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Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto

In the summer of 1932, Karl Alter, Bishop of Toledo, visited the original Lourdes Grotto in Lourdes, France. Here he vowed to the Blessed Virgin that when he returned home he would build a similar shrine in his diocese - the diocese of Toledo. What site could be more favorable than Our Lady of Lourdes, Genoa!

In May of 1933, the Bishop visited the Genoa Parish at the invitation of Father Jazwieki, then pastor, to select the location and plan the building of the shrine. By the end of June plans were drawn up: in July the work was begun and by the middle of August the work was completed. Men of the parish worked on the Grotto, and with the exception of some of the masonry work (at 35 cents per hour), the shrine was built by volunteers.

The grotto was built of Tufa from Castalia, Ohio. Tufa is not a rock, but a petrified vegetation (mineral coated from the subterranean springs of the Blue Hole.

On Sunday, September 8, 1933, the traditional date used to celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin, the Grotto was dedicated. The statue of the Blessed Virgin, which can be seen in the upper area of the Grotto, and the statue of Saint Bernadette kneeling on the ground in the front of the Grotto, were gifts of Bishop Alter.

You are invited to visit the Grotto, located just north of the Parish House at 204 Main Street, Genoa, OH 43430.

Below is a link to information about the Grotto Gift Shop. Also is a link with information about the upcoming Grotto Craft Bazaar to be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish hall in October.


The Grotto Bells and entrance to the Stations