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EVAVANAKKAD, India (ChurchMilitant.com) - A group of school children in the state of Kerala, India, are claiming they saw the Blessed Virgin Mary under the altar when they went pray at church.
On September 23, a Hindu girl who attended school at St. Ambrose parish in Edavanakkad, claims she was having pain in one of her ears. After going into church and putting holy water in her ear, she claimed she was healed.
She told her friends several days later of the healing, and Ambrosiya, her only Catholic friend, volunteered to lead them in a Rosary of thanksgiving in church during lunch.
On the way, they claim to have seen an image of Our Lord in the sky and went into church, praying the holy name of Jesus.
When they began the Rosary, they claimed Our Lady appeared to them "beneath" the altar and told them they would someday go to Heaven. They also claimed to be able to detect the heavy scent of jasmine, which symbolizes purity in Indian culture.
Father Merton D'Silva, the parish priest, questioned each child and submitted his findings to the bishop of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Verapoly that has decided to "wait and see" before any further investigation or comment.
Since the alleged event, hundreds of people have been flocking to the parish with many people claiming to be healed after praying the Rosary there.
On October 3, the children again claimed to see Our Lady in the church and the hundreds of people in attendance claim to have smelled a strong scent of jasmine.
Kerala is the Indian state with the highest ratio of Catholics, approximately 18 percent of the population. India has about 20 million Catholics, equaling only about 1.55 percent of the total population. Despite that, however, it has the highest number of Catholics in Asia after the Philippines.
Saint Thomas the Apostle traveled to Kerala in south-east India, a common Jewish merchant stop in ancient times and spread the Gospel there, eventually being martyred.
For 2,000 years, Christians there have considered themselves "St. Thomas Christians" and use the color red, symbolizing martyrdom, as the primary liturgical color.