The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 139th year of its course.

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Deepavali is celebrated throughout India on the 15th day of the month Kartik in the Hindu calendar, which in fact is a Lunisolar calendar (moon & sun). It falls on Amavasya (Ammavaasa), the new moon night, that ends the month of Ashwina and begins the month of Kartika. The 5 day festival begins on the 13th day in the dark half of Ashwin and ends on the 2nd day in the bright half of Kartika.' The essence of this light is Shri Lakshmi-arising, at the beginning of time, out of the waters at the churning of the Milky Ocean by gods and demons for a thousand years. Regarded as the goddess of love, beauty and prosperity, Lakshmi, the beloved consort of Vishnu, along with Sri Ganesha, is a presiding deity of the festival of lights. They are worshipped in every household so that the year may be full of prosperity.

O Light serene, dispel the darkness that shrouds the eye, mind and heart of your people so that as on this festive day we may joyously wish and share with those around, right through our life. May the brightness, newness and the prosperity desired and experienced today be permanent. May your light enlighten us, guide and lead us to the fulfillment of your designs for us- of abundance, prosperity and well being.

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