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

To the crowds asking for a sign Jesus tells them “for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Bread is a staple food for many cultures. For many, bread symbolizes the abundance of God’s blessings. This is what the crowds questioning Jesus were missing. They were to trust God not because they were fed when Jesus multiplied the five loaves of bread and two fish. There were to trust God not because they witnessed a miracle. Jesus was calling them to trust God because He is faithful in abundantly blessing us with what we need.

Bread fills the stomach. It can be part of a larger meal or eaten by itself. The blessings of God are the same. These can be as large as being healed after surgery or a simple as a good cup of coffee enjoyed first thing in the morning. God is always blessing. How we receive the blessing is an act of faith. If we always want God to do the fantastical, spectacular parting-of-the-Red-Sea miracle then he is simply a wizard of sorts to us. If we see the small, consistent miracles of love, having food on our tables and a place to live because of God’s faithful love then He is our Savior. The One who accompanies us on life’s journey.

Not sure about you, but I prefer God as faithful companion instead of the Wizard of Oz. Today let the bread you eat remind you that God is consistent in loving and blessing you. He is giving you life in abundance.

F r. Don Siple, OSM, Rector of The Grotto
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.

Bringing The Grotto to You

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 44: Lithuanian Wayside Shrine
Wayside Shrines

Wayside shrines were located along old pilgrim routes. Some mark parish or other boundaries, such as the edge or a landholding, or function as markers for travelers to find their way.

The Grotto's wayside shrines celebrate Mary and other patron saints that particular cultural or ethnic groups honor as inspiration and guides.
The Grotto's Shrine Path

There are five shrines on The Grotto's multicultural shrine path.

Other shrines include: Dambana, Filipino Shrine; Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine; Our Lady of Lavang Vietnamese Shrine; and Our Lady of Czestochowa Polish Shrine.

To learn about some of the other shrines on our path, click here to view earlier editions of "Bringing The Grotto to You." Our Lady of Czestochowa, the Polish shrine, will be featured in a future edition.
The Lithuanian Wayside Shrine (1963)

This shrine honors those who struggled for the freedom of the country fighting for liberty during World War II.

Typical of the ancient practice of wayside shrines in Lithuania, it is set in a grove of trees.
The Dedication
The shrine was dedicated in June of 1963. Fr. John M. O'Connnell, OSM, Sanctuary director, celebrated Mass for the event, with Fr. Nicholas Norusis, OSM, pastor of St. Rita parish, delivering the sermon.

To the right: Fr. Charles M. Motsko, OSM, visiting for the summer from Anaheim, Calif., gazes at the newly dedicated shrine.
About the Shrine

The shape of the shrine represents the tree of life, and the stylized branches are evergreens.

St. Casimir is a saint represented on the shrine. He was a king who was incredibly devout and overtly generous. He   is the only canonized saint and patron of the country.

The birds are important as Lithuania is the primary nesting area for more birds than any other country in Europe. The birds on the shrine announce the resurrection.

The Blessed Mother is represented throughout.
The Pensive Jesus

The Pensive Jesus or “the Brooding One” is located at the back of the shrine. As Christianity spread in the 16 th  century, the wandering woodcarvers of native folk culture carved him into hollowed-out tree trunks wherever they went. They put him at crossroads and in forests, and it’s a common thing to give as a token, or to be put at the corner of your land. It represents a God who identifies with the suffering of humanity.
The Day of Sorrow

Lithuanians relate the Pensive Jesus figure to their own passion as a people, especially since having endured persecution under the Soviet regime, including mass deportations to Siberian labor camps and other remote parts of the Soviet Union in the 1940s and ’50s.

About 60 percent of the roughly 130,000 Lithuanian deportees either died in the camps or were never able to return to their homeland - a tragedy still mourned by Lithuanians each year on June 14, the date of the first major deportation in 1941, known as the "Day of Sorrow." 
June 14 at The Grotto

Each year on June 14, the Lithuanian community gather at The Grotto to celebrate Mass and visit the shrine.
A Prayer at the Lithuanian Shrine

O Most Holy Mary,
As I pause at this shrine built by the faithful decades ago may I be reminded of your faithful witness; may I be challenged by your deep compassion, and may I be consoled by you in my sorrows.
I Pray that I grow as a person of faith, of hope and of charity, and that your guidance and example inspire me to commit myself more fervently as a living witness to your son Jesus.
Visiting the Shrine

The Lithuanian Shrine, and other wayside shrines on The Grotto's shrine path, are located in the Upper Gardens. We invite you all to come and visit the shrine when we reopen our gardens.
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. You can shop online, or check out our Curbside Shopping page on our website.

If you do not see what you are looking for, feel free to contact our director of retail operations by  clicking here .

Below are  just a few  of the seasonal items available. Please check out our online shop and our curbside shopping page to learn more.
Mother's Day
First Holy Communion
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
Chapel of Mary

Week 6
Come to the Water
Our Lady of Lavang Shrine
Celebrating God's Creation
Our Lady of Lourdes
The Labyrinth
Looking Out a Window
How The Grotto Began

Week 7
The Cliff and Elevator
Today: Lithuanian Wayside Shrine
The Grotto
The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

NE 85th & Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Oregon