My first time to visit the holy place, the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist (Birhen sa Simala) in Sibonga, Cebu is truly a memorable one with my family. Indeed, it was a long road travel from Lapu Lapu City, dropping off at the Cebu City South Bus terminal to take a bus ride heading to the holy place in Simala, under the sunniest at temperature 37 degree celcius, the hottest in the afternoon but it was all worth it! quite remarkable and fulfilling.
From an uphill and long, winding road to the main entrance of Simala, it was just and exactly how people have said! The place is holy, sacred and solemn! And what fills in next is hope and peace of mind and I truly feels the presence of Mama Mary that moment I saw the castle like church right in front of the main gate! I told myself..finally I’m here….
The big crowned gate is a little walk down the slope next to the main gate entering the church, welcomes everyone!. And we all should pay respect as we are entering the holy place of miracles. Strictly no skirts, shorts, tubes, spaghettis, skinny jeans and even slippers! and should watch every words and moves for this place is holy and sacred. The place is full of miracles, as long as you believe, because the strength of your faith is measured by how pure a heart is when you pray.
By then hundreds of pilgrims around Cebu and from other places around Philippines have traveled here in Sibonga and visit the Simala Church. In the past decade, it is known that the church was very small but because of non-stop flow of donation by many pilgrims around the world and by commercializing the Church, it’s structure changed to a very elegant, beautiful castle like Church set on mountains and still on progress ’till these days. This Cathedral looks like a castle in Europe and is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary who was the mother of the human incarnation of Jesus Christ.
Here we are..getting more tanned than the usual. After a long ride almost 3 hours on the road, can’t smile the sweetest under the sunniest!
Walking in….heading stairs up to the monastery to lit candles and prayer petition to the blessed Virgin Mary.
I do believe in miracles even before I came here, but I swear, the moment I start praying, I felt a touch of peace and contentment, my worries, fears; for a little while, were cast out. I’ve been through hard days and I know I can only pray to set them all aside. And despite everything.. I still find my life beautiful..when I looked up…… behind me…is my family!
A drop box for letters and prayer petitions, offering and thanksgiving of all sorts is one major purpose for all visitors and devotees who visits this holy place in Simala. Blank sheets of paper and pens on which to write their prayers and intentions are prepared by the monks for everyone to drop into the box. Donations of any amounts are welcome and to be given directly to the monks who runs and operated the Monastery.
My Only Prayer
Before and now..I personally never had prayed for good things but good health. But sometimes, and just this very day I’m burning out my own candles for my family. They never knew it but I did and in 3 days, miracle happened! It was an answered prayer, impossible as it seems but it happened.Thank you Mama Mary, I know I can only give a hand with my prayer.
A family that prays together, stays together!
The main altar of the miraculous statue of Mama Mary
The ceiling got its inspiration from those of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican. It looks like a beautiful chandelier with beautiful paintings and stained glass art but holy and sacred.
These are real people who received miracles! I saw a lot of testimonies placed inside the glass cabinets from all the people who prayed and believed, some of them passed the board exams, bar exams, and some received a complete healing, career promotions and progress in business, all are well granted!
You see..inside the glass cabinet, some are badges, IDs, crutches, wheel chairs and letters where these devotees witnessed miracles and answered prayers through their prayers to the Virgin Mary. Mama Mary, mother of all mothers is indeed the great intercessor to our God Almighty.
From here..We did the station of the Cross in front of the monastery, which is a very unforgettable and worth-it experience. It’s kind of waking up, realizing that life is still beautiful despite troubles.
Looks like a stairway to heaven. Behind that clouds is a place without worries.
My two little girls, they’ve made a story for me!
The big Statue of Mama Mary, way up in front of the Big crown.
The place where in, you can have peace of mind, have a little walk to unwind. The place is solemn, surrounded by green nature bond of trees, flowers, small pond, waterfalls and small cottages where you can have picnics with your families and friends while inside around the monastery.
Grotto of Mama Mary
Heading outside the pristine and solemn place, I remember my prayers and I offered them all to the Lord Almighty.
These beautiful flowers leaves us a beautiful smile as we stepped out from the holy place in Simala, the Monastery of the holy Eucharist!
Until next time…God Bless Us All!