The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother, popularly known as The Grotto is a beautiful 62-acre Catholic sanctuary on Sandy Boulevard at Northeast 85th Avenue, Portland, Oregon. The sanctuary sets both at the foot of and on top of a cliff. It is a non-profit organization supported solely by the proceeds of its gift shop and by donations. It is administered by the Order of Friars Servants of Mary, USA Province.
A large meditation hall whose main chamber is at clifftop level extends down to the foot of the cliff; a 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.
The Grotto is open daily throughout the year. (Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas following the celebration of Mass.).
Yesterday, The Grotto had their 29th Annual Blessing of the Animals in the Grotto Plaza, which is always held on the third Sunday of July (rain or shine) and offers individuals with pets an opportunity to reflect upon the positive impact animals have on our emotional and physical well-being. This annual event attracts a wide variety of animals and their human friends. Individuals of all faiths are invited to bring their companion animals, properly restrained, to The Grotto for the Blessing of the Animals. All animals are welcome.
Jeffrey and I brought our Chihuahuas, Tico and Paquita, to be blessed. It was actually Tico's second blessing, as he was blessed last year when he was less than a year old (Paquita will be a year old later this year).