Blessed Virgin Mary on Ross Hill

A grand annual procession will be carried out to the Ross Hill Church to mark the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary here on Friday. Thousands of devotees from Visakhapatnam and the neighboring coastal districts and Orissa will participate in the colorful procession that begins from St. Aloysius’ High School. The Ross Hill Church, located at the entrance of the Visakhapatnam harbor, has an interesting history. A judge called Ross after whom the hill got its name owned a bungalow on the hill. In 1866, the then Bishop Msgr J.M. Tissot acquired the bungalow. An altar was erected and blessed as a chapel on August 15, 1867, by the then Vicar General Fr. Richard. Cyclones in 1870 and 1876 wrought havoc and affected the chapel too. New statue A chapel was solemnly blessed in May 1877 and a new statue of Our Lady placed in it. A new church was built by Fr. Contact with the permission of the Bishop. The new church was blessed by Bishop Clerc on December 6, 1905. Since 1900 the taking out of a procession from St. Aloysius School to the hill on December 8 began.