Here’s to conclude our Manila Pilgrimage tour. After the Santuario Del Santo Cristo Parish in San Juan Manila, we headed to our last destination, the last Jubilee Church of Mercy, the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Mandaluyong City.Unlike the rest of the churches that are included in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy is relatively new. It is established in 1995 and was dedicated as Archdiocesan Shrine just a year after. (June 12, 1996). It serves as the center of devotion to the Divine Mercy in the Archdiocese of Manila.
The first thing you will notice about this church is the very interesting facade. It offers a very simple yet definitely not the usual one. The main church is actually on the upper floor while the ground floor served as their adoration chapel and Columbarium. You’ll find these two angel statues on both sides of the church’s main entrance.
The church’s nave! Interestingly, the church houses a 10 ft high original painting of Jesus the Divine Mercy. It is a reproduction of an Adolf Hyla painting and has been recreated by Polish painter Leslaw Ojack.The main altar.Located on the left side of the church lies a bone relic from Saint Faustina Kowalska who we all know played a pivotal role in spreading the Divine Mercy message.The relic of Santa FaustinaThe stained glass depicting image of Divine Mercy that can be found outside the church.You can also offer votive candles on this small fountain outside the church.
Activities for Pilgrims:
Activities for pilgrims might include praying of the chaplet of the divine mercy (copies will be provided to the pilgrim), proceeding to the reliquary of Santa Faustina and pray for the salvation of sinners, praying for souls at their columbaria and more.
How to Get here
If you are coming from the North or South: You may take a Bus or MRT-3, then alight off at Boni Station. From there, look for Jeepneys bound to Stop and Shop or Gabby’s. Ask the driver to drop you off at Mandaluyong City Hall/Maysilo Circle, there you will find the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy.
Feel free to check the rest of the Jubilee Churches in Mercy here.
Going back to our Manila Pilgrimage tour, after visiting the Manila Cathedraland also after taking our lunch, we headed to our fourth destination which is in San Juan Manila. The Santuario Del Santo Cristo or the San Juan Del Monte Church is another old church in Manila that holds a Holy Door. Actually, this church made our trip a lot more meaningful as one of their representatives somehow oriented us and taught us the real meaning of this pilgrimage.The facade of Santuario Del Santo Cristo Parish. It is very interesting to note that the church also act as a shrine and also houses a convent for Dominican priests. The first church was established in 1602 but much like other old churches, this building went through a lot of restoration and renovation as well. It was utterly destroyed during the Chinese insurrection in 1639, destroyed again during the British invasion in 1763 and also during the reign of the Spanish empire.
The church has a very huge historical significance! It once served as a shelter by Katipuneros during the 1898 Philippine Revolution. The image of Santo Cristo was brought here in 1641 and it came from the monestery of Intramuros and was venerated in Binondo Church. The shrine started to gain popularity and devotions started to spread in nearby communities after numerous miracles were reported and this is also the reason why they earned the name “Santuario del Santo Cristo”. Again, this parish started out as a shrine but was elevated in a Parish status and was canonically erected on May 3, 1942.The church was recognized as a Historic Structure by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), with a cast-iron plaque that was issued and placed in 1937.One of the Twin belltowers of the parish. In 1977, out of many proposals, the concept made by Architect Lorenzo del Castillo was chosen. The concept retained the appearance of the old facade. Both towers were linked by two arches, surmounted by a shrine containing a cross. Interestingly, some of the stones from the old church were used to build the facade as well.I recently learned that this portion of the church is called “Narthex“There are several niches in the facade that features concrete statues from different Dominican Saints.The Church’s nave. You’ll find 16 stained glass windows on the side depicting the fourteen Stations of the Cross, Our Lady of the Rosary and the Dominican saints Thomas Aquinas, Albert the Great and Vincent Ferrer.The ceiling was intricately designed too! They said that they are made from Narra.
The semi-dome on top of the main altar (they called it exedra) depicts the image of the Resurrected ChristThe main altar enshrines the image of Santo Cristo but it is not clear whether it is the original image brought from Binondo. The ConventThe thick buttresses. This is also the way to their Adoration Chapel and Columbarium and Conventual cemetery.
Activities for Pilgrims.
For Activities, you may refer to your Pilgrim’s Passport. This might include prayer for the departed souls,Confessions and prayer for the devotion of Santo Cristo.
After visiting the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we headed right away to Intramuros to visit the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of Immaculate Conception or better known to many as the Manila Cathedral. I have been in this church numerous times especially during the Grand Marian Procession (celebrated every December). The 445 year old Basilica is dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate conception, the Patroness of the Philippines.
Interestingly, today’s Cathedral is actually the eighth church to be erected on the site. The Church of Manila was originally governed by friar orders until 1581 when Pope Gregory XIII created the diocese of Manila raising the the status of the church into a cathedral under the title of the Inmaculada Concepcion de la Virgen Maria under the governance of its first bishop , Fray Domingo Salazar. The church underwent numerous restoration and renovation all through out its years as it was utterly damaged and destroyed several times due to natural calamity and during the world war. The church was mercilessly destroyed during the Battle of Liberation in 1945. The ruins of the church remained on site and the restoration took place in 1954 under Cardinal Rufino Jiao Santosand under the supervision of the notable Filipino architect Fernando H. Ocampo. Instead of a new design, Ocampo decided to make the Cathedral’s appearance closely similar to its predecessor yet applying modern approach to it that makes the church a lot more spacious. “Ocampo’s cathedral was made more spatially and visually interesting by its striking Neo-Romanesque façade, Byzantine motifs, bronze doors, pineapple finials, and many other artistic ornamentations. It has a particularly eclectic character, brought about by the mixture of revival, renaissance, and modern styles with a dominantly Marian theme as a tribute to the Immaculate Conception, the cathedral’s titular patroness.”(ManilaCathedral.PH).
