Day 1: Caring for the Homeless

Service Project: Build care kits for individuals experiencing homelessness.

Partner: Portland Rescue Mission

Inspiration: The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order, almost 800 years ago, centered a great deal of their ministry around the poor where they lived. We’re inviting you to put together packages care packets in ziplock bags, for donation to the Portland Rescue Mission, or to have on hand to distribute yourself.

A Prayer for Today’s Day of Service

God of Compassion and Mercy, open my heart to care for those in need.

As the Servite Founders care for the homeless and poor of their city, may I discover ways to contribute to the health and well-being of my city.

Unite my efforts with those of The Grotto community during these Seven Days of Service.

Lord, bless and multiply our service to bring your healing presence to those in need.


Prayer Cards

A limited number of prayer cards are available for pick-up this week, beginning Monday, at The Grotto Visitor Center. If you are unable to come to The Grotto, email to arrange for a set to be sent to you, while supplies last.

Today’s Prayer Card:

Today’s Project Partner: Portland Rescue Mission

Portland Rescue Mission provides food, shelter, addiction recovery and other vital services to homeless men, women and children in the Portland, Oregon, and southwest Washington area.

To learn more about Portland Rescue Mission, go to their website at

Today’s Project: Pack a Care Kit

Pack a care kit to donate to the Portland Rescue Mission for distribution, or to keep on hand to distribute yourself.

Completed kits can be dropped off at The Grotto anytime during the month of September, and we will deliver them for you.

A limited number of instruction sheets and Rose City Resource Guides will be available for pick up this week beginning Monday at The Grotto Gift Shop or Visitor Center. You may also download your own copy by clicking the link below. ( Note: Due to poor air quality closures, we may not have the Rose City Resource Guides available until later in the week. We will keep you posted.)

Click here to download this instruction sheet

Watch the following video, produced by the Portland Rescue Mission, for tips on packing and distributing care kits.

For those out of the area

For those of you not in the Portland area, we encourage you to find a local agency who may benefit, or pack some care kits to distribute yourself.

In response to the fires

The wildfires currently burning around the region have displaced over 500,000 people, and destroyed the homes of many.

The Red Cross has set up shelters around the area. For information on volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross disaster services, please click here.

To learn more about how the Red Cross is working alongside partners and local officials to make sure people have a safe place to stay and comfort during this time of uncertainty, please click here.

Learn More about Today’s Inspiration:

The Seven Holy Founders

The Grotto is a ministry of the Servite Friars, Order of Servants of Mary. Before the Servites ever existed as an official religious Order, seven prosperous men came together in the city of Florence, Italy, 787 years ago.

As a reflection of the penitential spirit of the times, it had been the custom of these men to meet regularly as members of a religious society established in honor of Mary, the Mother of God. Eventually, the seven left their comfortable homes, put aside their finery and went to live together in a ramshackle building outside the city walls.

The holiness and penitential lifestyle of the seven quickly attracted attention and people seeking prayers and spiritual direction became frequent visitors. To avoid these distractions that they considered a hindrance to the contemplative life they sought, the entire group moved to more peaceful surroundings, and established a hermitage on the summit of a nearby mountain, Monte Senario, sometimes known as the “sounding mountain.”

Coming to be known as the “Friar Servants of Mary,” others joined the first seven on Monte Senario, and as the group continued to grow, the seeds of the new religious Order took root.

The Friar Servants of Mary were approved as a religious Order by the bishop of Florence sometime between the years 1240 and 1247. In the year 1304, the Order of Friar Servants of Mary received definitive approval as a religious Order in the Church by the Holy See.

Pope Leo XIII canonized them as the Seven Founders of the Servite Order in 1888.

Representation at The Grotto

Chapel Mosaic

This beautiful mosaic can be found in The Grotto’s Chapel of Mary.

700th Anniversary Gift Honors Founders

The bronze statue entitled “Mary, Our Mother” stands atop a granite monument 150 feet above The Grotto. The statue is one of the earliest installments at The Grotto.

The statue was a gift from the Catholic Daughters of America in 1933 to honor the 700th Anniversary of the Servite Order.

Around the base of the statue are the Seven Sorrows of Mary (the Via Matris) and the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order, as seen below.

Learn more about the Servite Order

The Grotto is a ministry of the Servite Friars, Order of Servants of Mary.

To learn more about the Servites, please click here.

Thank you for participating in today’s Day of Service.