Sanctuary and Main Altar — Vailankanni Shrine, New Delhi

The main altar on the eastern end of the chapel contains a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Vailankanni and Child Jesus.

She is dressed in a pink sari and long golden robe reaching past her feet and the crescent moon below; and wearing a golden cross-topped and haloed crown.   (Note: the color of the sari, robe and crown can be changed depending on the occasion and liturgical season.  It also appears that all of the statues in the chapel are dressed in the same color – this day’s color scheme was pink.)  She holds a golden scepter in her right hand and the Baby Jesus adorned in a golden crown and gown in her left hand.  The stoic gaze of Our Lady faces the viewer while the eyes of Jesus look toward her as if inquiring of her requests as intercessor for the sick.  The statue sits between two large oriental vases of pink roses and above are adoring angels also in pink.  Overhead on the wall is a painting of a dark blue, nearly night sky with two angels on one knee with hands folded in prayer before Jesus on the cross.  Just beneath the glass-enclosure is a small tabernacle with a robed statue of Jesus.

The glass-enclosed statue of Our Lady of Vailankanni and Baby Jesus is flanked on the right and left by matching humble hand-paintings of the Vailankanni image atop a white crescent moon with two of the famous Vailankanni miracles also hand-painted.   On the left is the miracle of the milk with the young crippled boy holding the milk container below a tree with a lovely village scene above marked by two bending palm trees.  On the right side is the miracle of the rescue of the Portuguese fisherman with a two-masted ship tossed in rough seas beneath a dark cloud with a stick-drawing of lightning.

The shrine chapel walls and floors are made of white marble which keeps it very cool even in the summer heat of New Delhi.  The entrance to the shrine is through wooden doors beneath a golden crucifix and bell, all within in a double pointed-arch framing reminiscent of the Mughal architecture seen throughout Delhi.