The Grotto

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For other uses, see Grotto (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 45°33′12″N 122°34′32″W / 45.553314°N 122.575675°W / 45.553314; -122.575675

Shrine at lower area of The Grotto in 2012

The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother, popularly known as The Grotto, is a Catholic shrine and sanctuary in Portland, Oregon, United States. Located on Sandy Boulevard at Northeast 85th Avenue and occupying an area of 62 acres (25 ha),[1] the sanctuary is set both at the foot of and on top of a cliff. A large meditation hall whose main chamber is at clifftop level extends down to the foot of the cliff; the cross on the hall is visible many miles away. In addition to a church, there are several thousand feet of trails, including a trail of the Stations of the Cross, along which the faithful may pass in contemplation.


There are various events at The Grotto throughout the year, as well as meetings and seminars.

Christmas Festival of Lights[edit]

Every December The Grotto puts up a huge light display along its trails. The first annual "Festival of Lights" first took place in 1988[1] and lasted for ten nights. It has since been expanded in scope and duration, and the 2012 festival ran for 37 days. Besides the light displays, there are nightly concerts, caroling, and other family-oriented entertainment. More than 63,000 people attended the 2011 festival.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Bingham, Larry (November 23, 2012 (online date Nov. 19)). "Grotto festival grows but preserves mission". The Oregonian. p. B2. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 

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