Thibodaux in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)
The St. Joseph Cemetery Calvary-Grotto Shrine
In 1865, with the Grotto in mind, Rev. Charles Menard, Pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church, planted two rows of Oak Trees behind the old church to form an alley to where the grotto was to be built. Early records show that 2,400 cart-loads of dirt were required to form a hillock seventeen feet high. The grotto was built of bricks. On December 16, 1883, a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was placed in the grotto.
The addition of the Calvary group of cast iron statues, purchased from the House of Verrbout in Paris, France, was in 1884. In his description of the statues Rev. Menard stated "The Execution of the anatomy of the Christ is remarkable. The Blessed Virgin is striking in her expression of extreme sorrow...filled with superhuman resignation...St. John is full of faith and love, and St. Mary Magdalene is remarkable in her attitude of meditation and repentence...This group is a real masterpiece."
On October 8, 1884, Archbishop Francis Leray of New Orleans blessed the statues and gave the Pontifical blessing to the crowd of about 2000 persons in attendance at the solemn and impressive ceremony. "Everyone returned home with the piety which the ceremony
In later years, the statues of St. Joseph, St. Anne, St. Jude and St. Theresa of the child Jesus were added in niches of the grotto.
The Shrine-Grotto continues to be a place of meditation and prayer, as no doubt, the Rev. Menard anticipated over a century ago.
Location. 29° 47.689′ N, 90° 48.585′ W. Marker is in Thibodaux, Louisiana, in Lafourche Parish. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Menard Street and St. Joseph Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Grotto is located in the southeast corner of St. Joseph Cemetery. Marker is at or near this postal address: 949 Menard St, Thibodaux LA 70301, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Our Confederate Dead (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Joseph Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rienzi Plantation House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Site of Mount Carmel Academy (approx. 0.4 miles away); City of Thibodaux / Ville de Thibodaux (approx. half a mile away); Saint Joseph Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); St. Joseph Co-Cathedral (approx. 0.6 miles away); Moses, Allen Chapel, Calvary Cemeteries (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thibodaux.
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Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 19, 2015. This page has been viewed 199 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 19, 2015. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.