The public is invited to attend the outdoor blessing of a large homemade Marian shrine in Wayland, Steuben County.
Grotto of the Pieta will be blessed on Sunday, Aug. 16, at 2 p.m. (rain date Aug. 23). Participants may bring their own chairs and must wear masks. There is ample room for social distancing.
The grotto is located at 11763 County Road 38, on the property of John Landino, who constructed the massive shrine over a six-year period. Father Stephen Karani, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Community where Landino is a parishioner, will perform the blessing. Music will be provided by Anna Pender, a classically trained soprano.
Landino completed the shrine — which was featured earlier this year in a Catholic Courier story — in September 2019. Grotto of the Pieta measures 37 feet across and 12 feet high at its center, weighing 125 tons — a quarter of a million pounds. A dedication had originally been scheduled for May 17 but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the special blessing on Aug. 16, Landino welcomes visitors who wish to visit the grotto at any time for prayer, reflection and/or admiring the artwork. The grotto is set back approximately 200 feet from the road near a wooded area.Tags: Mary, Steuben County News