanese military forces.

On May 26, 1940, Msgr. Jean Marie Masson, Archbishop of Colombo, made a vow to the Blessed Virgin Mary that if the area were spared the horrors of war he would build a church here in her honor.

The harbor at Colombo was bombed by Japanese planes on Eastern Sunday, 1942, sinking several ships and cause widespread panic among the population; however, the country itself remained virtually unscathed by the war.

About the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Colombo:

After the war the cornerstone was laid in 1950, but the Basilica itself was not completed until 1974, one year after Pope Paul VI gave it the status of Minor Basilica.

Another new Lourdes grotto, carved from rock, is now featured at the Basilica.

In addition to daily weekday Masses in Sinhala at 9:30 a.m. and Sunday Masses(11:00 a.m.), there are Sunday masses in Tamil (12:15 p.m.) and English (6:00 p.m). Blessing of the Sick is on Tuesdays and Thursdays after morning Mass. For a complete schedule and more information consult their website.

Traveling to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka:

Address: Lankamatha Road, Ragama, Sri Lanka

GPS coordinates: 7° 2′ 4.2864” N, 79° 56′ 7.2960” E

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