A Place of Sanctuary
Bringing The Grotto to You
Daily Spiritual Reflections

Click here for reflections and prayers, based on the day's Gospel reading, provided by Fr. Don Siple, OSM, Rector of The Grotto.

Video Messages and Prayers

Click here to view special messages and prayers from Fr. Richard Boyle, OSM, recorded in The Grotto Monastery.
Mater Dei Interview
Click here to watch an interview with our Executive Director, Chris Blanchard, by Mater Dei Radio's Brenda Aikin. They discuss what is going on at The Grotto during our closure.
"Bringing The Grotto to You" Series

We will continue to share a piece of The Grotto with you each day until Masses resume and our gardens open. We hope these features bring you joy. Please share our emails with friends and family. Help spread the word that The Grotto is here, and looking forward to the glorious day when we can reopen our gates.
Day 19: Feast of Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross
Feast of Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross

The Feast of Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross takes place on the Friday following the Fifth Sunday of Lent, or just one week before Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord.

Besides a liturgical celebration in the Church in general, it is a major liturgical Feast in the Order of Friar Servants of Mary, the Servite Order.

The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, The Grotto, is a ministry of the Order of Friar Servants of Mary.

“Since our ideal is to reach the perfect stature of Christ, we shall have only relationships of peace, mercy, justice and constructive love toward creatures. In our commitment of service, the figure of Mary at the foot of the cross shall be our model. Since the Son of Man is still being crucified in his brothers and sisters, we, Servants of his mother, wish to be with her at the foot of those countless crosses in order to bring comfort and redemptive cooperation.”
Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin

Popular piety has identified seven “dolors” of the Blessed Virgin: the prophecy of Simeon; the flight into Egypt; the loss of the child Jesus; the meeting on the way to Calvary between Mary and Christ; the death of Jesus on the Cross; Mary’s reception of her Son’s dead body; the placing of that body in the tomb.
The Stabat Mater

Only the most insensitive person would not be moved by that list of sorrowful events, as the Stabat Mater plaintively demands:

Who, on Christ’s dear Mother gazing,
Pierced by anguish so amazing,
Born of woman, would not weep?

Who, of Christ’s dear Mother thinking,
Such a cup of sorrow drinking,
Would not share her sorrows deep?

Our Lady’s sorrows–and from a strictly human perspective, her inexplicable joy in the midst of them–give us the confidence to make our own the final verse of the Stabat Mater:

When this earthly frame is riven,
grant that to my soul is given
all the joys of Paradise!
Saint John Henry Newman produced two sets of the Stations of the Cross, the longer of which St. John Paul II used on Good Friday in 2001. St. John Newman, the former Protestant, for whom Marian doctrine and devotion had been an initial stumbling block to coming into full communion with the Catholic Church, became one of Mary’s greatest devotees. With great sensitivity, he describes Our Lady’s emotions in the Fourth Station where Mother and Son meet on the road to Calvary.

Newman wrote:

Jesus rises, though wounded by His fall, journeys on, with His Cross still on His shoulders. He is bent down; but at one place, looking up, He sees His Mother. For an instant they just see each other, and He goes forward.

Mary would rather have had all His sufferings herself, could that have been, than not have known what they were by ceasing to be near Him. He, too, gained a refreshment, as from some soothing and grateful breath of air, to see her sad smile amid the sights and the noises which were about Him. She had known Him beautiful and glorious, with the freshness of Divine Innocence and peace upon His countenance; now she saw Him so changed and deformed that she could scarce have recognized Him, save for the piercing, thrilling, peace-inspiring look He gave her. Still, He was now carrying the load of the world’s sins, and, all-holy though He was, He carried the image of them on His very face. He looked like some outcast or outlaw who had frightful guilt upon Him. He had been made sin for us, who knew no sin; not a feature, not a limb, but spoke of guilt, of a curse, of punishment, of agony.
Then in language equal to the beauty of Michelangelo’s Pietà, Newman offers this meditation for the Thirteenth Station (The Pietà), full of empathy but also with holy and hope-filled joy:

The multitude have gone home. Calvary is left solitary and still, except that St. John and the holy women are there. Then come Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, and take down from the Cross the Body of Jesus, and place it in the arms of Mary.

