In 1939, the eve of World War II, Fr. Anthony Sylla OMI, summoned his parishioners to build a a place to pray for peace in the world. A small hill west of the church was chosen and excavation began. The grotto was built as a replica to the Grotto of Lourdes in France. Thus it is named “Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine”.
The first pilgrimage took place in 1941 with approximately 2000 people in attendance.
On August 14, a Vigil in celebration of the Feast of The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary takes place with a Mass, the International Living Rosary and a candlelight procession that goes up the hill and around stopping at the three main stations. The first station being the angel with the names of the fallen soldiers, the second at the “Pieta” and the third at the second angel that recognizes the pioneers who built the grotto with Fr. Sylla. There are also statues of St. Anthony, St. Bernadette, the Blessed Virgin Mary and recently added four statues that were made in Italy- St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Fr. Anthony Sylla, St. Mother Teresa and St. John Paul II.
The place has thousands of stones with many trails and walkways. It is a very beautiful place in which to visit at any season as spring brings on all the new growth and the greenery of the grass and trees, summer is beautified with the many flowers, fall is very scenic with the change of color and winter brings on the glistening of the snow.
It has attracted thousands of visitors who stop to meditate, to pray asking for Mary’s intervention, curiosity and some come simply to explore. Visitors from all parts of the world have signed the guest book in the little church. It is simply an amazing place that is located in a very small Village of Rama, Saskatchewan.