National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes


Carfin Grotto

Welcome to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes at Carfin.

For more than ninety years The Grotto at Carfin has been a special place of pilgrimage, prayer and grace for those who visit it.

In July 1920, a group of parishioners from St Francis Xavier's Parish, took part in the Scottish National Pilgimrage to Lourdes. Upon their return they had decided to erect a small shrine, together with a parochial hall, on an acre of ground acros from the old Parish Church. On 19th September 1920, the first sod was cut and the site was blessed; medals of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Therese were buried in the ground, and the short service concluded with the singing of the ever popular 'Lourdes Hymn'. The next day volunteers set to work: miners, railwaymen, and others from the parish, were assisted by those from the neighbouring parishes. 

By September 1922 statues of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette had arrived, along with a tiny piece of rock from the niche where the Mother of God appeared at Lourdes. Over 2000 pilgrimage watched Father Thomas Taylor consecrate the Lourdes Grotto. Thus began a long and winding history of expansion, consolidation and renewals that has brought us to today. 

Since its inception, many thousands of people, through their prayers, sacrifices, practical help and financial generosity have helped to sustain and expand the Grotto. 

Open 365 days a year, the Grotto is host to nearly seventy thousand visitors annually, attracting pilgirms and tourists alike from across the country and around the world.

I hope that this website will allow you to discover something more about the founder of the Grotto, as well as the saints commemorated here. 

Whether you are from near of farther away, I hope very much that one day you can visit this Shrine of Our Blessed Mother and to welcome you to Carfin. May God bless you and those who are dear to you.