The Divine Mercy Shrine was envisioned by an ordinary woman with extraordinary beliefs. It was sometime in the mid-1990s, when Mrs. Paquita “Kits” Adaza first had a dream that God wanted her to build “His Home” in Mindanao. After years of uncertainty and disbelief, she was finally convinced that to begin the enormous endeavour was really just the first step. This is her version of that famous Field of Dreams quote, “Build it and they will come!”
- From the bottom of its feet up to the top of its head, the statue measures 50 feet. If we include the halo and the pedestal, it measures 65 feet, making it the tallest statue of Jesus Christ as the Divine Mercy in all of Asia.
- Pilgrims are allowed to climb up to the statue’s chest, where a tiny chapel has been placed, via stairs “within” the rays, provided they attend a short orientation first.
- The Shrine fills up during Holy Week, the Feast of the Divine Mercy (the Sunday after Easter Sunday), the Birthday of Mama Mary (September 8), and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8).
Remember: A dress code is practiced within the Shrine. Women wearing tight pants, leggings, jeans, short pants, mini-skirts and the like, and sleeveless or spaghetti-strapped blouses; as with men wearing very short pants and sandos; are not allowed to enter. Otherwise, they must submit to wear a skirt and/or shawl over their clothes. This is provided at the entrance of the Shrine, at which there is no payment to rent, only a donation is requested.
How to Take a Tour There:
By Private Means – Contact: La Montaña Tours and Vans (a local tour operations agency) via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Name of Tour: Cagayan de Oro City Tour with Divine Mercy Shrine
By Public Means (DIY) – At the Westbound Public Transport Terminal in Bulua, Cagayan de Oro, take a bus headed for Iligan City and get off at the Petron Gas Station at the corner of the Divine Mercy Hills in El Salvador City. Take a habal-habal to the Shrine.
Tour Guide’s Note: It’s more fun in the Philippines, even in the New Normal! All my photos were taken before the pandemic, so if you want updated ones, come and travel with me next time!