Quaint Catholic church dedicated to El Nino
Holy Rosary Church
A charming quaint church that is officially called the Holy Rosary Church but popularly known as the Infant Jesus church. The statue of infant Jesus or ‘El Nino’ that stands in the middle of the compound is said to have magical powers and is a huge pilgrimage site. Thousands of devotees visit from across the island every year and people even come from as far as India. The El Nino statue is on the front left-hand side of the Church, but a larger replica is placed over the top of the canopy at the entrance of the Church.
This church is connected to the Shrine of Our Lady Madhu in Mannar, or Madu Church for short, in the North of the country. It is considered the holiest Catholic shrine in the island and popular pilgrimage site for both Tamil and Sinhalese Catholics. Many pilgrims pay both churches a visit on their spiritual journey.
On Fridays the mass is attended by hundreds of city workers. Uniquely, on Sunday’s mass is celebrated here in three languages: Tamil (6.30 am), Sinhala (8am) and English (9.30am and 6.30pm).
In Church Street (no surprise there) you find the Rosary Church school belonging to the same congregation. You can’t miss it, in a modest bright blue building. A popular neighbourhood school, especially among the Tamil population.