Being a predominately Catholic community, we celebrate the Virgin Mary’s birthday on September 8. Many of us would visit the many churches that honor Mother Mary, attend mass, and say our thanks and prayers.
Below are some of the churches in Cebu that honor mother Mary. Drop by some of them on the 8th for mass and prayers.
Nuestra Señora Virgen De Reglaor Birhen sa Regla in Opon (Lapu-Lapu City)
The devotion to Our Lady of the Rule was started by St. Augustine, the bishop of Hippo In Northern Africa. He has carved an image of Our Lady by using his own hands which was one of the relics that has survived the destruction of the city. When he died, the monks fled to Spain, taking the image with them. In Spain, the image has done miracles and survived the destruction and pillage, because of this, the devotion to Our Lady rapidly spread.
The devotion was transported to the Philippines in the 18th century, when the Augustinian Order was given control over the parish of Opon,(now, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu). The people of Cebu first saw the picture of the Virgen de la Regla in 1735, when the parish priest, Francisco Avalle, showed it to them. Today, the Birhen sa Regla is the patroness of Opon.
Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Redemptorist Church, Cebu City
Redemptorist Church is one of the prominent church in Cebu city. It was constructed after the liberation after the Second World War but was renovated and expanded in 1954. Its architectural design which is along Gothic lines, is similar to that of the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran, Metro Manila. It has large arched doors, making the interior airy and comfortable. Its windows are decorated with beautiful stained glass.
Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Punta Princesa, Cebu City
The humble church started when Don Pablo Atillo (of the illustrious Atillo clan) brought the image of Our Lady of Lourdes from Manila to Cebu in the 1930s. At first, the image of the Blessed Mother found a home in a small chapel within the Atillo residence, attracting devotees from all walks of life. In a short time, the place became too small for the increasing number of worshipers who flocked to pay homage to the Blessed Mother. The need to construct a church soon became glaringly obvious. Soon after, the first Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes was built made of nipa and sawali. The construction of the present church took over 16 years to be completed and the feast day is observed on February 11.
National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe ( Guadalupe Church), Cebu City
Ever wonder why the biggest barangay is Cebu is called Guadalupe? It’s said that Augustinian missionaries were quite successful in propagating Christianity to the natives in the area. As converts increased in number, the missionaries gave an Image of the Blessed Virgin a replica of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe who appeared in Guadalupe, Mexico in the year 1530 to the villagers as a token of remembrance for their acceptance of the Catholic faith. However, the native gave little significance to it and place the image inside a bodega made of bamboo and nipa, where they used to store carabao feed. Soon the nearby residents noticed that the bodega brightened every night. The phenomenon reverend & strengthened the villager’s belief in the Catholics faith, so that they started calling their place Guadalupe, in honor of the Image of the Blessed Virgin.
La Cueva De NuestraSeñora De Guadalupe (Langub Shrine), Guadalupe, Cebu City
The Guadalupe Cave Langub Shrine became a well-known religious site for pilgrims and devotees of the Our Lady of Guadalupe. Also known as the Miraculous Birhen sa Langub sa Guadalupe, you can find a replica of the famous Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain inside the cave. It is located in the mountainous part of Brgy. Guadalupe in the neighboring barangays of Kalunasan and Opra. I personally have fond memories of this place. We use to start our hike from Guada to the Boy Scout camp in Lahug here back during my scouting days.
Carmelite Monastery, Cebu City
Carmelite Monastery which is located in Mabolo, Cebu City, is one of the modern churches in the city. It is a nice church with tinted glass window that we can see it decorated at the facade. For many devotees, they practice the tradition of bringing eggs as offering to the church with the belief that their prayers will be granted. The monastery is also home to the Carmelite nuns who are spending their time behind the walls of the convent. The convent is found right beside the chapel. The monastery has gained fame not just among the Cebuanos but also nationally.
Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (Asilo de la Milagrosa), Gorordo Ave, Cebu City
Aside from being a place of worship, Asilo de la Milagrosa is also known for its social advocacy. It’s also a child caring agency, duly licensed and accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. It commits itself to the integral development of the abandoned, surrendered, neglected children, youth and their families, unemployed adults, women, older persons, migrants, persons living with HIV and their families, and those persons in crisis through sustainable programs and services where resource sharing and participative involvement is a way of life.
Nativity Of Mary Parish Church, Canduman
One of the smaller churches devoted to Mother Mary, it was established on May 18, 2003. The church has a very cozy atmosphere, ideal for those looking for a spiritual getaway.It’s located in H Abellana, Mandaue City.
Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Basak, Mandaue City
This church is situated in a conveniently accessible area. The Masses are conducted in 4 different languages.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, Escario, Cebu City
A church in the heart of the city, the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish is a popular church destination for those living in midtown Cebu City. The church is very accessible and there are shops and restaurants nearby so you and your family and friends can have a nice meal after mass. It was inaugurated on June 2, 1996. It has a low ceiling inside, with walls decorated with stained glass art.
Our Lady of Manaoag (St. Benedict’s Monastery), Carmen, Cebu
Some would call this the Simala of the north. Aside from being an ideal place to find spiritual peace, the church offers a wonderful view of the nearby surrounding mountains. The place the perfect spot for those looking for spiritual healing and solace. Aside from regular masses, they also have special healing masses during Lent and December. Heads up, no footwear when you enter the rosary center.
More info: http://osbsilvcebu.org/manaoag/
Shrine of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal ,Bogo City Cebu
The Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is located in La Paz, Bogo City, Cebu. The shrine is found on top of a hill and you must climb more than a hundred steps of its stairway to reach the giant statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s a nice place for meditation with an overlooking view for the City of Bogo.
Monastery of the Holy Eucharist in Lindogon, Sibonga
Of course, we can’t miss the popular Simala church on this list. This miraculous site is visited by millions of devotees from all over the Philippines, as well as abroad. Not only does the church attract visitors for its beautiful architecture and landscaping, the site’s recognition is also brought about by the belief that the statue of Virgin Mary inside the monastery is able to heal various illnesses and diseases. Visitors and devotees can see countess testimonials from people who have been healed through their devotion to the Virgin Mary and their visitation to the Church.
Special mention: SRCDS Discovery Hills in Tilha-Ong, Consolacion Cebu
You can find a huge statue of Mother Mary on top of the hill. The SRCDS Discovery Hills also the different stations for the Stations of the Cross, a nice where kids can play, and bamboo cottages that can be rented. They also have a zip line and quad bikes for rent. Entrance fee is P25 for adults, P10 for kids, P100 for zipline.
Light a candle and say a little prayer on the 8th. These are just some of the churches and sites that honor Mother Mary in Cebu. Feel free to leave us a comment on other churches you might know.