Chapels & Shrines
Located within Carfin Grotto are a number of Chapels & Shrines which honour Our Lord, Our Blessed Lady and many of the saints. A number of these shrines have been refurbished and reopened in recent years having lay closed for almost forty years. Others are more recent editions to the Grotto. Most of these holy places are open to the public everyday during the Pilgrimage Season for private prayer and devotion.
The Parish Church of St Francis Xavier is the heart of the local Parish community of Carfin. Opened in 1973, replacing the old Church which stood adjacent to the Grotto, the Church is open daily offering Holy Mass and Confessions. A number of the special liturgies celebrated throughout the Grotto year are also held here.
THE PARISH CHURCH
At the far end of the Grotto, around the Sunken Garden, are the Stations of the Cross. The stations include 14 wooden crosses and also incorporates the calvary shrine, marking the 15 stations of Our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection. These stations were erected during the 2006/7 Pilgrimage Season by then parish priest, Father Thomas Millar, replacing the old stations which were erected in the 1960's during Canon George Mullen's time.
Across from the Glass Chapel is the Polish Shrine built in 1982. The shrine has an image of Our Lady of Czestechowa - The Black Madonna and a statue of Pope St John Paul II which was blessed by Archbishop Szczepan Wesoly in 2001. The shrine also has an Altar blessed by Cardinal Keith O'Brien.
On entering the Grotto you will find the Lourdes Shrine honouring the apparitions of Our Lady to St Bernadette Soubrious in the French village of Lourdes. This is the original shrine to be built at the Grotto, blessed by Father Thomas Taylor in October 1922, and is Scotland's National Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes.
THE LOURDES SHRINE
Carfin Grotto is privileged to have one of the world's largest collection of relics. Housed within the All Saints Reliquary Chapel, next to the Parish Church, are hundreds of relics of the saints. It is one of the largest collections fo relics outside of the Vatican and contains relics of St Therese, St Thomas More, St Barbara, St Lawrence and many other saints. Also housed here is the Carfin Monstrance, blessed by Pope Pius XI.
ALL SAINTS RELIQUARY CHAPEL
In 2019, a new Altar was erected within the Sunken Garden to honour Scots forced to practise their Catholic faith clandestinely through two and a half centuries of persecution, from 1560 onwards. The altar is named after the secret seminary in the Braes of Glenlivet which operated from 1716 to 1799
The Glass Chapel - Our Lady Maid of the Seas - sits at the centre of the Grotto. First seen at the Glasgow Flower Festival, it was brought the Grotto in 1988 by then parish priest, Father Brian Logue, and is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Lockerbie Disaster. Open each day during the Pilgrimage Season offering Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, many pilgrimage groups also celebrate Holy Mass here.
One of the newest Shrine at the Grotto is found in the Parish Church behind the High Altar and is dedicated to Our Lady under her title of Untier of Knots. A devotions which has been encouraged by Pope Francis, this has became a very popular shrine for pilgrims and a Solemn Novena is held twice annually.
UNTIER OF KNOTS
Our Lady is honoured under many of her titles at Carfin. Close to the sunken garden is the Fatima Shrine, commemorating the apparitions of Our Lady to St Jacinta, St Francisco and Lucia on the 13th of six consecutive months in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. At Carfin, on the 13th of each month from May to October, the Fatima Devotions take place including Holy Mass and Rosary Procession.