The famous Gunadala Mary Matha Shrine has been closed up to March 31 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, said temple rector Fr. Eleti William Jayaraju. He urged devotees and the general public to participate in the ‘janata curfew’ on March 22 (Sunday).
Thousands of pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Puducherry and other States visit the Mary Matha temple and the decision taken on Friday was to ensure their safety, said Vijayawada Catholic Diocese Bishop Telagathoti Joseph Raja Rao.
All programmes, including ‘divya balipuja’ and ‘siluva marga dhyanamulu,’ were suspended, and pilgrims are requested to perform prayers at their houses and not to move in public places and attend large gatherings, said Raja Rao.
“Following the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the shrine has been closed. Reopening of the shrine will be announced officially,” said Fr. Jayaraju, who closed the temple doors.