St. Anthony's Shrine, Pakala, Manjarapalke, Belman

History:


                                          The Chapel

The sub-station at Pakala, Manjarapalke, is under Belman parish situated at Padubidri-Karkala-Kudremukh state highway, about 50 kilometers from Mangalore and about two kilometers from Belman church (towards Karkala) towards your right. The sub-station, known as "St.Anthony's Shrine", was less known. Since 30 years, the devotion of St. Anthony has spread miraculously. Innumerous miracles and favours received by the devotees made this shrine famous as people from all walks of life in and around Belman flock the site during the annual feast on June 13th. St. Anthony is known as the Saint of Miracles for, through his intercession, lost things are found. The devil and evil spirits run away from his sight. His devotees never return empty handed.

 

Born into royalty on 15th August 1195 on the Feast of Annunciation in Lisbon, Portugal, St. Anthony gave up all of his family's wealth to enter the monastery at the young age of 15, and took the name "Anthony", the name of St. Anthony (Senior). Ferdinand was his name in baptism. After many distractions from outside visitors to the monastery near his home in Lisbon, Anthony moved to the Abbey of Santa Cruz, where he studied the Lord's teachings for the next eight years.

 

After Santa Cruz, Anthony joined the Franciscans and traveled to Morocco as a missionary, influenced by the sacrifice of five Franciscan martyr fathers. But he became so ill after four months that he couldn't stand up long enough to preach. He decided that it was time to head back home to Portugal. On his way home, however, the ship in which he was traveling, caught in a very bad storm and was forced to dock in Sicily. Determined to continue to do God's work, Anthony met Father Gratian, who sent him to the mountains in San Paolo, near Forli. It was in Forli where his year's of study and devotion to God paid off. At his ordination into the priesthood, Anthony gave a spontaneous speech at Father Gratian's request. The speech was so eloquent and convincing, that he immediately became known as "Anthony the Preacher." At the age of 35 years and 10 months, he entered his heavenly abode on 13th June 1231. Well ahead of his first death anniversary, Pope Gregory IX raised him to the honour of "Saint".

The Background at Pakala:


The revered place where the miraculous statue of St. Anthony is housed

No body knows the exact time of founding this shrine. But an interesting information as to the existence of the shrine prevails. Long ago, when there was no transport facilities available, people were walking the destination to earn their daily bread. Such was the case, fisher-women were visiting the villages to sell the fish they brought. Barter system was still prevailing at that time. Accordingly they used to exchange fish for rice, paddy, vegetable and firewood and would return to their place by evening.
Once it so happened, the fisher women were taking rest in the house of an elderly person, late Francis D'Silva in Pakala after selling their merchandise. When they were ready to leave in the evening, they could not lift the baggage full of firewood; it was too heavy. They emptied their baggage and to their surprise, they found a wooden statue identified as of St. Anthony. They left the statue behind and made their way home.
The family of late Francis D'Silva was a God fearing one. The installed the wooden statue in their residence with due reverence. Since then, the devotion of St. Anthony was on the verge of popularity. From the time of late Francis D'Silva to the time of late Piad D'Silva, the devotion continued at their residence. By the time passed, the devotion spread amongst the non-Christians too, for they were getting the favours for their intensions. For all the favours received by Christians and non-Christians, proof speaks for itself.

 

Once it so happened, a bullock cart was driven forcibly across and near the entrance of place of worship by a non-Christian. The cart could not move an inch either forward or backward. The persons on the cart realized their fault and came down on their feet in front of St. Anthony begging pardon and offered sufficient oil to be burnt in the lamp handing in front of the miraculous statue. To the surprise of everyone, the bullocks were able to pull the cart instantly. This particular incidence spread like wild fire amongst the non-Christians and they too began to believe and worship St. Anthony.
Today, St. Anthony is known as 'Pakala Dever' (God of Pakala) to the non-Christians. People from all walks of life throng to Pakala shrine to offer prayers and candles from morning to evening on a daily basis. There is a non-Christian businessman, who lights the lamp at the shrine daily in the morning and only then he goes to the place of his business to open. Even the travelers passing through this shrine, stop their vehicles and bow in reverence to St. Anthony. Till the year 1970 the statue of St. Anthony was under the custody of late Piad D'Silva. The family was divided and the main family of late D'Silva was in deep financial trouble. At this time, the people of Pakala joined hands and saw that monetary help was extended to this family through S.V.P. Sabha with the whole hearted involvement of the parish priest of Belman

Miraculous statue of  St. Anthony

 


  Lighting the candles

On the other hand, they also decided to build a place of worship in a public place and install St. Anthony there. This project was conceived and put into action by Late Rev.Fr. N.J. Pereira, parish priest with the active cooperation of the building committee members. The members included Mr. John Mathias, Ms. Remedia D'Souza, Mr. Alphonse Monteiro, Mr. Mathias D'Silva, Mr. Thomas Menezes, Mr. Basil Noronha and Mr. Joseph D'Silva. With the whole hearted cooperation of these people, a small building came up for prayer and worship. The statue of St. Anthony was kept in the house of Mr. Joseph D'Silva, till it was officially installed at the newly constructed building. However, on 13th July 1974, Rev.Fr. V. Rodrigues, parish priest of Belman, blessed the new building and declared open the structure as St. Anthony's Shrine.

 

Development of this shrine is to be done in an on-going basis. The shrine needs a large building and other basic facilities to cater to the needs of the devotees flocking the shrine. Their number if increasing day by day, year after year. The development of this shrine depends upon the tireless work from all, and the cooperation they extend. We pray St. Anthony to invoke choicest blessing of God on those who put their all-round efforts towards the developmental activities of the Shrine.