If you have been to Lourdes in France, you would be reminded of such Marian pilgrimage site when you visit Simala or Monastery of the Holy Eucharist in Southern Cebu. Run by Mongha ni Maria (Monks of Mary) who tend the gardens and built a mini-falls within the compound, the church has also since been a pilgrimage site.

 

 

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This church in Sibonga, Cebu drew crowds when the miraculous statue of Mama Mary shed tears of blood. Though not validated by the Church, this phenomenon drew many faithfuls to the site.

 

 

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I tweeted about this trip to Cebu and some tweeps advised me to go visit Simala on our way back to the city. It’s just slightly off the way and in between our Dalaguete and Carcar stopovers, but since we hired a van for the day, it worked out well. We felt good making this stopover. And there was even a Mass when we visited.

 

 

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Hard to believe a church of this size was built in this corner of the province. The story goes that funds were provided by faithfuls who were miraculously healed here. If you are a first-time visitor like we were, you’d be awed by the grandeur of this church. Not just in the exterior appearance with the curving staircase and footbridge wrapped around the church, but in the interiors as well. We waited till Mass was over before snapping these photos.

 

 

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So, next time you are in these parts of Southern Cebu, make time to do this pilgrimage. All you need to bring with you is your faith and perhaps, countless petitions for divine aid.

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