History of the Episcopal church
The old part of Luxembourg Cathedral today owes its origins to the former Jesuit College, with which it forms to this day an architectural entity. The Jesuits settled permanently in Luxembourg in 1594 and opened a school in 1603.
The year 1621 saw the end of the college church work. During the reign of Empress Maria Theresa during the time of the Austrian Netherlands, which was part of the Duchy of Luxembourg, the church was erected in parish church in 1778 with the title “St. Nicolas and St. Teresa”. It receives the name “Church of Our Lady” on March 31, 1844 under the apostolic vicar Jean-Théodore Laurent. June 17, 1870, the Apostolic Vicariate is erected by Pope Pius IX in a bishopric, and at the same time the parish church became a cathedral church.
The expansion of the cathedral was begun in the years from 1935 to 1938. The last restoration of the interior date from 1977 to 1978. Beautiful stained glass windows by the French artist Louis Barrel illuminate the choir. Plans for the old part were developed by the Jesuit brother Jean Blocq of Tournai, those of the expansion by the Luxembourg architect Hubert Schumacher and influenced by Canon Léon Lommel.
Since 1794, the current cathedral houses within its walls the statue of Our Lady, the Comforter of the Afflicted, Patroness of the City of Luxembourg and the Grand Duchy, whose worship is attested for the first time in 1624. Up in 1794, the eve of the entry of the French revolutionary troops in Luxembourg, the statue was in a private chapel in front of the fortifications of the city.
The statue of the Comforter of the Afflicted, placed in the back of the choir, is presented to pilgrims as a clothed statue, according to a tradition practised in Western Christianity since the late Middle Ages.
By its rich history traditions reflected in the architecture, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg is deeply rooted in the life of the city and the country. As a church of pilgrimage and home of the image of the Comforter of the Afflicted, which for more than 300 years, is the patron saint of Luxembourg, it evokes from a lot of views the history of the Luxembourg people. This story is often held in the Church of Our Lady before the image of the Comforter. In the sense of a religious and national profession the architectural design and artistic prescription visibly express this story and make the Cathedral a place sanctified by tradition.
The Octave annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Luxembourg, Comforter of the Afflicted, is celebrated every year from the 3rd to the 5th Sunday after Easter.