In October, the quiet hamlet of Indigolla in Gampaha sees thousands of devotees from across the island attending the annual feast at St Jude’s Shrine. They find hope and solace from St Jude, ‘Saint of the Despaired’.
Words: Roomini Wijayarathne.
St Jude, believed to be a relative of Jesus Christ and one of his 12 Disciples, is considered as the ‘Hope of the Hopeless’ and the ‘Patron Saint of the Impossible’.
The statue of the Saint at the entrance exudes a sense of calm and serenity. Within the nave, the faithful light a candle beneath the Holy Sacrament as they pray in silence, requesting the Patron Saint to listen to their pleas. St Jude’s Shrine was established in the 1950s, as a place of worship for those who had made the hamlet their home since the late 19th century. The Parish Priest of Gampaha at that time, Rev Fr Philip Dissanayake sought to bring an Italian-made statue of St Jude from Rome. Thus initially the church was established in a newly built house. In 1952, on a five-acre land, the Shrine was built. As the congregation grew, a new church was built on the same grounds to accommodate thousands of devotees that visit on feast days and special occasions. The Feast of St Jude’s Shrine has been held in October since 1952 and continues to this date. This year’s feast will be held under the guidance of the present administrator Rev Fr Jude Sharman Fernando.
Flag Hoisting: October 17, 2019
Vespers: October 26 2019
Feast: October 27, 2019