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

Rainy June Saturdays were tough on us kids. It was summer and we wanted to be outside playing with our friends. Summer Midwest thunderstorms can quickly damper a child’s plans. On such days, Mom would make our favorite lunch, the sunshine-on-a-rainy-day meal, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. To bored, disappointed youngsters this simple meal was the cure for our ills. It was Mom’s way of saying “it’s going to be okay.” And it was.

In today’s gospel (John 14:1-6) Jesus is helping His disciples to find peace in their doubts, questions and hopes. He is sharing supper with His disciples. It would be Jesus’ last with them. He continues to instruct them that their faith in Him, and the Father may be strong for the coming events of His crucifixion and resurrection. The disciple’s hearts are filled with love for Jesus, but their minds cannot fully grasp all that He is telling them. With love Jesus tells his friends “do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me” (John 14:1). He is telling them that He understands what they are feeling and that if they trust Him all will be well. His love keeps Him close to them.

In these uncertain days, Jesus’ love reassures us that we will be okay. In our doubts, feats and concerns Jesus speaks to our hearts the words of loving reassurance “do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”

If we need further proof of the Lord’s love for us, we need to look no further than our mothers whose unconditional love is a reflection of God’s love. To our moms, thank you for being God’s love in our lives. Thanks for always assuring us that we will be okay. Happy Mother’s Day. 

Fr. Don Siple, OSM, Rector of The Grotto
A Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Easter - and Mother's Day

Fr. Richard Boyle, OSM, delivers a homily for Sunday, May 10, 2020.

Recorded at The Grotto Monastery.

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 56: Mother's Day at The Grotto
Happy Mother's Day

From the Servite Friars, the Sisters who minister at The Grotto, and the entire Grotto staff, we wish all mothers a very happy and blessed day.

The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother is a wonderful place to celebrate Mother's Day. This year, we will have to do so virtually.
Behold The Mother

The sanctuary was established by the Servite Friars in 1924 as a memorial to Christ's dying appeal from the cross, "Behold Thy Mother."
A Shrine to Mary, Mother of Jesus

The Grotto is one of the most beautiful Marian shrines in the world. Perhaps no other spot on the entire North American continent blends religious significance so completely and so harmoniously together with natural scenic beauty.

Visitors and pilgrims come to the sanctuary from around the world each year. Some come to worship and others to enjoy The Grotto's natural charm. But all linger to share somehow in the quiet serenity of this shrine dedicated to Mary, Mother of Jesus.
The Grotto began with a childhood promise

Did you know The Grotto was founded by Servite Fr. Ambrose Mayer, who was fulfilling a childhood promise about his mother?

When Fr. Ambrose was a child in Canada, he learned his mother was near death after giving birth to his sister. He ran to a nearby parish and prayed for his mother’s life, promising that if she were spared he would one day undertake a great work for the Church.

His mother survived, and Father Ambrose never forgot his promise. He moved to Portland and acquired land from the Union Pacific Railroad on the north side of Rocky Butte. From there, a shrine to honor Mary, the mother of Jesus, was born.
Early Mother's Day Celebration

The Grotto will celebrate its 96th Anniversary this year. To learn more about how The Grotto began, click here to view an earlier edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."

Below: The First Celebration of the New Feast "Behold Thy Mother". Taken May 11, 1930.
Mother's Day Today

Visitors and pilgrims still travel from afar to celebrate Mother's Day at The Grotto. It is always a wonderful time of year to wander the gardens, as the rhododendrons are usually at their peak.

To learn more about the rhododendrons at The Grotto, click here to view yesterday's edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
A Mother's Love

There are times when only a mother's love 
Can understand our tears, 
Can soothe our disappoints 
And calm all our fears. 
There are times when only a mother's love 
Can share the joy we feel 
When something we have dreamed about 
Quite suddenly is real. 
There are times when only a mother's faith 
Can help us on life's way 
And inspire in us the confidence 
We need from day to day. 
For a mother's heart and a mother's faith 
And a mother's steadfast love 
Were fashioned by the angels 
And sent from God above.

Mother's Day Prayers for All Walks of Life

Click here to view a collection of prayers for mothers for all walks of life.
Mother and Child

There are many representations of Mother and Child at The Grotto, including those in the multicultural shrines. We hope you enjoy this tour of some of the Mother and Child images found at The Grotto.

Below: Our Lady of Lavang Vietnamese Shrine

For more information about this shrine, click here to view an earlier edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
Below: Our Lady of Czestochowa Polish Shrine

For more information about this shrine, stay tuned for a future edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
Below: Lithuanian Wayside Shrine

For more information about this shrine, click here to view an earlier edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
This mosaic can be found on the tower of the Chapel of Mary.

To learn more about the Chapel of Mary, click here to view an earlier edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
This marble carving can be found in St. Joseph's Grove.

To learn more about the St. Joseph's Grove, click here to view an earlier edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
This tapestry can be found on the wall inside the entrance to The Grotto Gift Shop.

To learn more about The Grotto Gift Shop, stay tuned for a future installment of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
This bronze plaque can be found in the Mysteries of the Rosary in the Peace Garden.

To learn more about the Mysteries of the Rosary, click here to view an edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."
The Via Matris (Way of the Mother)

The seven scenes in the Via Matris portray the Seven Sorrows of Mary, particular events in the life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph which were extremely painful. As you walk from scene to scene, you are invited to reflect on events in your own life that are related to what you see before you. These scenes help us to know that we are not alone; others have walked the way before us.

To learn more about the Via Matris, click here to view an earlier edition of "Bringing The Grotto to You."

Above: A scene from the outdoor Via Matris wood carvings in the Upper Level Gardens.
Below: A scene from the Via Matris murals in the Chapel of Mary.
A Mother's Day Prayer

Gracious and ever-loving God,

On this Mother’s Day, I focus my thoughts on Our Blessed Mother. I seek her guidance and inspiration to love more deeply.

Like Mary, may I be a courageous witness of your Son, and a vessel of love, empathy and hope.

Help me to say yes to you and those in need around me. Please focus my heart to feel connection and compassion for those who are isolated, sick and poor.

Protect me from fear, anxiety and discouragement so that my words and actions genuinely proclaim you.

And finally, Lord, bless my Mother and all Mothers with the power of your Spirit to seek you in difficult and uncertain situations.

I ask all this through Jesus Christ your Son, and the intersession of Mary our Blessed Mother.

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.

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 .

It's not too late to give a Gift Certificate to The Grotto Gift Shop to that special mother in your life. We can have it waiting for you when our shop reopens.
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
The Rhododendrons
Today: Mother's Day at The Grotto
The Grotto
The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

NE 85th & Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Oregon