Velankanni church is also popular as 'Our lady of good health'. This church is built in the 16th century as per the Gothic style of architecture. There was some modification that was done by the Portuguese. This is the only church of its kind. This place is termed as "Mecca of South Asian Christianity". This is a very well known pilgrimage destination for Christians and also for other religions. This is the place where there are thousands of pilgrims who visit every year.
Legend says that Mother Mary with infant Jesus had entered this small town at the end of the 16th century or early in the 17th century. Hence this church is devoted to mother Mary. She is the main deity of this church. People believe that Mother Mary has the divine and therapeutic power for curing. Mother Mary is honored as the emblem of purity and mercy.
The towers are so high that it said that they touch sky and this makes this church look elegant. This church can been seen form far distance also. This church is painted in white color and the roof of the church is made of tiles that are red in color. This peaceful and serene environment of the church adds beauty to the church. According to the traditions that are connected to the mother Mary there is an apparition of virgin in Velankanni churched. During the second time mother Mary cured a crippled boy. The night before this cure, she had been in the dreams of the man and requested him to build a chapel. She asked the boy to call that man and when both of them were at their place she appeared again. Hence thereafter on that particular place the man and the cured boy built a thatched chapel and named it "our lady of good health". Later she appeared to save some Portuguese merchant from a violent storm. Then they went to the chapel for thanking the lady and in their return trip their built a small permanent chapel.
People visit this place pay respect to mother Mary and admit all their guilt as confession in front of Mother Mary. The only thing they have to do is that they have to light a candle in front of Mother Mary, as she will be showing light to them henceforth. People visit this church for thanking and asking for forgiveness to Mother Mary.
As Mother Mary is known for curing diseases, people get their ill family members here to cure their illness by the grace of mother Mary.
Airways: Nearest airports are the Chennai airport which is at a distance of about 350 kilometers and Tiruchirappali airport that is about 165 kilometers away from Velankanni church.
Railways: Nearest railway station is the Nagapattinam railway station which is at a distance of about 12 kilometers away from Velankanni church.
Road ways: There are state transport and luxury bus services available from Velankanni church to all the major cities of India. There are also local bus and taxi services available from bus station to Velankanni church.