K.R. Nagar: The Annual Feast of St. Antony, popularly known as Dornahalli Jathra, will be celebrated at St. Antony’s Shrine in Dornahalli here on June 13. Lakhs of devotees descend on Dornahalli every year to participate in this Feast.
Display of fire-crackers and dance performances have been organised as part of the celebrations. People not only come from across the State but also from neighbouring Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other places to witness the 10-day cultural extravaganza. For surrounding villagers, irrespective of caste and creed, they take part in the feast. But for some families it is part of their culture to take blessings from the Shrine.
Shrine management has arranged basic facilities for the devotees with co-operation from the Taluk Administration. Like every year, religious programmes will be held and a decorated chariot of St. Antony will be taken in a procession around the Shrine.
Bishop of Mysuru Rev. K.A. William will conduct the prayers at the Shrine, followed by special worship and prayers.
It is learnt that in 1800, a poor farmer found an idol in his farm while ploughing which he assumed that it is a toy until in his dreams a sage came and told him to respect the idol. The farmer ignored the dream and bad things started happening in life which forced him to build a small temple and started worshipping on daily basis. Soon he prospered and became very rich. He shared this story with a Christian priest in Mysore who recognised the statue as St. Anthony and built a Shrine there. On St. Anthony’s death anniversary, this Feast is being held annually. People offer candles and flowers to St. Anthony and take his blessings. Meanwhile, Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh, addressing a press meet at the Prayer Hall of St. Anthony’s Church, instructed the officials concerned to gear up for the mega feast and leave no stone unturned to make the Jathra a success.
Rev. Fr. Dr. R. Arogyaswamy, Parish Priest, St. Antony’s Shrine, who was also present, said that devotees from across the globe irrespective of caste and creed participate in the Feast and seek the blessings besides praying to Lord Jesus to fulfil their wishes.