The good folks at Assumption Grotto Catholic Church in Detroit have sent the following information about special events celebrating the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
MI, AUGUST 8, 2012: On Wednesday, August 15th, Catholics from all
over Northeastern United States and Canada will converge on one of the
hidden jewels of Detroit; a 131 year old replica of the miraculous
Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. In 1858, a peasant girl by the
name of Bernadette of Soubirous claimed to see a vision of the Blessed
Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France. Shortly after, many healings were
reported at the crude grotto where Bernadette’s vision took place. Since
then a magnificent shrine has been built in Lourdes, France at the
site of the apparitions and millions of pilgrims from all over the
world have visited it seeking healings and conversion. Today, Saint
Bernadette of Soubirous is one the most well-known saints of modern
Like at the Lourdes Shrine in France, the faith and devotion of
pilgrims to the Detroit replica of the Lourdes Shrine at Assumption
Grotto Catholic Church are often rewarded by God with conversions and
cures. People who are in their seventies and eighties today remember
seeing as children all the crutches and braces piled up at the shrine
at Assumption Grotto Church. Some of these are now housed in a
reliquary in the shrine gift shop.
Wednesday, August 15th is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. It is
the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and historic
Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit at Seymour and Gratiot Avenue will
be celebrating the feast from early morning into the evening.
One of the high points of the day is a spectacular candlelight
procession along Gratiot and into the cemetery to the Lourdes Shrine
after the 7 p.m. Mass. As in Lourdes, France, the faithful processing
will be singing hymns to the Blessed Mother and many religious groups
will be present carrying banners and flags representing their
affiliations. A beautiful statue of Our Lady of Lourdes held high aloft
on a special platform carried by men of the parish and the Knights of
Columbus Color Corps will lead the long procession of priests,
religious and the faithful to the miraculous Detroit shrine.
The Lourdes Shrine at Assumption Grotto is the oldest outdoor Marian
shrine in Michigan and was formally dedicated on May 29, 1881. One year
later, Pope Leo XIII signed a proclamation authorizing the Detroit
shrine for devotions and granted partial and plenary indulgences for
all who visited the shrine at Assumption Grotto Church and prayed for
the propagation of the faith. This privilege remains.
Much of the beauty of the Detroit shrine is in its makeup of imported
limestone. Huge boulders around the shrine and in the cemetery were
carried in by farmers from all parts of Michigan. Some of the stones
and much of the limestone are inscribed with names and dedications that
today provide a treasure of local history. In front of the shrine is a
fountain with statues depicting Saint Bernadette of Soubirous’ vision
of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church is the second oldest
church in Detroit and is more commonly known as Assumption Grotto
Church because of the Lourdes Shrine. The church is designated as a
Michigan State Historic Site and is listed on the National Register of
The schedule of events for the August 15th celebration also includes
Masses at 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and Noon. A healing service with the
blessing of the sick will take place at 3 p.m. in the shrine. There is
safe and secure parking at Assumption Grotto Church, and special
attention will be given to the sick and handicap. A shuttle bus will
also be available throughout the day and evening for additional parking
at St. Veronica’s Catholic Church in Eastpointe. St. Veronica’s is
located just 2 miles North of Assumption Grotto and one block East of
Gratiot Avenue on Toepfer Drive.
Other activities include the blessing of Miraculous Medals and of
herbs. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the rosary,
praying the Stations of the Cross and confessions will be taking place
at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. There will be a consecration to the
Blessed Virgin Mary at 5 p.m. followed by a professional organ recital
until 6 p.m.
A pasta dinner will be available for purchase between 11 a.m. and 5:30
p.m., as well as hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, pop, water and ice cream
throughout the day.
Vendors will also be offering religious items for sale including candles for the evening procession.
For more information visit www.assumptiongrotto.com or call the rectory at 313-372-0762.
Assumption Grotto Catholic Church is at 13770 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48205.