The Austin Chronicle

Day Trips: Oblate Missions, San Antonio

Can't make it to France or Mexico City? A pair of religious shrines make one holy site in the Alamo City.

By Gerald E. McLeod, August 26, 2016, Columns

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto and Our Lady of Guadalupe "Tepeyac de San Antonio" at the Oblate Missions in northwest San Antonio combine replicas of two religious shrines into one unique holy site.

The Catholic missionaries claim that their San Antonio grotto, opened in 1941, is the best reproduction in the Americas of the French shrine. On top of the man-made concrete hill is Our Lady of Guadalupe "Tepeyac de San Antonio," a re-creation of Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City. Both shrines honor moments when the Blessed Mother appeared to the faithful.

Perhaps the most famous religious shrine in the world, Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in France is where the Virgin Mary appeared to a young peasant girl. In San Antonio, a statue of Saint Bernadette kneels before a sculpture of the apparition. At Tepeyac Hill outside of Mexico City, the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego, a native convert. Our Lady of Guadalupe became the patron saint of Mexico, and is represented by a colorful statue facing a bronze of Juan Diego.

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto and Our Lady of Guadalupe at Tepeyac Hill are at 5712 Blanco Rd., one mile south of Loop 410 in northwest San Antonio. The shrine is surrounded by wooded grounds that are open to the public daily at no charge. The grotto is used for special events and mass is held there twice a day. For info, call 210/342-9864 or go to

1,309th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.

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