GROTTO SHRINE of Our lady of lourdes

A truly unique area, the Grotto Shrine is hewn out of lava rock from Mount Vesuvius in Italy. At the time of its construction, Father Baker insisted on finding a material that was untouched by human hands to pay tribute to the vision of Our Blessed Lady to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, France.  The rock formation duplicates the original Lourdes Grotto of France from where miraculous cures have been known to occur.

The white church plaque on the back wall is a miniature replica of the Lourdes Shrine as it appears today.

On March 11, 1999, the Grotto Shrine was changed forever.  That was the day Father Baker “came home” to the Basilica. During a very special Mass, his casket was solemnly carried from nearby Holy Cross Cemetery and placed in the tomb seen here.  The move was recommended by members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints who felt increased veneration to Father Baker would result from the higher number of visitors coming to the Basilica in comparison to his grave site within the cemetery.