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The Grotto
The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

8840 NE Skidmore Street
Portland, Oregon 97220
Telephone 503-254-7371
GIFT SHOP: Telephone 503-261-2424
http://www.thegrotto.org

When young Ambrose’s mother became seriously ill following the birth of a daughter he promised God that if his mother recovered he would do something for God when he grew up.  His mother recovered. Ambrose grew up, became a Servite priest, and kept looking for a way to fulfill his promise. The opportunity came when he purchased property in northeast Portland from the Union Pacific Railroad.
In 1923 Fr. Ambrose Mayer, OSM, received permission from his order to use the property for the Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, the patroness of the Servite Order (Servants of Mary) and patroness of motherhood. 
The Grotto opened in 1924. The Pietà by Michelangelo atop the altar in the cave is the focal point for the devotion to Mary.
in 1933 the first International Marian Congress held in the United States was held at the shrine. St. Anne's Chapel was built for the occasion.
Statues and paintings depict the stations of the Via Matris which tell the story of the seven major sorrows in the life of Mary.
St. Joseph’s concern and care for Mary and Jesus is depicted in the Seven Joys and Sorrows of Joseph. St Joseph is the co-patron of the Order.
The compound also has a monastery and a convent. It is staffed by the Order of Servants of Mary

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Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
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