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, in 1924, a shrine to honor Mary, the mother of Jesus, was born.