Friday, January 24, 2014

Pilgrimage to Simala With Me

(This is part two of the Postcards from Cebu post. For Mary, Gina and anyone who loves Our Lady:)

Before the year ended, I travelled on a pilgrimage to a place called Simala, which is located in a small town of Sibonga, Cebu. (I promised to return whenever I am able to go home.) The history of it, I think, you’ll find impressive and miraculous.  Sometime in the nineties, there was an outbreak of dengue fever in the community and dozens of children were dying.  The monks of the Holy Eucharist, who lived in a humble monastery nearby, organized a nine-day novena of dawn rosaries for the entire village.  Dawn after dawn, the families would gather and plead with Our Lady.  By the ninth day, the sick children were healed and the outbreak was over. 

A small shrine to Our Lady was soon built.  But news travelled fast and people started arriving with their own petitions.  Many of them were answered favorably, so donations began pouring in.  Today, in less than thirty years, the Shrine has exploded into this structure, as a testament to the intercession of the "Birhen sa Simala" (Virgin of Simala):

There are photos documenting that the miraculous image of the Virgin has cried tears during certain occasions. 

    Beside the Church, there is a museum type hall where  cases and cases of images of the Our Lady are lined up for the pilgrims to meditate.

  My favorites are Our Lady of Manaoag, (her history: she shows yellow bells when she is about to grant a petition-- more on that later.)

Also, Our Lady of Good Remedy

Our Lady of the Eucharist (check out that flash causing  a light ray)

and Our Lady of Banneaux (because she wrote my story)

The Simala Shrine also features bookcases filled with letters of answered prayers and crutches and wheelchairs as testimony to the graces that have been dispensed to the faithful devotees who make the pilgrimage. 

Naturally, I came with my own petitions, and that story will have to wait for another time.

Hope you enjoyed your virtual tour/pilgrimage and I hope to see you there when I go back. 




Mary N. said...

Wow! This shrine is beautiful! Thanks for the tour and the inspiring post, Anabelle. I love hearing about miracles through Our Lady's intercession. What a blessing for you to be able to go on pilgrimage here!

Gina Guarnere said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVE this entry!!!

I had never heard of this shrine. What a fascinating testament to how much our Mother loves us.

Is the statue of Our Lady of the Eucharist a monstrance? I've only ever seen two or three others like it, and I was wondering if this one, was, as well.

How beautiful. I'd love to see more photos if you have them!!!

Nancy Shuman said...

This is a "page turner" for me - I mean that literally. I'm wanting to learn more. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Anabelle Hazard said...

Gina and Nancy, I'll look into my husband's phone. He took a lot more pics than I did, so I'll update the post when I can.