Blessing of Grotto in CDM, Penang

It must surely be an act of faith to hold the Eucharistic celebrations with the blessing of the newly renovated grotto outdoors, when heavy evening downpours had been the order of the day recently.

A sizeable group of parishioners availed themselves in front of the grotto on the evening of May 13th 2014 which is also the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. The sound of water cascading over the rocks; the effervescent delight of a fountain in the middle of a fish pond; an array of lush potted plants and colorful flowers were surrounded by soft illumination. It all added to the spiritual ambiance in the Divine Mercy church compound in Sungai Ara, Penang.

Just as the recitation of the rosary began, fine mists of sporadic raindrops threatened to ruin the evening. As if on cue, that curiously cleared up just before mass began, adding to the coolness of the night.


Parish priest, Father Martin Arlando proceeded to bless the grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes and led the faithful to recite the Prayer of St Bernadette. Referring to the spring in Lourdes, Father Martin accentuated that without faith, the water meant nothing.

In his homily, Father said that the words of Christ read during the gospel were spoken simultaneously by the priest and by Christ himself. While the words of the former are physically audible to us, the voice of Christ is audible in our hearts, if we chose to listen to Him.

Father Martin thanked the organizers and the multiple benefactors who had donated to the renovation of the grotto. As the crowd cleared, so did the sky, revealing the stars and a full moon in all its glory.


Written by
Elizabeth Simon
Church of Divine Mercy, Penang

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