We, the parishioners of Lourdes Matha Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, in and around Raleigh-Durham area, North Carolina, under the Saint Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago, seek to live our faith in Christ as we worship, serve and bear witness to Jesus Christ. Ours is a family of believers, aware of the presence of Jesus in our lives and the protection of the Mother of God. With appreciation of the diverse gifts of our individual members, we strive to gain the participation of each parishioner and work to ensure that everyone feels welcome in our community.
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, invoked by Roman Catholics in honor of the Marian apparition that took place in Lourdes, France.
Bernadette Soubirous was a fourteen-year-old peasant girl that witnessed Our Lady’s apparition. There were a total of seventeen apparitions over the year 1858. Our Lady told St. Bernadette that we were to pray for the 'Conversion of Sinners', and she stated, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. St. Bernadette was asked to dig in the ground and a “spring” would erupt. She did as she was told, and to this day the water runs. Nearly 6 million faithful make the pilgrimage annually, and hundreds of miracles have been reported through these visits.
Apparitions at Lourdes
Bernadette Soubirous, on February 11, 1858, went with her sisters Toinette and Jeanne Abadie to collect some firewood in order to buy some bread. She stopped to take her shoes and stockings off to wade through the water near the Grotto of Massabielle, and she heard the sound of two gusts of wind, but the trees and bushes nearby did not move. From the darkness of the alcove came a “dazzling light, and a white figure”. She was dressed all in white, with a blue belt fastened around her waist and the golden yellow roses, one on each foot, the color of her rosary. Bernadette tried to keep this a secret, but Toinette told her mother, and the children received corporal punishment for their 'story'.
Bernadette returned to the Grotto three days later, and brought holy water as a test that the apparition was not evil, and demanded that if she were from God, she must stay. If she were evil, she must go away. She said the vision only made her grateful when the holy water was cast and she made her demands. Bernadette’s companions had become afraid when they saw her in ecstasy. She remained ecstatic even as they returned to the village. On February 18, she spoke of being told by the Lady to return to the Grotto over a period of two weeks. She quoted the Lady, “I promise to make you happy, not in this world, but in the next”.
Soon the news spread all around, and her parents took interest. People were shocked when they heard her story, and it was on February 24, that Bernadette related that the apparition asked for prayer and penitence for the conversion of sinners. On the next day the apparition asked her to dig in the ground and drink from the spring that would erupt. She did as told, and the stream soon became a focal point for the pilgrimages.
The government being concerned fenced off the area and issued stiff penalties for anybody trying to get near it.
Bernadette visited the barricaded Grotto under the cover of darkness, and on March 25, she was told by the apparition, “I am the Immaculate Conception”.
April 5th: Monday of Easter. Bernadette returned to the grotto, surrounded by a multitude of people praying with her. As usual she kneeled, and in her left hand the lighted candle that she always took with her and placed it on the ground.
Absorbed in contemplation of the Queen of Heaven, more so now that she was assured of the identity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bernadette raised her hands and as she brought them down again she did not realize that she was touching the flame of the candle. So, the flame penetrated her fingers from side to side according to the gusts of wind.
People started to scream: “She is getting burned.” But she remained motionless. A doctor near Bernadette confirmed with his watch that for more than 15 minutes her hand was on the flame without moving whatsoever. Everyone screamed “ miracle!” The doctor confirmed that Bernadette’s hand was unharmed.
After the apparition ended one of the spectators approached Bernadette’s hand with the same flame of the lighted candle and she…
9:00 am: Holy Qurbana
10:30 am: Catechism Classes
11:45 am: Holy Qurbana (English – except the first Sunday of every month
WEEKDAYS (Except Wednesdays & First Fridays)
8:30 am: Adoration, Rosary, Benediction
9:00 am: Holy Qurbana
7:00 pm: Holy Qurbana; Adoration
7:00 pm: Holy Qurbana; Novena (St. Joseph)
5:00 pm: Silent Adoration
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