Who would ever believe that the tallest Divine Mercy Statue is in the Philippines? Hailing at 50 feet, I was not aware that it was the “World’s Tallest” when we visited the Divine Mercy Shrine in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental a week ago. This reminds me of Brazil’s “Cristo Redentor” statue along Rio de Janeiro’s river which tops it off a few more notch at 98 feet.
This towering statue overlooking the Macajalar Bay sits on a hill that is 500 feet above sea level.
This place was not covered in our planned itinerary. I had no clue about it whatsoever. We just found out about this magnificent place from a local cab driver that picked us up from the Cagayan de Oro airport. He told us that it is a mere 30-minute drive – while that being said, we were hoping to visit the popular Maria Cristina Falls of Iligan before departing for Davao in the afternoon. But time was not our luxury anymore. Divine Mercy it is! 🙂
Overlooking the Macajalar Bay.
Due to the fact that we were clueless about this Holy Place, here’s a list of rules that we have observed (this will come really handy if you’re planning to include this in your trip):
Obviously not complying with the rules. Sorry.
Observe the proper dress code: Don’t wear short pants, body huggers, sleeveless shirts and miniskirts, tight-fitting jeans and leggings, other clothes that are “revealing,” and earrings for men. If you are not following their strict dress code, you are not allowed to enter.
Since I came in short shorts, I was doomed! Luckily, there’s a booth that has skirts, pants and shawls for rent. By “rent” I mean giving any amount of money as donation in exchange for a few minutes of wearing the articles. Not bad for tourists coming there on short notice. 😉
A majestic view of the Divine Mercy Shrine both from the bottom and top.
The Divine Mercy Shrine is a pilgrimage site for devotees and visitors – a place to pray, meditate, and reflect because of its serenity. It has also been said in an article that according to one of the priests (caretaker of the shrine), this holy ground was God’s choice to be a center for dialogue and healing for the people of Mindanao.
A walk of faith.
Pausing, contemplating, and breathing life into what has become a mini-retreat for me, I marched on to the almost-200 steps towards the huge Jesus Christ sculpture. Marveling its interesting colors, marbled floors, and intricate design, it was an overwhelming feeling of joy… The chapel, located beside this giant figure, is a solemn place to cultivate and enrich our spirits. Alas! A great way to thank the Lord for being with us on our journey.
Behind the chapel is a church that is still under construction.
For those of you who are wondering about the schedules, here’s a little list I compiled. (This is a recent schedule, by the way):
Daily Masses: Weekdays at 3:30PM, Saturdays at 8AM, 11:30AM, and 4PM, Sundays at 8AM, 10AM, and 3PM.
Confessions: Weekdays at 2PM, Weekends at 8AM to 5PM (at the Ridgeview Chapel)
Going up to the Heart of the Divine Mercy Statue: Weekdays at 1:30PM to 3:15PM and 4:45PM to 6PM, Weekends at 1:30PM to 2:45PM and 4:45PM to 6PM.
BUT WAIT! One of the things that tickled my curiosity was actually the Healing Water. Read more about it in this separate post. 🙂