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

We go through our educational career being told to prove our arithmetic work or to write well enough to prove our reasoning for a hypothesis we put forth in a paper. At times we are asked to prove our point to an idea we introduce into a conversation. We have to show proof of age to enjoy an early bird special at a favorite eatery or to produce proof of purchase when returning an item at a department store.

Proving ourselves does not mean that there is something wrong with us or the way we live. Proving ourselves is a part of life. So, then, why should the Apostle Thomas be given grief for doubting that his master, Christ had risen? Thomas placed his hope and faith in Jesus only to see Him nailed to a cross. St. Thomas loved his Lord and had to navigate incredible grief as did the other apostles. Putting so much hope and faith, now mixed with grief, in Jesus, Thomas needed proof himself that Jesus was risen.

Jesus never disappoints. Jesus’ encounter with Thomas is not one of scorn, but of love. Thomas’ faith and the faith of the other Apostles was part of the strength Jesus found to endure the passion and death to bring resurrection victory into their lives and the lives of us all. Thomas’ need for proof that Jesus was resurrected was not fueled by doubt, but by loving faith. Jesus did not disappoint.

Jesus still shows us his love when we experience His presence in prayer, through the care of a loved one and when we witness the grandeur of creation and realize that we are part of something great. Like St. Thomas, we don’t doubt Christ as much as we just want to see and feel Our Lord in all the episodes of our life. We place our loving faith in Jesus because we know that He loves us always and forever. This is hope. It was St. Thomas’ hope as well.

Fr. Don Siple, OSM, Rector of The Grotto
Light a Candle at The Grotto

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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.

"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 this feature brings 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 35:The Chapel of Mary
Building the Chapel of Mary

The Chapel of Mary began construction in 1953. It was designed by L.L. Dougan of Dougan & Heims, Architects. The rock used to build it came from the Rocky Butte Quarry.
Above: The groundbreaking ceremony with Servite Fr. John M. Wheeler.
Below: The old path to the elevator is visible on the right.
The Dedication

The Chapel of Mary was dedicated in 1955 by Portland Archbishop Edward D. Howard. Scaffolding is still present on the tower in photos from the celebration, as seen below.

An arcade was built at the same time as the chapel, and the doors under the arcade led to a gift shop. Since then, a new gift shop was built by our main entrance, and this spot was turned into a Visitor Center.

Stay tuned for future editions of "Bringing The Grotto to You" to learn more about The Grotto's history and our Visitor Center.
The Changing Landscape

Not only have the trees grown since the Chapel of Mary was built, but the landscape has also changed, as seen in photos from construction of the Chapel.

Mt. St. Helens, the volcano 52 miles north of The Grotto, changed significantly in its 1980 eruption.

Below: The Grotto's "before and after" view of Mt. St. Helens.
The Tower

On the north side of the Chapel is a 110-foot bell tower, crowned with a dome and cross.

A beautiful mosaic of the Mother and Child, along with marble statues of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are clearly visible on the tower.
The Entrance

The bas-relief over the bronze doors and marble entrance to the Chapel portray the Baptism of Christ. The statues to each side represent St. Alexis, OSM, and St. Juliana, OSM.
Statues of St. Peter and St. Paul are located at the exterior corners of the Chapel.
Inside the Chapel of Mary

Behind the bronze doors the Chapel seats approximately 500 people. Mosaics, graceful statues and murals embrace all who enter. The main ceiling vaults to over 50 feet.
The Murals

T he paintings on the walls and ceilings are the work of Jose De Soto. He painted churches in Europe and the United States. For many years he also worked at 20th Century Fox painting movie sets.

The centerpiece of the treasured murals on the Chapel walls is entitled "The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mother into Heaven."
The side walls are the Via Matris, which is Latin for "The Way of the Mother." They depict difficult moments in the life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. You can also see these scenes depicted in the Upper Gardens in wood carvings.

For more information about the Via Matris in the Upper Gardens, click here to view an earlier edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
The Statues

All the statues you see are made from Carrara marble, a historic marble quarry in Italy (and the same marble Michelangelo use in the original Pieta). The statues are actually from Italy.

We have statues in churches as a reminder of the significant people in our lives. These statues depict holy people in the life of the church and the Servite community.

