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Murti overtones of Marion Devotion

Flashback: Pilgrims touch the statue’s garment at last year’s La Divina Pastora celebrations. Photo: Elmo Griffith.

by Fr Martin Sirju

Last September marked the departure of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima from Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church to its next destination. The goings-on in the parish and the behaviour of parishioners and pilgrims comprise a good lesson in the anthropology of devotion vis-a-vis doctrine. In order to properly describe what I am speaking about I would have to depart a little to speak about a Hindu notion—murti.

Murti is used in different ways in Hindu devotional language. More commonly it is taken as a symbol or image. Hindus speak of a murti of Krishna or a murti of Lakshmi. The little figurines we see selling in Hindu shops are also called murtis.

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