O Mary, at last thou hast possession of thy Son. Now, when His enemies can do no more, they leave Him in contempt to thee. As His unexpected friends perform their difficult work, thou lookest on with unspeakable thoughts. Thy heart is pierced with the sword of which Simeon spoke. O Mother most sorrowful; yet in thy sorrow there is a still greater joy. The joy in prospect nerved thee to stand by Him as He hung upon the Cross; much more now, without swooning, without trembling, thou dost receive Him to thy arms and on thy lap. Now thou art supremely happy as having Him, though He comes to thee not as He went from thee. He went from thy home, O Mother of God, in the strength and beauty of His manhood, and He comes back to thee dislocated, torn to pieces, mangled, dead.

Yet, O Blessed Mary, thou art happier in this hour of woe than on the day of the marriage feast, for then He was leaving thee, and now in the future, as a Risen Savior, He will be separated from thee no more.
In today’s Feast, the Mother of Sorrows bids us to join her once more at the foot of the Cross, which is the altar of the Church, as the Sacrifice wrought once and for all on Calvary is re-presented, renewed for us. Yet another prayer of Cardinal Newman:

O Holy Mother, stand by me now, when Christ comes to me, as thou didst minister to Thy infant Lord—as Thou didst hang upon His words when He grew up, as Thou wast found under His Cross. Stand by me, Holy Mother, that I may gain somewhat of thy purity, thy innocence, thy faith, and He may be the one object of my love and my adoration, as He was of thine.

These are excerpts (adapted and edited by Fr. Richard Boyle, OSM) from a homily preached by the Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D., at the Church of St. Gregory the Great, Plantation, Fl.. 5 March, 2020.
Prayer to the Virgin at the Foot of the Cross

Holy Mary,
Woman of sorrow,
And Mother of all the living,
We greet you!
You are the new Eve,
The Virgin bride at the Cross
Where love is consummated
And life comes forth.
Mother of disciples,
Inspire us to serve.
Teach us to stand with you
At the foot of those countless crosses.
Where the Son of Man is still being crucified;
Make us living witnesses of Christian love,
Welcoming everyone as brother and sister.
Help us to escape our blindness
To follow Christ, the light of all peoples.
O Holy Virgin of Easter,
And glory of the Spirit,
Receive the prayer of your Servants.
Light a Candle at The Grotto

Purchase a candle to be lighted at The Grotto. Your candle will burn for seven days in the outdoor cradles by The Grotto. Your support will help The Grotto continue its ministry through this difficult time. Click here to purchase.
The Grotto Gift Shop

The Grotto Gift Shop is open for curbside pick-up or online shipping during our closure. Check out our new Curbside Shopping page on our website.

We can arrange curbside pick-up before Easter!

If you do not see an item in our online shop which you would like to purchase, or you would like to arrange a curbside pick-up, contact our director of retail sales by clicking here .
For more information and pricing about any of the above items, and to see more, click here . We can also arrange curbside pick-up for other items in our shop.

To order items from our regular online shop with regular shipping, click here .
The Series

We hope you are enjoying our daily feature A Place of Sanctuary: Bringing The Grotto to You.

Day 1: St. Francis of Assisi
Day 2: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
Day 3: St. Anne's Chapel
Day 4: St. Joseph's Grove
Day 5: The Marilyn Moyer Meditation Chapel
Day 6: Spring in the Garden
Day 7: Our Lady's Grotto
Day 8: St. Jude Thaddeus
Day 9: Statue of Mary, Our Mother
Day 10: The Pollinator Garden
Day 11: St. Philip Benizi's Retreat
Day 12: Pathways of The Grotto
Day 13: St. Peregrine Shrine
Day 14: The Servites
Day 15: Here Light Shines
Day 16: The Peace Garden
Day 17: Dambana
Day 18: Looking Up
Today: Feast of Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross
The Grotto
The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

NE 85th & Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Oregon