Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes


Our Lady of Lourdes Church
Tuticorin Dt
Pin : 627 104.
Ph.No : 04637-250144.

Brief History:

One of the coastal villages which had embraced Catholicism even before the coming of St. Francis Xavier to the Pearl Fishery Coast is Idindakarai. Jesuit records has its name as Idindakarai or sometimes especially in the 1571 records as “Idintha Kallu” (Broken stone). Henri Antriquez who succeeded St. Xavier as the Provincial Superior of the Pearl Fishery Coast, built a church dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul at Idindakarai in 1552. The army of the Madurai Nayaks destroyed this church in 1553. Fr. Antriquez once again built the church in 1558. Fr. Silvera, the Jesuit Superior of the Goa Mission, complying with the request of Fr. Antriquez, sent a beautiful picture of St. Peter for the church at Idindakarai in 1571. The Jesuit record of the same year mentions about the existence of this church at Idindakarai. That Idindakarai was with Perumanal parish was referred to by Fr. Andrew Lopez in his letter from Cochin to Fr. Vitteliski, the Jesuit Superior in Rome in 1644. At that time the population of Idindakarai was only 200 among whom 30 went to Catechism classes. Since 1730 Idindakarai had been functioning as an independent parish with Fr. Immanuel Moreira as the first parish priest. Idindakarai was the head quarters of Uvari, Kuthenkuzhi, Perumanal, Panchal and Kuttappulli. Fr. Remi Fernandez succeeded Fr. Moreira. The Jesuit record of 1730 shows that Idindakarai had 210 catholics and 20 fishing boats. Even in 1938 Idindakarai continued to be the head quarters of the above mentioned villages. In 1840 the same old “Spiritual Authority Confusion” ( Goa and French Mission) that affected the Pearl Fishery Coast also distressed Idindakarai. But due to the good efforts of the French Jesuits the problem was quelled. It is a known fact that in 1845 the protestant Bishop Caldwell failed miserably in his endeavor to convert the people of Idindakarai. A certain priest belonging to the “Siro Chaldean” rite from Kerala in 1893 also tried to divide the people of Idindakarai with his teachings. People never allowed him even to enter the village with the efforts of the parish priest Verdier. Madurai Apostolic Bishop Canos came to Idindakarai in 1862 for pastoral visit invited by Fr. Verdier.
As the ancient church of Sts. Peter and Paul situated at the coastal border of Idindakarai was abandoned, a new church was built and dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes on the 2 nd of February 1906 . The expense of the building was Rs. 20,000. Its centenary anniversary was celebrated on the 11 th of February 2006 . Fr. Fernandez built the rectory and Fr. Barbier blessed it on the 21 st of August 1876 . In 1877 Koodangulam village was joined to Idindakarai parish. As time went on two churches were built in the northern and eastern borders of Idindakarai and dedicated to St. Antony. Our Lady of Lourdes grotto was constructed in 1962. Bishop Thomas brought a piece of stone of the very mound on which the feet of Our Lady was set in her appearance to St. Bernadette in the cave of Masabiel . That stone is in this grotto. Near the western coast of Idindakarai St. Xavier ’s church was built in 1986. That was affected by the Tsunami of 2004. Fr. Fernandez built St. Joseph ’s primary school for boys in 1910 which cost Rs. 1400. Fr. Louis Chaudery built a St. Mary’s school for girls with Rs. 1500, which was inaugurated on the 25 th of March 1906 . This school and Servite Convent were built at the same place where the ancient church of Sts. Peter and Paul was. Bishop Roche Higher Secondary School was built in 1961. The first sodality that was established in Idindakarai was Our Lady of Carmel Society for men and eventually for women. Society of Immaculate Conception commenced in 1910.
The first ordination to priesthood took place in Idindakarai in 1939. Fr. Thomas Fernando who became later the second Bishop of Thoothukudi is the first priest from Idindakarai. Fr. Peter Fernando who was born in the same year, later would become the fifth Bishop of Thoothukudi in 1996 and in 2003 the Archbishop of Madurai. Idindakarai has produced until 2005 31 priests. So far 74 nuns have come from Idindakarai.

Parish Priests:

Fr. John Britto 2003

Patron Saint : Our Lady of Lourdes Church
Feast of the Patroness : February 11


Church constructed in: 1995
St. Thomas Church