The lourdes grotto was a long cherished wish

The lourdes grotto was a long cherished wish

The planning and realization of a lourdes grotto inspired hochstadt’s home museum director and city archivist christian platzer to research in the annals of parish and city history whether the enthusiasm of the turn of 19. To the 20. Century with regard to the southwestern francophone pilgrimage site was not also found in hochstadt. And lo and behold, the history teacher at hochstadter gymnasium made startling discoveries, which he presented to an interested audience in the parish hall of st. George could present.

In 1887, the then city pastor konrad mauderer, member of the state parliament and founder of the hochstadt fruit and horticulture association, wanted to build a lourdes grotto on the church square in view of the events in lourdes since the year 1858. In the classicist style of the parish house, a rough installation was to be built on the south side of the town parish church, in the place where the olberg group is located today.

Madonna figure already existed

However, due to the stylistic changes ordered by the state and church authorities, no tree removal took place. The hochstadter church administration, however, insisted on the realization of their own design and preferred to build a separate chapel away from the church square for their project rather than to bow to the official conditions. A 1.74 meter rough figure of the madonna already existed as a donation.

What happened to this figure and the plan to build a grotto is not clear to christian platzer. It is very likely that the madonna of lourdes was placed in the parish church to show it to the faithful. In 1913, city pastor johannes leisner loved to restore the city parish church and wanted to remove the madonna from the place of worship again, probably for reasons of space and aesthetic considerations.

In 1923, priest leisner therefore considered submitting a new plan for a lourdes grotto. In the meantime, the system for the historic building, which dates back to the 15th century, has been rebuilt. After the olberg figures, which had been erected on the church square in the nineteenth century, had been removed from the church walls, johannes leisner planned a grotto on the southwestern wall of the church square. Probably for financial reasons, however, the realization of this project also failed.

Platzer showed a number of plans, drawings and photographs that clearly documented his work. He also referred to other lourdes grottoes in the surrounding area, for example in gremsdorf, sterpersdorf and aisch. These tree monuments and religious memorials refer to the spread of the lourdes cult also in the aisch region.

As a practicing catholic, platzer was impressed that after 132 years, a long-cherished wish of his ancestors could be realized in the third attempt. "And this at a time when faith is in danger of waning and interest in church life is declining rapidly."

"Movement serves peace"

The speaker did not fail to mention how much the spread of the lourdes idea of prayer, repentance and concern for the sick also contributed to popular understanding: when the last prisoners of war returned home after the second world war in 1955, the city of lourdes offered an opportunity to pray for the sick.-the parish trip to lourdes in the south of what was then the "arch enemy france. The pilgrimage was fully booked. Platzer: "a sign that the faith and the movement that lourdes triggered serve peace." LM

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