In the late 1950's Our Lady of Lourdes of Worcester was born. It was built to attend the needs of a growing Catholic population in Central Massachusetts in particular the northwestern side of Worcester. It wasn't long after it was built that the community outgrew the building. Property was purchased down the street and construction of what has become the present church began.
The design of the church was rather unique for its time. Instead of replicating the numerous other Gothic or Romanesque churches of the city the community chose to build a more modern type of building with a very steep roof line running down the center. The roof line creates what the designers called a 'praying hands' motif, that is, as you look down the center of the church the design conveyed a people with hands clasped in prayer. What is particularly unique about the church is its modern tile Stations of the Cross that surround the worshiping community.
The stained glass windows in the front, down the sides, and over the altar are a mosaic of various shades of blue, white, and green. The major stained glass window is in the front and subtlety reveals an image of Our Lady of Lourdes with unfurled mantle over the children of the vision.
Who Is Our Lady of Lourdes?
Lourdes is small market town in the foothills of the Pyrenees in France that was the site of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 1858. The first of these apparitions took place on February 11th to little girl by the name of Bernadette Soubirous. Bernadette returned home that day with a story about a "lady" in the cave at Massabielle (0ne mile from Lourdes) who talked to her while she was collecting wood. Over the course of 11 months Mary appeared there until the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8th). Bernadette described the "lady" as a woman in brilliant white with a blue tunic. At her feet were yellow roses that matched the color of the chain of rosary beads the "lady" wore. The beads themselves were dazzling white. They would pray the rosary together there in that grotto over the 17 times the "lady" appeared.
News of the apparitions spread and the site became a major pilgrimage place. In 1862, Pope Pius IX granted permission for the site to be a place of veneration of the Blessed Mother. Since then thousands of pilgrims from around the world visit Lourdes, many seeking healing from illnesses and disabilities because of the curative waters at the shrine. A copy of the image of the Blessed Mother of Lourdes embedded in a grotto-like cave can be found on the grounds of our parish as you come up the driveway of the church.