Save the Grotto!

Save The Grotto!
Click here to see the location of this beautiful devotional shrine.

Dear Friends of the Grotto,

We are planning a cleanup day with the Forrest Preserve for Saturday, May 12. I will provide more details as we get closer to the date. 

For those of you that use facebook please join the Geneva Grotto group for more information about Grotto events.

I would like to have a meeting / fundraiser / luncheon before the cleanup, if you are interested in attending or planning the event please contact me.  

In cooperation with the Knights of Columbus Council 2191 I am soliciting funds to form "Friends of the Grotto" 501(c)(3) that will endeavor to "Restore the Grotto to its original condition in it's present location and establish an organization that will ensure that the Grotto is preserved and protected in perpetuity for future generations to admire and enjoy." 

Please consider making a generous tax-free donation to the Knights of Columbus Council 2191(PayPal) or send a check  to:

Knights of Columbus 
c/o "The Grotto"
PO Box 25
Batavia, IL. 60510 

I am also looking for an individual to help obtain general insurance coverage as required by the County and Forrest Preserve. Please contact me at your convenience. 

Patrick J. Murtaugh
Knights of Columbus Council 2191 Grotto Committee Chairman 



History: (from:

A journey to the Sacred Heart Seminary's Grotto Chapel begins at the former estate of noted 19th-century Genevan, Merritt Tuttle Cole and next to a former monastery and seminary; more recently the home to the Kane County Government Center.

A traipse through the woods can present a rewarding treasure. It could be argued that any hike is shaped by one's expectations when beginning. Yet, this theory becomes entirely moot when one jumps well outside the somewhat limiting confines of the imaginary box and encounters an honest-to-goodness surprise. 

A brief jaunt, no more than 10 minutes, leads to a slight hill where one is rewarded with a scene more expected in the likes of romanticized medieval England.

Behold, the shrine!

Built sometime after 1925 when the property was sold to Jesuit monks, the outdoor chapel is an imposing stone structure. Its presence is extraordinary, not only for its detailed artistry, but for the fact it makes one question whether there was a glitch in the time-space continuum and a red barn now graces Roman baths.

A detailed mosaic of rocks spread over three arches depicts heaven and earth, a crucifix crossed by two swords (possibly Jesuits as soldiers of Christ), a Monstrance ( chalice that holds the body of Christ), and a lighthouse. The former is bordered with the phrase, "Ignem veni mittere," which translates to "I have come to bring fire." This reference is a tad unusual, as it is normally accompanied by "in Terram", a phrase attributed to none other than Jesus when referring to baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 12:49).

The lighthouse, or flame of divine love, is underlined by, "ego sum lux mundi," or "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). This sentiment may be further reflected by the central arch's ceiling depicting a blue sky pierced by rays of light. The grotto's upper corners are decorated with the Greek letters alpha and omega, referring to the New Testament in which Jesus uses said characters to describe himself; as in embodying both beginning and end. Additionally, a nod to the first three letters of Jesus in Greek, the altar is inscribed with the letters "IHS."