President Maithripala Sirisena has obtained Cabinet approval to proclaim the Shrine of our Lady of Madhu a Sacred Area, launching a special development project encompassing the shrine area which is to start soon.
Madhu Shrine becomes the first Catholic shrine to be declared a Sacred Area within the country.
The Shrine of our Lady of Madhu, situated in the Mannar District of the Northern Province, is a popular shrine and is sometimes referred to as the Shrine of the Jungle for being so located, and is a place of exceptional religious significance to Catholic devotees of the country. It is a shrine that is wrapped in history and miracles which attracts thousands of devotees throughout the year from all parts of the country and the world, especially in the post-war atmosphere of peace. The shrine also attracts Buddhists and Hindus devotees for veneration, so much so that the shrine has become a national religious Icon. Following the ethnic war, the dire need for constructive rehabilitation was becoming very evident due to the immense hardship faced by the thousands of devotees making the pilgrimage to the shrine.