As usual, Carfin Grotto celebrated the Feast of Mercy quite beautifully.
The Grotto is the national Shrine in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Therese of Lisieux; throughout the pilgrimage season (from May till October), there is a very full programme of events taking place, drawing crowds from every Diocese and many parishes in Scotland, and beyond.
Today, it was the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday.
The Guardian of the Grotto and Parish Priest is Father Francis McGachey – a good and holy man who, today, heard Confessions for a couple of hours before the day properly began, then led the Holy Hour and Benediction, and then finished the day with a beautiful Mass.
During the Holy Hour, extracts from the Diary of Saint Faustina were read out, followed by various meditations and prayers, interspersed with the Litany of Divine Mercy. Father McGachey also illustrated some of the points for meditation using anecdotes from his own experience and that of others, and which reflected the thoughts being expressed. He spoke about the two facets of mercy – asking for mercy, and thenr eflecting that mercy out to others so that they, too, might experience it’s effects. It’s also worth noting that Father McGachey had promised that no-one would leave without hearing their Confession heard, should they wish it – which meant another hour or two dispensing God’s great mercy after the conclusion of Mass.
As on previous occasions, there was a good crowd present, made up of people of all ages. There was a beautiful sense of reverence throughout.
Many people took the opportunity to explore the sights of the Grotto – particularly the All Saints Reliquary Chapel, containing one of the largest collections of Relics outside of the Vatican; also, the many shrines within the grounds, and the Glass Chapel dedicated to Our Lady, Maid of the Sea.
There have been many Divine Mercy celebrations held across Scotland today, with the one at Carfin probably being the largest and most well-known. I pray the Lord has looked kindly on all the souls who have spent today venerating His holy Image and celebrating the Feast of Mercy as He Himself requested.