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

An ancient Chinese proverb states: “it’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

Throughout our lives we are inspired by the stories of personages such as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Philip Benizi and St. Mother Theresa. Their life stories are filled with instances when they brought the light of love to people through acts of charity and service. They fed the poor, counseled those doubting and brought hope to the weary.

Their strength was the love of Christ which shone as a candle in the lives. They knew that the holy light given them was not to be selfishly kept, but to be selflessly shared with others. The works they did were not their own, but Jesus’ whose love shone in the works of the saints.

You and I have the same potential to bring light to the darkness of another’s life.

In today’s Gospel (John 14:7-14) Jesus says, “whoever believes in me will do the works that I do”. To believe in Jesus is to do His work.

Jesus’ work is not difficult for us. One small candle can light an entire room. One smile can brighten a sad face. One text can make a connection with someone feeling lonely. One act of kindness can bring joy to a weary person.

We are good people who are highly favored and divinely blessed by a great God. As He is our love, He asks us to be so for others. The work of Jesus is easy for us. All we need to do is to see the candle of Jesus’ love lighting in our lives and then give to another from what we have been given. 

Fr. 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 55: The Rhododendrons
The Most Colorful Week of the Year

The week surrounding Mother's Day tends to be the most colorful week of the year at The Grotto. While a few of our rhododendrons began blooming in late March, the majority peak at this time.
The Earliest Rhododendrons

The Grotto was founded by Servite Fr. Ambrose Mayer in 1924. Fr. Ambrose was born in Kitchener, Ontario, and was friends with Robert Butchart of the celebrated Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C.

Mr. Butchart spent two years assisting in the design of the sanctuary, and brought many plants, including rhododendrons, from his own gardens.

To learn more about how The Grotto began, click here to view an earlier edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
The Rhododendron

Rhododendron, Ancient Greek for Rose Tree, is a genus of over 1,000 species of woody plants in the heath family ( Ericaceae). While most are found in Asia, they are widespread throughout the lowland and mountain forests of the Pacific Northwest, California and the highlands of the Appalachian Mountains.

The rhododendron is the state flower of Washington and West Virginia.
Most species have brightly colored flowers which bloom anywhere from late winter through the spring.

Azaleas  are a subgenera of the rhododendron. They are distinguished from a true rhododendron by having only five  anthers  per flower. An anther is the part of a stamen that contains the pollen.
A Spring Prayer

Father, the beauty of your creative power has burst forth in the colors and smells of Spring, bringing joy to all.

May we expand this beauty in the way we lovingly care for each other.

A Lovely Spot to Sit

We so look forward to the day we can reopen our gates and you may all enjoy sitting among God's glorious creation.
A Tour of the Rhodies

Until that wonderful day when we can reopen, we hope you will enjoy this virtual tour of The Grotto's popular rhododendrons, including this giant one below in the Christus Garden.
A Palette of Color

The variety of colors found in the blooms is a feast for the eyes. These photos were all taken in The Grotto's beautiful gardens.
We hope to see you soon

While we are unsure if the rhododendrons will still be blooming when we reopen, there are many other flowers and shrubs which grace our gardens, and some of them are just beginning to come to life. We hope it won't be long before we will all be strolling through the 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.

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

Looking for something for Mother's Day? How about a Gift Certificate to The Grotto Gift Shop? They are available online or for curbside pickup.
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
Lithuanian Wayside Shrine
The Grotto by the Numbers
Music at The Grotto
May Flowers
Take a Closer Look
Outdoor Mass

Week 8
The Feast of St. Peregrine
Celebrating Your Favorites
A Year at The Grotto
The Seven Holy Founders
Views and Perspectives
Today: The Rhododendrons
Tomorrow: Mother's Day at The Grotto
The Grotto
The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

NE 85th & Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Oregon