The story of the Bell of Fatima Church is really a miracle. Mr. Alexander Joseph who was working in Textool as a Sr. Purchase Officer spent atleast 3 days in a week in the harbour ports like Mumbai, Chennai etc., One day when he was in Chennai Harbour he happened to come across a crate in a Quay which carried the name of Maria Soosai Chettiar & the address specified in it was Shanthi Ashram, Gandhipuram, Coimbatore. From that he understood that the bell in the crate was sent to Our Lady of Fatima Church.
Hence he informed this in person to Rev. Fr.Peter Damian who took him to the Casian Provincial Rev. Fr.Antony. Mr. Alexander Joseph explained the arrival of the Bell but then they had no clue of it. Fr. Antony had with him a letter which he received before two months stating that the bell would be sent across. To claim the bell, either Import Licence or No objection Certificate from RBi or Bill of Lading is required but unfortunately none of these were available.
Mr. Alexander Joseph then went to Chennai RBi & obtained the No objection Certificate.He then approached the import officer Jt. CCIXE & requested to permit him to take the bell. But he refused as the required documents were missing & also decided either to send the bell backto the senders address at the senders’ expense or to throw it away in the sea. Mr. Alexander then understood the urgency of the hour & came back to Chennai with Fr. Peter Damian.
Fr. Peter Damian pleaded to the officer but in vain.They also tried to influence him with one of his friends as well a lawyer but then he adamently refused . Fr. Peter Damian had strong faith on Our Lady of Fatima & he started praying Rosary to her night & day without food in the same place. Looking at this , the officer called them after 2 days & demanded for an apology letter for fasting and staying in their premises for 2 days continously. Fr. Peter Damian gave an apology letter in detail & thus received the Release order. With the help of his childhood friend & Mr. Jagadeesan who released imported goods for Textool , the Bell of Our Lady of Fatima Church was obtained without any damage.
The ringing Bell of Our Lady of Fatima Church always reminds us of Mr. Maria Soosai Chettiar who donated it, Ou Lady of Fatima’s grace and also the strong faith of Fr. Peter Damian