By Purushottam Nayak
Kandhamal, October 3: About 2,500 Kandhamal survivors in Tiangia, a village in Odisha’s Kandhamal district, gather every evening in October to pray the Rosary.
The Catholic Church has dedicated October to pray the Rosary, a special devotion to Mother Mary.
Tiagia was among the worst affected Catholic villages during the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal. Its survivors say that it was the Rosary that had kept them strong in their faith during the persecution.
The village comes under the Rakia parish of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar diocese, eastern India.
“I had experienced special strength and power through the Rosary prayer at the time of Kandhamal persecution,” said Anakleto Nayak, who led the Rosary at Tiangia on October 3. The catechist had survived the anti-Christian persecution.
During the Rosary, the catechist prayed for peace, harmony, equality and fraternity in India, Odisha and Kandhamal where fundamentalists continue to openly threaten Christians to leave their faith. “The hatred towards us still persists in the secular country,” Nayak regretted.
Those who want to become Christians are threatened and fined 10,000 rupees. They are even forbidden to relate Christians, he added.
The Kandhamal survivors in other places in Kandhamal too pray the Rosary in October.
“I get special grace, enthusiasm and interest to study,” said Swati Nayak, who was 8 at the time of the riots and had to spent years at a relief camp. She was among scores of children of the survivors who prayed the Rosary at Raikia Block.
Daughter of Charity Sister Jayanti Nayak, who led the children in the prayer, said reciting the Rosary helps devotees to get special power and strength. “It gives us victory over all our enemies, enriches us with graces and merits, brings peace, reconciliation and healing power,” she added.
The nun said they dedicate each decade of the Rosary for different intention because they have great confidence and trust in this powerful weapon.
Mother Mary appeared to Saint Dominic in 1206 and gave him the Rosary as a mighty weapon, explained its uses and efficacy and told him to preach it to others.