NATIONAL SHRINE GROTTO OF LOURDES
“Be thou, then, O thou dear, Mother My atmosphere,” Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote of Mary. And pilgrims perhaps pray this implicitly. We all desire motherly love. And so we pray the Rosary here at the Grotto, promote Marian devotions, hearken her holy name, clean Marian statues and generally see “the Feminine face of God,” as Pope John Paul once described her.
Mary is the Mother of God and our Mother in Heaven. And here on this hallowed mountain, we bestow miraculous medals to folks, especially children, generously provided by a donor friend; and we seek the Virgin’s favor here, as we come to Jesus through Mary.
Our Lady of Lourdes statue in the Grotto cave reminds us to pray the Rosary and do penance, just as she counseled St. Bernadette in the 1858 apparitions. The lovely statue in our Grotto, with golden roses on her bare feet, shines often in the afternoon sun, emanating grace and warmth, calling souls back to her Savior Son. Hopkins writes, “Whirled air, mothering air, nestling me everywhere.” Mary is ever close here at her Grotto. She is the Mother of God and our Mother, too, in Heaven.