Skip to main content

Lourdes national shrine in Ohio marks 150 years since Mary appeared to St. Bernadette

EUCLID, OH (Catholic Universe Bulletin) - When Vincent Mancuso was 10 years old he was visiting Little Italy for the Feast of the Assumption when someone accidentally shoved him. He fell and the pair of scissors in his hand pierced his right eye, leaving him blind.

A HEALING PLACE - Sister Rochelle Guertal, of the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity, director of the shrine, guides visitors Danica Jelovic, a member of St. Justin Martyr Parish, Eastlake, Nancy Teeters, St. a member of St. William Parish, Euclid, and Diana Teeters and her son Dominic, from Alburquerque, N.M. as they learn about the shrine.

A HEALING PLACE - Sister Rochelle Guertal, of the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity, director of the shrine, guides visitors Danica Jelovic, a member of St. Justin Martyr Parish, Eastlake, Nancy Teeters, St. a member of St. William Parish, Euclid, and Diana Teeters and her son Dominic, from Alburquerque, N.M. as they learn about the shrine.


The next month, his parents took him to Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Euclid for the annual closing of the grotto Mass. “My mother told me, ‘Wash your eye with the water.’ And so I did. When we got home I said, ‘Ma, Pa, I can see.’ They didn’t believe me. But when they took me to the doctor they learned that I could see,” says Mancuso, who turned 90 this month.

Over the next 80 years, that right eye has suffered from a detached retina and cataracts, but he still has vision. “Our Lady has always pulled me through,” he says.

Sister Rochelle Guertal, of the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity, director of the shrine, says they don’t proclaim any miracles of healing at the shrine, but rather count a number of blessings or graces, much like Mancuso’s. Indeed, an enclosed case on the grounds holds a crutches, braces and glasses no longer needed by those who were “healed.”

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in France, where the Blessed Mother appeared in a series of apparitions in 1858 to a young girl named Bernadette. Euclid is home to the national shrine and is joining in the celebration.

Grotto replica

Situated on top of a hill overlooking Euclid Avenue, the shrine stands today as an oasis of peace and devotion. When in full bloom, stately trees buffer the sound of the traffic below.

After the Civil War, the property was a vineyard, home to “Euclid grapes,” known for their distinctive flavor seasoned by Lake Erie breezes. Julia Harms, who owned the land with her husband, was a devout Catholic who always had a vision of the Blessed Mother on the property. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd would regularly pick grapes at the vineyard, so in 1920 when the Harms children decided to sell the land, the Good Shepherd Sisters took over.

Two years later, while on a trip to the motherhouse in France, the sisters were inspired to build a grotto similar to Lourdes on their site. And they were given a unique treasure from a Dominican priest — a piece of the stone being hewn into a statute of the Blessed Mother on the site where she appeared before Bernadette in Lourdes.

Today, that noted piece of stone is embedded into the rock of the grotto where the water flows over it and into a pool. The treasure makes Cleveland’s shrine unique among others throughout the country, including the grotto at the University of Notre Dame.

Change of hands

Over the years the Sisters of the Good Shepherd diminished in size and by 1952, the Trinitarian Sisters were looking for more property. They found the shrine, were given permission by Archbishop Edward F. Hoban, then bishop of Cleveland, to transfer their novitiate and continue the work of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.

Under their supervision the shrine has expanded to accommodate visitors from more than 44 countries and a number of regular devotees.

“Some people are hoping for miracles when they come,” says Sister Guertal. “I explain that sometimes the miracle is acceptance and that can be a bigger miracle than healing.”

More than anything, the shrine gives people an opportunity to silence to noise of modern life and to listen to God. “People come to be open to the Lord through the Blessed Mother. When they do, things happen,” Sister Guertal says.

Mass is held outside in front of the grotto at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday from May through October (weather permitting). Novenas, rosary processions and Stations of the Cross also are prayed regularly. The shrine remains open throughout the year.

---

This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of the Catholic Universe Bulletin (www.catholicuniversebulletin.org), official newspaper of the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio.

Keywords:



NEWSLETTERS »

E-mail:       Zip Code: (ex. 90001)
Today's Headlines

Sign up for a roundup of the day's top stories. 5 days / week. See Sample

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

1 - 5 of 5 Comments

  1. Tomette
    2 years ago

    Just visited the Shrine yesterday, very nice experience. The Sisters were wonderful, very informative, very sweet and one, was very funny. Blessed Mother, hear our prayers.

  2. Frances Chorley
    3 years ago

    It was nice to see the Shrine in Euclid. When I was young my grandmother visited from Chicago every year and took my along ofter. We would come to visit her aunt, Sister Lawrence(Mary Grennan) We would stay in a little house near the main building. We would attend the Novena and march up and around the Grotto, eat in the dining room and have a great time. When I finally found Sister Lawrence's death certificate, I was wondering if there is someway to find out when and where she enteren the order. She was born in Ireland 5/01/1859 and died in Wickliffe, Ohio 3/05/1953.

  3. JOHN AND BONNIE
    4 years ago

    We find the peace and tranquility of this Shrine ,Our Lady of Lourdes, inspiring and important to not only our community in Euclid, but to many other Faithful.

  4. clarence moreira.
    4 years ago

    Its a great joy to read about Our Lady of Lourdes, we also have a church here in chennai and belong to this parish.GREAT IS OUR MOTHER.

  5. clarence moreira.
    4 years ago

    Its often spoken by many people here in india 'Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine'we also come under the same parish here in chennai GREAT IS OUR LADY.

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Proverbs 3:27-34
Refuse no kindness to those who have a right to it, if it is in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who speaks the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:16-18
'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it ... Read More

Saint of the Day

September 22 Saint of the Day

St. Thomas of Villanueva
September 22: Augustinian bishop. Born at Fuentellana, Castile, Spain, he was ... Read More