December 8

Benches at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

Say a prayer with sophomore biology major Elizabeth Jasek at a set of benches near Our Lady’s Grotto.

“Each day began like a pilgrimage. My walk from Welsh Family Hall to this spot began with quiet intercessions. Meeting with these faithful friends, our moments of communal prayer were all the more powerful, even on cold and early mornings. Sitting in a circle we would greet each other, offer up specific intentions, and begin to pray.”

As we celebrate Mary’s willingness to bring Christ to the world, how can we recognize our Holy Mother at work in our own lives, nurturing our faith and friendships so that we may grow closer to God?



  1. Our Lady’s grotto is my most sacred space on this special campus. Pray for us, oh Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. ❤️ thee Notre Dame! 🙏🏻☘️

  2. Most Holy Mother, protect and guard our daughter as like you, she is preparing to gift birth during this season. It is a scary, crazy time in our world. She is teaching her third graders at St. Paul XXIII, sharing her love of the special Grotto she holds deep in her heart. Protect her precious gift of new life, soon to be in her arms. In your humble name I pray, Hail Mary full of grace….

  3. As much as I love whole campus The Grotto is my favorite place . At baptism I received a name after St Bernadette so every time when I’m visiting that’s my first spot to visit 💛💙☘️to charge my spiritual batteries 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

  4. One of the best personal. reflections that I have heard this season. Thank you , Elizabeth. I am glad to see a new generation of ND students has some memory of Dr, Tom Dooley. Peace to all.

  5. That was very beautiful. Mary must be smiling at you. I also went to the grotto to pray before classes

  6. The Grotto is one of my most sacred places on earth. I have offered many prayers of petition for loved ones, living and deceased, as well as many prayers of thanksgiving over the years. In recent years, I have prayed for and given thanks for the people who replace and restock the candles there. Thanks Elizabeth for a beautiful reflection!

  7. Thank you Elizabeth for this tender and beautiful tribute to our Lady, the mother of us all. God bless you and your rosary circle.

  8. What a beautiful reflection, Elizabeth. You and your friends bring a whole new meaning to praying the rosary. I also pray the rosary daily and I am so pleased to hear how you pray your rosary. Thank you.

  9. How beautiful Elizabeth! What an inspiring way to begin your day and your life. May our Blessed Mother always be your guide and inspiration.

  10. Very inspiring & comforting to know the loving devotion to our blessed mother. Let us continue to pray for peace.

  11. Thank you Elizabeth for this most beautiful reflection. You give me hope, just as Mary brought hope into this world with her yes to God. Bless you honey and again, thank you!

  12. The Grotto is a very special place for my husband and me too, Elizabeth. When I was a sophomore at St. Mary’s I took a walk to the Grotto one beautiful September afternoon. I was praying when a young man walked by and stopped to say hello. That was in 1976. We were married that following spring. The Grotto remains special to us to this day and although we now live in Pennsylvania we sometimes go back on our anniversary to thank God for our Grotto miracle.

  13. What a sacred reflection. Thank you. As so many of my family members are leaving the Church, you give me hope. This was one of my favorite places as well. God bless.

  14. Echoing the others, so encouraged to hear of your devotion to the Blessed Mother through her most holy Rosary. Praying the Rosary daily is the most important thing that has changed my own life. Beautiful witness, Elizabeth.

  15. Thanks for the great reflection Elizabeth. Pre-Grotto renovation, I proposed to my future wife at a bench in that same area. It’s a very special and sacred space, indeed!

  16. Elizabeth
    Your video o praying the rosary was incredible, I send my own personal prayers, blessings to you.
    You are an amazing young lady
    God bless you at this Christmas season and thereafter

  17. Thank you Elizabeth!

    My one visit to the Grotto was a surreal experience considering the myriad of issues that were going and continuing on in my life. The strength I found there and through prayer really showed me how truly holy that place is, filled with just not our Holy Mother’s spirit, but also her Son and his Father as well!

  18. Your parents must be so proud. The Grotto is a special place. As the parents of two ND grads we can only visit when we may go to a game. However your beautiful thoughts remind me of the spiritual greatness that is to be recognized each and every day.

  19. Elizabeth-thank you for sharing this special reflection on this feast day of Our Blessed Mother. You exude peace and serenity and I’m in awe that your group meets daily to pray the rosary together. I wish more students at our Catholic universities did this-the blessings would be unbelievable. God bless you always-you are a beautiful example of what makes ND so special. I know your parents are so proud of you too:).

  20. I am reading this on the day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Nation’s patron. I just heard of the attack upon the statue of Mary’s Fatima statue at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC, and was so comforted by Elizabeth’s words. Her prayers are shared with like minded friends, and I know that Mother Mary will safeguard her and her girlfriends. I am shocked to learn of the 100+ attacks on Catholic churches in our country this year. We all need to both pray and be comforted. Thank you for sharing your experience, Elizabeth. Enjoy the joy of the Advent season, and the upcoming Christmas holiday. You are a true Notre-doter-daughter!x

  21. I just discovered this group of videos on secret places at Notre Dame and clicked on yours, Elizabeth. I was unfortunate not to have found the most special place on campus or perhaps anywhere until late in my junior year. My best friend and 3rd generation Domer and I prayed
    at our Lady’s Grotto after the library closed as we walked back to Dillon Hall. It’s always been a very special place to me and my family. My mother adored our Blessed Mother Mary and her Grotto. It’s always the first place I go when I get to campus and I proposed marriage to my wife on the bench to the left of Tom Dooley ‘s statue. There’s a whole Other story to the Dr. My daughter, who is a 26 year old 4th grade teacher at a Catholic school in Columbus is to be married next July. Megan had it in her head that she would receive her proposal at the Grotto. She, as does my wife, have a special place in their hearts Mary and Notre Dame.

    I am impressed and gratified to have read the messages that were inspired by your story. Thank you and have a most blessed Christmas with your family and friends. JMJ

    1. Been there many times when my son was a Notre Dame student. It was like praying in a utopia surrounding.

  22. What a beautiful reflection, Elizabeth. Well done. You gave me chills by knowing that you and your friends made a commitment to pray the Rosary daily at the Grotto. It is one of my favorite places on campus, also. As a parent, I pray that all students, including my own daughter find comfort in Mary, our Mother, and in Her tender love, as She is the way to Jesus. Thank you.

  23. Elizabeth, thank you for your gentle and beautiful voice that is very much in sync with the energy, peace, love, hope and Joy of this Grotto. May you and every Grotto “visitor” find their mystical path filled with abundance.
    My sense is that You are a present day Mystic; along with your friends.

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