Shrine at Montemaria, Batangas, Philippines
In the beginning, Mary Mother of the Poor Foundation’s great desire was to liberate a great multitude of people in the Philippines suffering from poverty in all its forms. God’s plan for MMP didn’t stop there. All of a sudden, after meeting some of the prominent people in the Philippines, Montemaria was born. Donors from everywhere were approaching the foundation of what they can do to help.
Montemaria is a project of Mary mother of the poor foundation, an apostolic endeavor whose aim is to seek holiness in evangelizing and working with the poor through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Montemaria highlights a statue of Mary, Mother of the Poor. The statue of the shrine will be 117 metres high – higher than the statue of liberty (96 meters high) and the statue of Jesus at Rio de Janeiro (100 meters high).
The shrine will include a centre for healing and spiritual rejuvenation, St. Joseph Chapel, Divine Mercy Chapel, House of Mary, Eucharistic Adoration Chapel, a rosary garden, a way of the cross and Infant Jesus Chapel.
When Montemaria was being planned, the House of St. Joseph and the House of Mary were supposed to be built first. As it turned out, it was God’s plan that the infant Jesus Chapel was the first one being built. It’s just fitting that everything should start from His holy infancy.
The building is actually a replica (smaller version) of the Church of Lady Victory in Prague, Czech Repuplic. The same is true with the retablo (altar). The infant Jesus of Prague statue was also made in Prague (a wooden version of the original statue). It’s a 100-seat chapel. Completion date will be around November this year. Right now, it’s about 46% complete. It will be officially open on the third Sunday of January 2010 which is the feast of the infant Jesus. In fact, the chapel is fully booked already for retreats on the 2010 holy week.
It’s going to be a place where you can have an intimate conversation with God. This chapel will be the answer to deepening our relationship with God.
All the chapels that are going to be built at Montemaria are donated by families from Canada and the Philippines.
Why build a monumental shrine that would heavily cost so much which may have more practical use if placed at direct service and programs for those economically poor instead? Such is the usual notion or argument that comes to the minds of many.