Catholics in Pakistan
Archdiocese of Lahore

Foundation Stone for New Marian Grotto at Mariamabad

Mariamabad: On May 13th, 2024, a momentous occasion was marked at the National Marian Shrine in Mariamabad, as the foundation stone for the new Marian Grotto of Our Lady of Mercy was laid by His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, Archbishop of Archdiocese of Lahore joined by Fr. Asif Sardar, Vicar General of Archdiocese of Lahore, Fr. Tariq George (Rector of the Shrine), clergy/members of the Zariat committee, Mr. Emmanuel Author Julius, Member of the Punjab Provincial Assembly and people of Mariamabad.



The event was preceded by a Holy Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, presided over by the Archbishop at the Parish.

During his address, the Archbishop expressed concerns about the existing Grotto’s persistent state of disrepair, despite multiple renovation attempts. Given its mud-based construction, the structure has proven unsustainable, prompting the decision to build a new Grotto.

The new Grotto will feature a spacious stage measuring 34 feet in length and 20 feet in width, carefully angled to ensure visibility for pilgrims. The Archbishop emphasized the importance of structural integrity, expressing optimism that this new endeavor will endure and serve the community for years to come.

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Fr. Tariq George, Rector of the National Marian Shrine, expressed gratitude to the Archbishop for taking the initiative to build a new Grotto, which will lead to faith growth among pilgrims. He said, “With the help and support of people, we will build a beautiful Grotto that will serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who visit. This new Grotto will provide a peaceful and serene atmosphere for prayer and reflection, strengthening the bond between our community and the divine. We are grateful for the generosity and enthusiasm of our supporters and look forward to witnessing the positive impact of this new Grotto on the lives of our pilgrims.”

The construction of the new Grotto marks a significant milestone in the history of the National Marian Shrine, which has been a sacred place of pilgrimage for generations. The Shrine’s community has grown significantly over the years, and the new Grotto will provide a much-needed expansion of the existing facilities.

The Archbishop’s vision for the new Grotto is to create a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also spiritually nourishing. The Grotto will be designed to accommodate large numbers of pilgrims, providing ample space for prayer, reflection, and contemplation. The new Grotto will also feature stunning architecture and beautiful artwork, making it a truly unique and inspiring place of worship.

The foundation stone-laying ceremony was a joyous occasion, filled with music, prayer, and thanksgiving. The Archbishop blessed the foundation stone, and the gathered community joined in a prayer of dedication, asking for God’s guidance and protection throughout the construction process.



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