The last Resort of the Abandoned

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St. Anthony is the last refuge when all human efforts come to a halt. One may find here people of every sickness. People come here when their doctors express their hopelessness. St. Anthony sustains the hope and makes them find a cause to live. It is a sheer wonder to all to come to know of the mentally sick tied to the trees or chained break of their chains and walk happily freed from the disease. The unflinching faith of the pilgrims brings forth their desired health. For an understanding of faith working miracles unheard of, one need to look no further than Puliampatti.

Puliampatti is not a town. It is a small hamlet of nothing known to be famous other than the age old shrine and its saint – St. Anthony – the dispenser of a crore miracles. Not until four years ago there were well laid roads to reach to Puliampatti. The vicinity of Puliampatti has not witnessed any growth in terms of transport, medicine, colleges and government offices. Going to Puliampatti is as tiresome as it is inconvenient and expensive. Yet pilgrims flock to the shrine – A Sheer sign of faith and undaunted hope on the saint. It is unheard that anyone who sought refuge in St. Anthony of Padua was left helpless. Coming to Puliampatti for the devotees is either for thanksgiving or petitioning.

The three power stations as upheld by Madam Brigitte Sébastia of a French national – are the miracle statue at the left corner of the shrine, the flag pole posted in direct line with the miracle statue and the grotto of our Lady of Sorrows. They are looked on as healing spots. It is a traditional belief that the power of St. Anthony or God lies in these spots. The mentally sick, the possessed, the fear stricken, the diseased will be found in these three places. They are seen with unusual devotional practices which to the eyes of the others are senseless as it may be brutish. On days like Tuesdays and Fridays, the people are found here doing different devotional practices.

Puliampatti is surrounded by villages inhabited by dalits. One might wonder how come a saint born in a beautiful town is seen residing in this dusty soil. It is beyond speculations that even at a time when modern sophisticated ways of life are far from imagining. this insignificant place got the attention of a multitude. One only remembers the Psalms 9.9 “The Lord Puliampatti is easily reachable to all those who were unreached! Puliampatti embraces people who were shaken off and thrown away.