On the right you will will find St. Peregrine, OSM, a mosaic of St. Anne (the Mother of Mary), and statues of St. Philip Benizi, OSM, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

On the right side of the chapel you will find a statue of St. Juliana Falconieri, OSM, a mosaic of the Seven Holy Founders, and statues of Sacred Heart, St. Pius X and St. Joseph.

Most of the shrines in the Chapel are from the Eredi Studios in Pietrasanta, Italy, a religious art colony near Pisa.
The Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross that almost circle the Chapel are also made of Carrara marble. They depict the painful scenes of Good Friday, the day on which Jesus was crucified. They help us to reflect on the painful price of our redemption. Through this reflection, we are helped in the painful times of our own lives.

The Grotto also offers an outdoor Stations of the Cross path, which winds through forested land on our lower level. For more information about the Stations of the Cross path, click here to view an earlier edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
The Stain Glass Window

The stained glass window on the front exterior of the Chapel depicts the Resurrection of Christ. It is 25 feet tall and was made in 1954 by artists commissioned by the Karl Hackart Company of Chicago.

The Resurrection of Jesus gives hope in the difficult times of our own lives because Jesus is faithful to his promise to be with us always.
Celebrating Mass in the Chapel of Mary

Mass is celebrated every day of the year in the Chapel. (Mass is currently suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.)

To view our regular Mass schedule, please click here .

In the warmer months, Mass is held outdoors in the plaza. Stay tuned for when we may be able to safely begin celebrating Mass outside.
The Acoustics

The acoustics in the Chapel make it a magnificent place to sing. There is a strong echo effect, which is clearly conducive to a wonderful choral sound, as testified to by the choirs who perform here throughout the year.
Chanting in the Chapel
Listen to Irish singer Dermot Kiernan chant inside the Chapel of Mary.

We hope you enjoy this special treat.

The Christmas Festival of Lights

At last year's Christmas Festival of Lights, we were honored to host over 6,000 performers in the Chapel. Choirs from around the region enjoy performing in the Chapel with its cathedral-like acoustics.

The Chapel is also one of our most photographed places at the Festival.
A Prayer Blessing for the Chapel of Mary

Gracious and ever-loving God we ask your eternal blessing on the Chapel of Mary.
May those seekers and pilgrims that visit our humble Chapel find peace, consolation, and perseverance.
May the images of the saints carved in marble serve as support, witness and role models for us.
May the murals of the Seven Sorrows of Mary help us to focus our lives on humble service, compassion, and hope.
May the Good News of our Salvation always be preached from the Ambo.
May all be nourished at this Altar through the celebration of the Mass, and may Your praises always be sung as we gather.
Bless each of the Servite Priests and the Oblate Sisters of St. Martha who serve here.
Gathered, nourished and sent, may all who enter into this holy Chapel be prepared to love and serve you, O Lord, as well as our neighbor.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
We look forward to the day
when these doors can once again be open to all.
Mass Enrollment Cards
Perpetual Enrollment in The Grotto’s Guild of Masses and Prayer honors yourself, your family or your loved ones, and provides support for The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother.

The Grotto Gift Shop

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

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 .
The Series

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

Week 1
St. Francis of Assisi
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
St. Anne's Chapel
St. Joseph's Grove
The Marilyn Moyer Meditation Chapel
Spring in the Garden
Our Lady's Grotto

Week 2
St. Jude Thaddeus
Statue of Mary, Our Mother
The Pollinator Garden
St. Philip Benizi's Retreat
Pathways of The Grotto
St. Peregrine Shrine
The Servites

Week 3
Here Light Shines
The Peace Garden
Looking Up
Feast of Our Lady at the Foot of the Cross
The Rose Garden
Palm Sunday, The Christus Garden

Week 4
Crosses and Crucifixes
Sacred Heart Statue
Angels of The Grotto
Holy Thursday of The Lord's Supper
Good Friday, Stations of the Cross
Holy Saturday, Via Matris
Easter Sunday

Week 5
The Forest
Blessing of the Animals
Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine
Colors of The Grotto
Mysteries of the Rosary
Lighting a Candle
Today: The Chapel of Mary
Tomorrow: Come to the Water
The Grotto
The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

NE 85th & Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Oregon