Our Lady of Lourdes Basilica (Poondi Madha Basilica), Poondi, is a Catholic pilgrimage centre located in Tamil Nadu, South India. Poondi is a tiny village, situated in between the rivers Cauvery and Colleroon  in Alamelupuram Panchayat in Thiruvaiyaru Taluk of Thanjavur District of the state of Tamilnadu in South India.The nearest town, about 3kms away, is Thirukattupalli.

In the beginning of the eighteenth century (1714-1718) a great Italian Jesuit missionary Rev. Fr. Constantine Joseph Beschi S.J. popularly known as “Veeramamuniver” built a church and named it as the church of “Mary Queen of Immaculate Conception“. It is in the dome of this church the statue of the miraculous Lady of Poondi is placed. This miraculous statue is one of the three statues that were made in France after the apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes. Rev.Fr.Darres, MEP, brought these statues from France.

fr-lourdu-xavier-poondi-madha-basilicaAccording to the available records in the Basilica archives the French Missionary Fathers ( MEP Fathers ) were taking care of the Pastoral Mission in Kumbakonam Diocese in the beginning of 20th Century. Fr. Mette Louis Jules started a Catechetical School in Poondi around the year 1900 to train Catechists.

Rev. Fr. Lourdes Xavier after being appointed as Parish Priest of Poondi on 1st September 1955, paid immediate attention to improve the condition of the Church, the central roof of which was in a bad condition and it was feared that it might collapse at any moment causing great damage. So he consulted an engineer. They wanted to demolish only the central roof without any damage to the front elevation, the doom and the altar. Fr.Lourdes Xavier was worried as it would cost too much and it would be beyond his means to find the necessary funds to reconstruct the Church. Fr.Lourdes Xavier, a great devotee of Our Lady, trusted and prayed to Our Lady of Poondi to reveal to him a way out to this problem. Inspired by an inner voice he predicted that the central roof of the church would come down on a particular day and time and it did. This is vividly remembered and described by people even today.

His Eminence Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy declared the Shrine of our Lady of Poondi as a permanent pilgrimage centre of our Lady of Immaculate Conception. On 03.08.1999, the shrine was declared as Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II.

Parish Priests From To
Rev. Fr.Irudhayam Paul 04.01.1945 11.01.1948
Rev. Fr.J. Maria Arokiam 12.01.1948 10.02.1948
Rev. Fr.C.X. Duraisamy 11.02.1948 26.09.1948
Rev. Fr. M. David 27.09.1948 02.06.1952
Rev. Fr. Arumainathar 03.06.1952 07.10.1952
Rev. Fr. D. Maria Michael 08.10.1952 31.08.1955
Rev. Fr. V. S. Lourdes Xavier 01.09.1955 16.04.1972
Rev. Fr. A. Ubagarasamy (Acting Parish Priest) 16.04.1972 31.08.1972
Rev. Fr. A. Rayappar 01.09.1972 15.06.1991
Rev. Fr. S. Soosai 16.06.1991 20.08.1997
Rev. Fr. P. Thangasamy 20.08.1997 08.06.2003
Rev. Fr. L. Kulandaisamy 10.06.2003 09.06.2009
Rev. Fr. P. Sagaya Raj 09.06.2009 06.06.2010
Rev. Fr. A. Augustine Peter 06.06.2010 20.05.2012
Rev. Fr. M. A. Sebastian 20.06.2012 20.06.2015
Rev. Fr. A. Amirthasamy 20.06.2015 18.06.2016
Rev. Fr. Packiasamy 18.06.2016 Till Date

Name of Administrators From To
Rev. Fr. M. A. Sebastian – Rector 08.06.2009 20.06.2015
Rev. Fr.S.I. Arul Samy – Vice Rector & Procurator 08.06.2009 20.06.2015
Rev. Fr. A. Amirthasamy – Rector 20.06.2015 18.06.2016
Rev. Fr. Packiasamy – Rector 18.06.2016 Till Date
Rev. Fr. S. Alphonse – Vice Rector & Procurator 20.06.2015 17.07.2021
Rev. Fr. Ruban Antoniraj – Vice Rector & Procurator 18.07.2021 Till Date