Day 7: Making Your Home a Sanctuary of Peace and Prayer

Service Project: At a time when many of us are staying much closer to home, we will provide you with resources for making your own home a sanctuary of peace and prayer.

Partner: The Grotto

Inspiration: Servite St. Juliana Falconieri

St. Juliana Falconieri, OSM, was a niece to one of the original Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order, and she dedicated her entire adult life to a life centered in and around her home, with prayer, focused spirituality, service to her neighbors, and sharing Christ’s gospel to anyone she could.

A Prayer for Today’s Day of Service

This day I call on Blessed Mary,

all Servite priests, brothers, and sisters – living and dead – and Father Ambrose Mayer, founder of this sanctuary called The Grotto.

Help me offer peace to all those I encounter today; help me bring peace to situations and relationships in turmoil; help me make peace with those whom I have hurt or let down.

I ask especially to help me make a sanctuary of peace in my heart and my home, where my loved ones and I can find rest, renewal, inspiration, and hope.

I ask all this through Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit.


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: The Grotto, the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother

The Grotto is a 62-acre shrine and sanctuary, open year-round to all. Mass is celebrated every day in the Chapel of Mary, and outdoors in The Grotto Plaza during the warm summer months.

The Grotto is a ministry of the Servite Friars. To learn about Servite Ministries at The Grotto, please click here.

The Grotto was founded in 1924 by Fr. Ambrose Mayer, OSM. To learn all about the history of The Grotto, please click here.

On May 29, 1924, three thousand people gathered for the first Mass and Dedication of the Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother. At the blessing, Archbishop Alexander Christie offered this prayer:

“Let this be a sanctuary of peace for all peoples of the earth, and surely in this day a sanctuary is needed. Torn with differences, strife, and grief, the world needs sanctuary where the human spirit can seek peace and consolation.”

Today’s Inspiration: Servite St. Juliana Falconieri (1270-1341)

St. Juliana Falconieri was the niece of Saint Alexis Falconieri, one of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order. At the age of 15 she received a habit of the Third Order of Servites. She remained in her parent’s home. After her mother’s death, she and several companions moved into a house of their own, which became the first convent of the Sisters of the Third Order of Servites. Juliana remaining the superior until the end of her life. 

This beautiful marble statue of St. Juliana is located in the Chapel of Mary at The Grotto.

Today’s Project

Making Your Home a Sanctuary of Peace, Prayer and Welcome

During this time of pandemic, we are spending more time at home. We’d like to offer you some instructions and a simple plan for developing or maintaining a “home-based Church.”

Whether you’re alone where you live, or with chosen friends, or a nuclear family, we could all use some help in making our homes a “sanctuary” of peace, prayer, and welcome.

Suggestions for Around the Home

Make a Shrine
Use any picture or statue of any favorite saint … or Jesus, or Mary, and put it in a special place in your home, somewhere everyone can see it. Add candles. Select some flowers, or a lovely plant … everyone in the family can, and ought, to be involved.  

Set up your shrine, and even add pictures of your favorite loved ones, Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc., and maybe even someone who has passed away and whom you miss.

When everything is arranged just the way you like it, gather as a family and have a moment or two of silence while you look at all the pictures (or statues, etc.) which are there and who they represent. Every person then offers a prayer for the people in the pictures. The prayer can be made up, or it can be a traditional prayer, like the “Our Father” or the “Hail Mary”! When everyone has been prayed for, the family might pray for one another, one-by-one.

Display the Pietà
Display a picture or replica of Michaelangelo’s Pietà in a room of your house, as a reminder of Mary’s love for Jesus, and her love for us.

Refrigerator Art
Have children (or adults) illustrate their favorite stories from the Bible and display on the refrigerator.

Have a crucifix displayed in a prominent room in the house, and in every bedroom.

Children’s Prayer Corner
Set up a comfortable place, perhaps with pillows or mats to sit on, and a selection of children’s books on saints or bible stories. Depending on ages, they can read on their own, or have you read to them.

Holy Water
Place a Holy Water font by the front door of your home.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray as a family (find time that works for your family.) Before meals, in the morning, before bed are all good times.

Allow your children to witness you in private prayer, and encourage your children to prayer on their own.

Say a Marian Prayer each day. Perhaps, even, learn a new one. For a selection of Marian Prayers, please click here.

Pray a Family Rosary. Each member leads a decade, and everyone shares intentions.

Pray the Servite Rosary. Click here to learn about the Servite Rosary from Fr. Richard Boyle, OSM.

Suggestions for Everyday Life

Talk free about the presence of God in the joys and sorrows of your life.

Teach stewardship and charity to your family through example.

Demonstrate love for your spouse, your children, your neighbors, and the world. Remind children that they are loved by God, and have been given gifts to serve others.

Begin some family traditions based on the seasons celebrated in the liturgical calendar.

Enjoy regular dinners together, sharing and connecting.

When you are Ready to Get Out of the House or Travel

Take a pilgrimage to The Grotto!

Additional Resources

For more information and ideas for building a domestic church, here are a few links from around the country.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Tools for Building a Domestic Church

Our Sunday Visitor: What Catholics need to know about making their homes a domestic church

Archdiocese of Cincinnati: What is a domestic church?

Diocese of St. Petersburg: Nurturing the Domestic Church During COVID-19

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.