Velankanni is the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India were Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is located at this small town. The Roman Catholic Latin Rite Basilica is devoted to Our Lady of Good Health. Devotion to Our Lady of Good Health of Velankanni can be traced to the mid-16th century and is attributed to three miracles at sites around where the Basilica stands: the apparition of Mary and the Christ Child to a slumbering shepherd boy, the curing of a lame buttermilk vendor, and the rescue of Portuguese sailors from a violent sea storm.
Our Lady of Velankanni, is a celebrated Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary believed to have appeared in Velankanni Town, Tamil Nadu, India.These accounts are based on oral tradition and there are no written or attested records in support of them. The Holy See has not approved these apparitions.
The greatest honor that can be conferred to a Church is to elevate it to the status of a Basilica. The word ‘Basilica’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Basilike’ and it originally signified a Royal Hall. In course of time this word has come to mean a large and beautiful hall. In ancient times kings from all over the world in general, and from Rome in particular, constructed large hall for administrative purposes. The first hall bearing the name of Basilica existed in Athens.
Jesus Christ being the King of Kings, and His Churches being His audience halls, the larger Christian Churches in Rome came to be called Basilicas.
Velankanni Beach, one of the prominent attractions of the region, is located in the Nagapattinam District. The beach is popularly known as Lourdes of the East. It is often visited as Church of Our Lady of Health is located in the vicinity of the beach.
The beach lies on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal. Velankanni village is located towards the south of this beach and was believed to be the port for trading with various western countries such as Rome and Greece.