Collection: Our Lady of Vailankanni

ARTIST: Brenda Nippert


Sometime in the sixteenth century, in the village of Vailankanni, India, Mary, holding the baby Jesus, appeared to a boy who was delivering milk to sell. She asked him for milk for her baby and he gave her some. When the boy delivered the milk, he apologized that some was missing and explained that he gave some to a beautiful lady for her baby.

When his customer opened the jug, it was completely full and they realized a miracle had occurred. Some years later, Our Lady again appeared in the same village to a crippled boy who was selling buttermilk. He gave her some milk and then she asked him to take a message to a wealthy Catholic man in the next town. The boy got up to go, not even realizing at first that his crippled leg had been healed.

The man had also had a vision, in which Mary asked him to build a chapel for her. He and the boy returned together to the place of the healing and Mary appeared again to both of them. A chapel was built there and the image of Mary was known as Mother of Good Health. A few years later some Portuguese fishermen were rescued by Mary off the coast of Vailankanni and they improved the chapel in thanksgiving.

Her feast day is September 8.

Read More

Here's a look at the miracles that believers say happened during apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Vailankanni, India in the 1500s, in events now known as "Our Lady of Vailankanni" or "Our Lady of Good Health":

A Milk Miracle
A shepherd boy whose name was Tamil Krishnannesti Sankaranaranayam was feeling tired on a hot summer day as he walked from Vailankanni to Nagapattinam to deliver milk to his master.

So Tamil lay down under a banyan tree beside a pond to nap. After a strong gust of wind began to blow, he woke up and was startled to see an apparition of Mary standing before him, holding a child in her arms. Both Mary and the child had a glow of white light emanating from them.

Mary asked Tamil if he would give her son some milk to drink, and Tamil agreed. The child then drank all of the milk that Tamil offered from his pot, and Mary thanked Tamil before they disappeared.Tamil apologized to his angry master for arriving late in Nagapattinam and explained why he had been delayed. After hearing the story, his master became angry that Tamil had given away some of the milk he was supposed to deliver. But when Tamil and his master looked inside the pot to see how much milk was left over, they saw it miraculously filling up. It kept filling up until the milk spilled out over top of the brim.

Astonished, Tamil and his master ran back to the pond, and Mary and the child appeared to them there in an encouraging vision before disappearing. Thereafter, the pond became known as Matha Kulam (“Our Lady's Pond").

A Crippled Boy's Healing
Later, a crippled boy who supported himself and his widowed mother selling buttermilk to thirsty travelers were at work at a place called Nadu Thittu (which means “central mound") in the Vailankanni area, when he saw a bright light appear suddenly.

Then he saw two figures inside the light: Mary and a child she was holding. Both Mary and the child wore white clothes that emanated a dazzling light.

Mary asked the boy for a cup of buttermilk for her son, and he handed her a cup and watched as the child drank it all. Then Mary thanked the boy for being generous.

Afterward, Mary asked the boy to go to Nagapattinam to tell a certain Catholic man living there that she and her son had appeared in the area, and that he should build a church there to commemorate the apparition. The boy told Mary that he'd like to go, but he couldn't walk on his own, so he had to wait for his mother to arrive at the end of the day and carry him there. But Mary urged him to try, and when he did, he realized that he had been miraculously healed of his disability.

The boy then ran to Nagapattinam and discovered after talking with the man Mary had told him to visit that Mary had appeared to him in a dream the night before and told him to expect the boy's visit. The man built a chapel where the apparition had appeared and placed a statue on the altar of Mary holding Jesus Christ as a child. The statue became known as Our Lady of Good Health.