Sint Servatius chapel
Bishop Ter Schure blessed the Saint Servatius Chapel on 16 November 1996. A piece of craftsmanship of the highest order. But also the fulfilme…
Bishop Ter Schure blessed the Saint Servatius Chapel on 16 November 1996. A piece of craftsmanship of the highest order. But also the fulfilment of a long-cherished wish of the Saint Servatius Guild. The Lieshout Guild was 'dormant' at the beginning of the Second World War and was re-established at the beginning of 1980 by a few enthusiasts. This act generated so much support and resonance among the people of Lieshout and Mariahout that the guild promised to build a chapel for the population. The mayor at that time, P. van Hout, wished to have the chapel built in d'n Hauw. After some discussions, a plot of land on the Provincialeweg, exactly on the border of Lieshout and Mariahout, was chosen. After all, in the vicinity of this piece of land there used to be the chapel dedicated to St. Anthony Abbot, built in 1485 by inhabitants of the hamlet of Ginderdoor. At that time Lieshout had 5 guilds including the St. Anthony's guild. After a fierce storm, with hurricane force, the chapel collapsed in 1800 and the remaining ruin was cleared away in 1815.
The chapel was built by guild members and volunteers. On 23 May 1996, the first stone was laid by Jan Swinkels, patron of the guild, and the builders continued to work on it until the day it was consecrated. Before the construction started, many chapels were visited to inspect them 'structurally' and all weak points that were found were discussed and avoided if necessary.
The chapel has a stylish interior, a wooden roof construction, the main colour is red, which is also reflected in the guild members' uniforms. Tiny Gilsing made the ironwork and others financed the stained-glass windows.
There is a separate altar, donated by Toon Vermelfoort, where the priest can just stand behind. In the niche in the wall behind the altar is the statue of Saint Servatius. The pews were donated by Ger and José van Pelt and came from the Sint Pauluskerk in Eindhoven. That church was demolished in 1996. These benches were reworked by guild brothers Theo Gevers and Piet van der Burgt and now offer seats to visitors of the chapel. There were so many benches that the wooden doors of the chapel were also made from them. There is also a statue of Mary in the chapel, a wish of the inhabitants of Mariahout. However, this did not meet with the approval of the then spiritual patron Piet Strijbos, because the chapel was dedicated to Saint Servatius and not to Mary.
In the chapel hangs an 'Angelus bell' in a wrought-iron bell frame. An Angelus bell used to be rung daily at 6 am, at noon and at 6 pm. Those were the times when Roman Catholics were called upon to pray the Angel of the Lord (or the Angelus).
The information also tells us that this bell dates from 1543 and was taken from the fifth church to the sixth church. The sixth church was the church in Renstraat, the later Burg. van den Heuvelstraat. This church was consecrated in 1839 and demolished in 1967 after the building had stood empty for about five years.
There is a special story behind the angelus bell that now hangs in the chapel. Guild member Theo Gevers was sometimes 'on the road' and ended up with someone who traded in antiques. This antique dealer told us that he had found a small angelus bell from the old Lieshout church. When Theo asked him how he got this, he was very vague. He did say, however, that the steeple of that bell would be mounted against the back wall of the farm of the van den Heuvel family in the Burg. van den Heuvelstraat in Lieshout. Theo said he was interested in the clock but wanted it to be complete. He went to that farmhouse and indeed, on the back wall, there was a clock. Theo spoke to the resident and told him his plan: That he had found a small bell that fitted into the stool and wanted it to be complete so that he could hang it against the wall in the newly built chapel. He was told that at the time, the bell frame was fixed to the facade of the farmhouse to prevent it from being lost. He was given the wrought iron if his plan was indeed carried out. The bell was bought for a few pennies and Theo's wish was fulfilled.
The chapel is open daily. During the summer period from 10.00 to 20.00 and in the winter period from 10.00 to 17.00. The chapel is located along a cycle route and is visited by many acquaintances and strangers, as evidenced by the intention book, in which the visitors write down a few things. On the 4th Sunday in May, there is an open-air celebration at this chapel.
On the day the chapel was consecrated, a floral tribute was paid to the wives of the builders. The motto 'without women, don't build' also applied during the construction of the chapel.
In the far east, in the city of Nanjing in China, a Friendship Park has been created. The Saint Servatius chapel is also in that park. It is a detailed, brick and stained-glass replica of the Lieshout chapel that also bears the name 'Saint Servatius'.