Matara is a quaint seaside town hundred miles south of Colombo. The roadside Shrine of Our Lady of Matara facing the Indian ocean houses a 400 year-old statue of the Virgin which Catholics claim, is miraculous. It was found floating in the sea in a wooden crate by fishermen of Mirissa who handed it over to the parish priest. The statue was placed in St. Mary’s Church in Matara. It is supposed to have delivered the town of Matara from an epidemic of cholera. The statue has been damaged, lost and recovered more than once, most recently during the 2004 tsunami. It has undergone renovation in Belgium.