Bringing The Grotto to You: Day 10

The Pollinator Garden

The Butterfly

For more than 2,000 years the butterfly has been a symbol of rebirth, resurrection and new spiritual life for Catholics and Christians worldwide.

The butterfly’s three-phased life cycle starts with a caterpillar that emerges from its egg and just eats, symbolizing normal earthly life where people are preoccupied with taking care of their physical needs.

Phase two, the chrysalis or cocoon where the metamorphosis takes place, represents the tomb. Finally, the butterfly, whose emergence from the cocoon represents the resurrection into a glorious new life free of material restrictions. 

The monarch butterfly, one of the most recognizable species in North America, as well as other pollinators, are in trouble. Habitat loss and fragmentation, pesticide use and a changing climate have had a negative impact on pollinators and we need to take steps to conserve these essential species. 

The Pollinator Garden (2018)

As part of America’s Faith-Based Initiative, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with The Grotto and the Pacific Northwest College of Art to engage the public on the importance of pollinators, including the monarch butterfly. 

Work began in 2016 to build a butterfly habitiat in the Upper Gardens outside the Meditation Chapel, in order to create a suitable and protected environment for caterpillars and butterflies to thrive.

With the help of dozens of volunteers, staff from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and The Grotto prepared and planted the garden over the course of the year.

Prayer taken from Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.

You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.

Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.

We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our strugglefor justice, love and peace.


The Garden Plaza

Dedicated with the Meditation Chapel in 1991, the plaza offers visitors a place to sit and reflect on the beauty of the surroundings as they visit the Upper Gardens.


In May of 2018, the Pollinator Garden was dedicated, and staff from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service were on hand to educate visitors, as well as present The Grotto with a community service award.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

by Cecil Frances Alexander

All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain, The river running by, The sunset, and the morning, That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell, How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well.

The garden today

Visitors and staff are beginning to see more and more butteflies in the area, and all around the Upper Gardens.

This butterfly was one of the first spotted after the garden opened.

The sounds of the garden

Click here to view a very short video, via YouTube, of the sounds above the Pollinator Garden in the spring. (Turn your volume up to enjoy.)

The Series

We hope you are enjoying our daily feature A Place of Sanctuary: Bringing The Grotto to You.

We thank you for your continued support at this difficult time.