10 Minutes Documentary Film
Red Sand Saint
A Saint for Our Times - for Faith & Family Fidelity
1. Introduction: About the Saint:
St. John de Britto, a young energetic man from a royal family in Portugal, set foot on the shores of Goa in India in 1673. Setting aside the fame, glory and riches of the royal court, God filled his soul with a great dream project that of working for Christ by evangelizing the people in Tamil Nadu in South India. Desiring to spend his life with the simple and poor people, John Britto, also known as Arulanandar Swami in the Tamil language, preferred to labour among the low castes and outcastes. Impelled by the zeal to announce the good news of Christ to all peoples and cultures, John de Britto traveled on foot, on horseback and bullock cart all over Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. Next to St. Thomas the Apostle, Britto is the only martyr-Saint in India to date.
The history of the Catholic Church in Tamil Nadu has seen some remarkable Jesuit missionaries. St. Francis Xavier and St. John de Britto stand out as strong pillars of Christian faith. His eighteen years of tireless service won for him the hearts of many Catholics.
On February 4, 1693 at Oriyur in Tamil Nadu, the blood he had shed for the Christian faith, so attests the long cherished tradition, has miraculously turned the soil at the site of his martyrdom into red colour. No wonder John de Britto is popularly called even today the Red Sand Saint!
It is true that the spiritual atmosphere of the shrine, the peaceful setting of this village and the serene rural environment attract many pilgrims. Unfortunately, however, as of now, there is no sufficient accommodation space and no proper eateries for the pilgrims. Lack of sufficient water facilities is a major problem. Finance for proper maintenance of the infrastructural facilities has been a long felt need. Running an elementary school and a higher secondary school next to the shrine buildings compromises the silence and devotional atmosphere, so essentially needed for the praying pilgrims. Hence, the immediate need is to initiate extensive restoration works inside the three shrine churches, and in and around the shrine campus.
4. Proposed Plans:
As a preliminary step, the following projects are envisaged for re-designing the entire Shrine campus as well as improving its infra-structural facilities. This, in fact, is The Shrine Dream Project:
·Renovation of the three Churches: (i) the Church of Our Lady, or the Martyrdom Church, (ii) the Beatification Church and (iii) the Canonization Church;
·Shifting the present school premises to an area to be newly acquired in order to provide adequate space for the entire Shrine complex;
·Construction of two new schools the Higher Secondary School being the first one, followed by the Primary School, with all the required modern infrastructural facilities;
·Converting the present school buildings into habitable and hospitable pilgrims living quarters;
·Developing such basic livelihood facilities as potable and non-potable water system, toilet system, solar lights system, solar cooking system, protective compound walls, road and transport system, etc.
·Further developing the present Shrine Museum and Bookstall infrastructure facilities;
·Beautification of the campus with greenery, parks, gardens, lighting facilities, etc;
·Setting up of a Sound-and-Light programme which will depict the life and culture of people, the life and mission, life-style and activities, and the martyrdom of St. John de Britto;
·Putting up of some more devotional centres such as a Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, an Adoration Chapel to promote non-stop prayer life, a Retreat Centre with library facility to help the Catholic faithful and the clergy to deepen their faith, nurture their piety, review their life, etc.
·Putting up a Social Service Complex that cares for the poor, the discriminated, the victims of violence, the physically and mentally handicapped, the HIV/AIDS patients, etc.
5. Total Project Estimation:
The Total Cost of the Project is RS.180 million/-
3.38 million Euro/$4.84 million US Dollar.
Dear viewers of this documentary film,
We eagerly look forward to hearing from you about your response to our Dream Project!
We feel very happy to associate with you as faithful Friends and ardent Followers of St. John de Britto!
Thanking you in advance, we pray for Gods blessings on you!
May He pour His graces abundantly on you through the powerful intercession of St. John de Britto, a great martyr saint of the Indian Catholic Church!