Sudbury, Ontario is home to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes originally built in 1907 by Frédéric Romanet du Caillaud. Recently restored and expanded, the hilltop site in downtown Sudbury is a wonderful experience in tranquility, contemplation and reflection. The views over Sudbury's magnificent Lake Ramsey are unparalled. 

The Grotto contains about twenty monuments.

 

  • Stations of the Cross, fourteen sculptural representations of the walk of Jesus to the cross and his crucifixion.  

  • An Inukshuk, a symbolic Inuit statue showing the way to go to meet our brothers and sisters.

  • In the middle, there is a powerful spring of water to refresh both body and soul. Spring of Water
  • At the heart of the site, carved into large stones are the Ten Commandments, the commandment to love, the Beatitudes. Ten Commandments
  • Round about these monuments are sculptures representing the mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory. 

  • At the top is a dome symbolizing the Global Village, a Labyrinth symbolizing the road to Jerusalem, ultimately leading to Heaven. 

  • On the left is the splendid Ernest Savard pathway leading to the Grotto Shrine and adjacent statue of St. Bernadette Soubiroux, who, beginning in 1958, beheld eighteen apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes in France. 
  • Also at the top there are a pulpit and an altar where the Old and New Testaments speak of both the Truth of God and His love through the sacrifice of the Mass.

  • A Monument to Peace bears the Alpha and Omega symbol of the Holy Spirit, which stands for all-powerful God’s action in the world. This monument, inaugurated on Sunday October 26, 2006 in the presence of groups representing twelve different religious traditions of the world, is adorned with symbols identifying the various faiths.

 

The exhibits add a broader philosophical approach and a greater ecumenical dimension to the site so those of various faiths or no faith may find both meaning and solitude on its grounds. The exhibits create a feeling of looking through a kind of window on God’s plan for humanity, enabling the Grotto to be an oasis of peace with inspiring and rallying monuments conducive to pray and reflection.

Give yourself at least an hour to walk this wondrous site, especially the fourteen Stations of the Cross and the Labyrinth.