Monday, February 15, 2010

Milk Grotto

The Milk Grotto in Bethlehem is where the Holy Family took shelter during Herod's slaughter of the Innocents. According to tradition, it is believed that while Mary was nursing the infant Jesus, a drop of her milk fell to the floor of the cave, turning the rock white. Many pregnant and lactating women come to the Milk Grotto in the belief that the chalky white powder found in the grotto has healing properties that will help with fertility, childbirth and lactation.

A Milk Grotto Shrine can be found in St. Augustine, Florida in the United States. Our Lady of La Leche is venerated here and a statue of the Virgin nursing the infant Jesus is the centerpiece of the shrine. The Shrine was built by Spanish settlers who honored Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery after a nobleman's wife and baby were spared from death during childbirth due to Our Lady's intercession.

This week I will be attending a Certified Lactation Consultant training session to improve my skills and obtain certification as a lactation consultant so that I may further assist the nursing mothers and babies in my care at the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) clinic where I work. I will be praying for the intercession of our Lady of La Leche so that my experience will be fruitful and will allow me to be of more assistance to those mothers who struggle to breastfeed their babies.

Oh Beautiful Mother of my Lord,
you fed the infant Jesus with the bounty
of your abundant milk,
providing both nourishment and love

to your sweet babe.
Please look after all mothers

who long to follow your natural example
by feeding their own little ones with
the gift of their sweet milk
so that their babies will grow

to be healthy and strong.
But most of all, through the bond of nursing,
bring both mother and child to know that they are deeply loved
by each other, by you, Blessed Mother, and by God. Amen.


  1. What a beautiful shrine! Thank you for sharing the picture and the background information. Isn't it amazing - the number and variety of titles for Mary?

    Best wishes for you during the conference and as you work toward certification.

  2. I will be praying for you, Anne. The Milk Grotto was one of my favorite sites during a pilgrimage I made to the Holy Land in 2006. There are many tributes there to the miraculous intercession of Our Blessed Mother.

  3. What a wonderful post! I have to say that I did not know about the Milk Grotto or about Our Lady of La Leche, though I have heard of the La Leche group.

    I learn some much from the Catholic Blogging Community!

    Anne, my prayers are with you this week while you work on your certificate.

    Your prayer is so beautiful!

  4. How beautiful! I have never seen or heard of this shrine before! Even more beautiful is that you are training to help other woman breastfeed which is so important for a mother and her child. It can be frustrating getting a baby to latch on at first. I remember how exhausted I was after being up for 48 hours and then doing this. Michaela caught on pretty quickly but I have many friends who gave up because they thought it was too difficult. Michaela was a sleep lemon - she didn't sleep through the night until she was 18 months old :) I was perpetually exhausted...still am, too ;)

  5. This is beautiful Anne...thank you.
    And may God bless you with inspiration, enrichment, and all of the graces you need to help the young mothers in your care.

  6. Anne,
    I had never heard of this grotto before, or seen this statue of Mary nursing Jesus! I love it! How I wish I'd had it when I was nursing my own. It's so beautiful and tender.

    You'll be a great lactation consultant! Good for you.

  7. So beautiful. This is new to me too. You have taught us a lot today!

  8. I also have never heard of this before. Nursing is hard sometimes, but so worthwhile the effort. Whenever I wanted to give up, I would always think that Mary nursed Jesus, and it would help me persevere. What a great post!

  9. Hi Anne!
    Thanks for posting about this. My Mum and brother were in Bethlehem last year and I don't think they came across this lovely shrine. I had never heard of it before.
    Best of luck on your course.

  10. I never knew that. Thank you.

    You're in my prayers. God bless.

  11. What beautiful information Anne! You are a blessing! Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful things!Love Danette

  12. +JMJ+

    What a lovely post! I had not known about the shrine and its tradition, even though there is a statue of Our Lady of the Milk in my own parish church. May Our Lady bless your work, Anne, and increase your devotion to her!

  13. Does anyone have the prayer to our Lady of the milk grotto in jerusalem?

    1. Say The Third Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, 1 Our Father and 10 Hail Marys. Then ask the Virgin of the Milk Grotto to intercede with God to heal their maternal problems and say this till baby is born. You can also pray for other healings with this Devotion.
      God gave me the opportunity to visit The Holy Land this year in February and what an experience it was, I am thankful to Him. This Milk Grotto Church in Jesursalem was breathtaking.

  14. Lisa, this is from the Shrine in Florida, does it help? I don't know of one from Jerusalem, but I'm sure you could make one up to suit your needs! God bless you!