The upper most portion of the main door or better called as the “Tympanum” has a Latin inscription of it “Tibi cordi tuo immaculato concredimus nos ac consecramus” which means “To your Immaculate Heart we are entrusted for safekeeping and consecrated”A marker placed outside the church signifying the issuing of Pope John Paul II of a papal bull Quod Ipsum on April 27, 1981, elevating the shrine to a minor basilica.The central nave and vaulted ceiling of the cathedralA closer look of the altar and the decorated floors with images and symbols. These are actually the styles of the three former Archbishops of Manila which includes Rufino Cardinal Santos y Jiao (with motto – Caritas in Dilectione “Love in Love”) ; Jaime Cardinal Sin y Lachica (with motto – Serviam
“I will serve”) and Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales y Borbon (with motto – SI MORTUUM FUERIT FRUCTUM AFFERT (If it dies, it bears fruit). The coat of arms of the current Archbishop (Cardinal Tagle) is not yet displayed .The high altar with the image of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at the center.The view of the Choir loft from the altar. You can also see the Cathedral’s pipe organ which is said to be the biggest pipe organ in the country and possibly in South East Asia. The Pipe Organ was built in 1958 by the Flemish Organ-building Company Pels& Sohn (Bernhard Pels) and was erected by Mr. Jose Loinaz of Manila and P. Andriessen of Holland. It was later restored in 2006 by Diego Cera Organ Builders (the same team behind the restoration and preservation of the historic Bamboo Organ in Las Piñas)At the side of the alter is an intricately decorated pulpit. The canony of the altar also has a Latin inscription “Tota Pulchra es Maria et Macula Originalis Non est in Te “, an antiphon which means “You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original sin is not in you.”Both sides of the church are chapels dedicated to different saints. Some are being used for exhibits of some ecclesiastical items or anything alike. This one in particular will feature paintings depicting the “Way of the Kingdom” according to Saint LukesCrucified ChristThe image of Ina Poon Bato (The Patroness of Zambales) also enthroned on the Cathedral The marvelous replica of the La PietaInside the Saint John The Baptist Baptistry is this stunning bronze-finish baptismal font by Publio Morbiducci. A polychrome life-sized statue of the Immaculate Conception.Statue of Saint Peter (attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio)
For the activities you can do when visiting the church, kindly use your Pilgrim’s passport for your reference. Activities might include the recital of Year of Mercy Prayer, praying in Adoration Chapel, visitin Manila Cathedral crypt and pray for the souls of the Archbishops, giving donations for homeless and more.
How to Get Here:
From Monumento, take the LRT, get-off at Doroteo Jose station then take a jeepney with the signboard Sta. Cruz/Pier. That route will pass by the Manila Cathedral/Fort Santiago.
or from the Monumento LRT station, you can take the Sta. Cruz/Pier jeepney at once. This option will take a longer time, but you won’t have to transfer vehicles.
You can also take the EDSA route (by bus or the colorum vans), get off at the Quezon Ave., and from there you can take Quiapo/Pier jeepneys.
After visiting the Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay, we headed to our second destination, the National Shrine of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Makati. Much like the first church we visited in Pasay, the National Shrine of Sacred Heart of Jesus offers a very unassuming exterior. The church offers a very simple facade with the statue of Sacred Heart on top.The National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was established in 1976 and it was declared as a National Shrine in June 15, 1985 (exactly on the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus).
The church also underwent major renovation particularly the main altar which is now dominated by a magnificent rendition of the Sacred Heart.The church nave
A Closer look to the altar. The side altars as you can see from the image is also blessed. It is dedicated to St Margaret Mary Alacoque. Her relics are enshrined and venerated in this altar. The Stunning altar of the Sacred Heart of JesusThe choir loftThe view of the church’s interior from the choir loft.A statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus near their office.
In case you are doing a pilgrimage, here are the activities you might want to do
1. As you enter the Jubilee door, proceed to the main altar, pray Pope John Paul’s Daily Offering to the Sacred Heart and Novena Prayer to the Sacred Heart (if you visit the office, they are actually distributing prayer leaflets).
2.You move to your right and enter the Baptistry and there renew your Baptismal Promises.
3.Visit the Crucified Christ by the Columbarium where you recite the prayers to obtain the plenary indulgence and apply your plenary indulgence to 1 soul in Purgatory.
4. Enter the Shrine again and proceed to the Room of Mercy(Confessional) under the stairs to the choir loft.
5.Exit thru the door to visit the Adoration chapel for few moments of thanksgiving. You can also write petition to their petition box as well.
6. Proceed to the Shrine office to have your passport stamped.
Sundays : 6:00, 7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30 am, 12:00nn, 2:30pm , 4:00pm, 5:30pm, 7:00pm and 8:30pm
Weekdays: 6:00am, 6:45am, 7:30am, 12:15pm and 6:00pm
Saturdays: 6:00am, 6:45am, 5:00pm and 6:30pm
How To Get here
If you are coming from the North
You may take the LRT or Jeepneys (bound to Baclaran) and alight off at Gil Puyat (Buendia) Station. From there, ride a Bus or Jeepney bound to Ayala. Ask the driver to drop you off at RCBC Plaza. From RCBC Plaza, look for the Makati Central Fire Station. From there, you can just walk or ride a tricycle going to the Shrine.
If you are coming from the South
You may take the LRT or Jeepneys (bound to Divisoria) and alight off at Gil Puyat (Buendia) Station. From there, ride a Bus or Jeepney bound to Ayala. Ask the driver to drop you off at RCBC Plaza. From RCBC Plaza, look for the Makati Central Fire Station. From there, you can just walk or ride a tricycle going to the Shrine.