    Prayer for Motherhood:

    Lovely Lady of La Leche, most loving mother of the Child Jesus, and my mother, listen to my humble prayer. Your motherly heart knows my every wish, my every need. To you only, His spotless Virgin Mother, has your Divine Son given to understand the sentiments which fill my soul. Yours was the sacred privilege of being the Mother of the Savior. Intercede with him now, my loving Mother, that, in accordance with His will, I may become the mother of other children of our heavenly Father. This I ask, O Lady of La Leche, in the Name of your Divine Son, My Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

  15. Does anyone know where I can find the white powder? I've been heard about this powder for women with fertility problems and since I have tried so many times IVF and when I finally got pregnant I had to take the baby out since he was in one of my tubes. I can't adopt in US because I am not an american citizen and because I don't live in my country, I can not adopt over there either. I really would like to try the white powder from this church.
    Any help is appreciated.
    Thank you,

  16. Dear Gigi, I believe that the only way you can obtain the milk powder is to personally visit the Shrine in Bethlehem. It is not sold anywhere else in the world.

    I will pray for you in your efforts to conceive a child, and hope that you will follow the teachings of the Church in your efforts. Above all, if you would obtain the milk powder, I believe that your faith in God and the Holy Family is what brings about conception more so than any miraculous substance that may be in the powder. Prayer can work more wonders than anything else, so even if it is impossible for you to obtain the powder, keep your faith in God, continue to pray and His will for you will bring you peace as the final result. God bless!

  17. we are a couple newly married and and have been trying very hard to get pregnant for the past 5 months.however i am suffering from a very bad case of endometriosis and have already been operated once for cysts, fiberoids and endometriosis once. however it has started growing back, which is making pregnancy even more difficult. we have the powder but were not aware how to take it until now, or how many times to take it. if possible i also need the exact prayer to the grotto. we do strongly believe that mother mary will bless us with the gift of a child. how ever we need your prayers too. please send me the prayer and continue to pray for us.
    fabiola& perry

  18. Fabiola, I am so, so sorry for all of the trouble that you and your husband have experienced in your efforts to have a child. I am sure that your suffering has been great. I do not know of any prayers for the milk grotto except the one that is posted above in the comments. It comes from the Milk Grotto Shrine in Florida. But, I am sure that any prayer you offer with the willingness to accept God's will, is met with the love of the Father. Know that I will also be holding you in my prayer.

  19. Hi ...just a big favor to all out there ...anybody who can spare of any amount of the milk powder from the grotto ? or anybody who will be on a pilgrimage to Bethlehem soon? please e-mail me Thanks a lot... God Bless..

    Friend in Christ,

  20. we are a couple married in 2000 and after years of prayer and treatment a baby boy was born in 2005 and he is keeping in good health. We are trying for our second baby since 2009 onwards and took long period medication and undergone treatment like IUI,IVF , but all in vein. Now my wife is having severe psychiatric problem, which makes me to rethink about the second child. I fear that if a baby is born to us this stage, the possibility of inheriting schizophrenia from mother to child is very high. I am in high dilemma for the last one year as whether to go ahead with the treatment or to discard it as my wife is in such a stage that she is neither ready to admit her desease nor take treatment. She always quarrel with me for her petty suspicion about my infidelity. we have the powder but were not aware how to take it until now, or how many times to take it. if possible i also need the exact prayer to the grotto. we do strongly believe that mother mary will bless us with the gift of a child. how ever we need your prayers too. please send me the prayer and continue to pray for us.
    Sebastian and Family

  21. Hi my self and husband are married since 2005 i,m 29 he,s 28 we ask that u will pray for us to have ababy especially anyone who is visiting the milk grotto i,ve had 6 miscarages so it, been tuff i know we will have our own baby so please keep us in ur prayers as you,ll be in mine

  22. This is beautiful Anne...thank you.
    And may God bless you with inspiration, enrichment, and all of the graces you need to help the young mothers in your care.

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  24. Olá, tenho um amigo que vai na Terra Santa. Algupem pode me falar o valor do pó da gruta?
    Passe pro meu e-mail

  25. I heard of Milk Grotto in Bethlehem from one of our pasters and went to him. He gave the precious milk power today to my sister which he brought from Milk Gortto and please pray for her , so that see conceive because the good couple are waiting for god's grace from 15 years since they got married. Pray for them sister and brother.

  26. Please pray for my conceive.

  27. we dont have childrens
    and we both need jobs
    we are suffering from financials problems . and pray for our health also

  28. Interesting! Do you eat the powder? is it really milk powder or the powder from a rock? May the Lord bless those who are longing for a baby.

  29. Praise you are lady virgin mother of baby Jesus, pray for me to conceive a baby of my own, god bless

  30. hello everyone I am married for 4 years now I've done in vitro in a few days I will have the results I want to know if this magic powder can be consumed if the results are positive and in order to retain the fetus

  31. Can any one here help me to get any powder from the milk grotto,,,i dont have money to go there,,please help me,i am a devotte of the holy mother here in the philippines,,those with a good heart that may help me,this is my eamil add.,,,thank you in advance and may the lord bless you all