The holy place is commonly known by locals as “Birhen sa Simala church” and is located at the southern part of Cebu, which is known as the haven of natural sceneries. But the place is specifically situated in Marian hills, Lindogon, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu. Lots of devotees, believers and visitors visit the place and some were indeed to witnessed miracles. Their testimonials sprawled out the country and made it popular. Rumor has it that there was times that the replica image of Virgin Mary was able to shed some bloody tears. And whether it maybe believers or nonbelievers, people never fail to visit the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist.
The Simala Church is not just famous for its miracles but also the architectural structure is in elegant style and real warmth. It is somewhat like inspired by those centuries-old Euro-Spanish churches and cathedrals way back then.
First timers would really be impressed with the design of the Simala church. It’s like something was buried with mastery of emotional intensity. The Simala church is like a 16th century castle filled with touches of powerful, realistic feelings that grip and don’t want you to let go. The architectural design is so captivating. Every angle is etched finely combined with faith and passion. As if they carved and built it as naturally as they breathes. By prying at the place you’ll notice the symbols they’ve used to design the castle-like church. Dots, circles, angles and concentric circles were used to symbolized love, eternity and spiritual vision.
Inside the Simala church monastery you could feel the solemnity and sacredness which is perfect for prayers and worships. The place is divided with several parts and every of it has its own purpose. Nonetheless, decadents, miserables, wanderers, losts, in search of, weary and different kinds of people would always gather themselves to amend their faith, notions and to touch the deepest and most tender part of their hearts as they seek righteousness and holiness within themselves.
Long – long time ago someone predicted that one day in a rough and desolated hill in Londogon, Sibonga, would reign a white lady and the place would be holy and sacred. That someone was commonly known by locals as the wise old man “Inkong Villamor”. A year later his son became a famous priest and was known as “Monsignortomas Villamor”. Unfortunately Inkong was not able to witness that, since he died before the priesthood declaration of his son.
Frater Martin and the monks came to the place and so Monsignortomas planned to build a monastery for them. As they had been wandering around, in searching for a perfect place for the monastery led them to a dry and desolated area. By looking at its soil you could say that the place was so unproductive, mainly reason of why the owner sold the land at a very low price. Many would say that only magic and miracles would make the plants and grass grow. The place is very dry, sad and humid. But they never lose their hopes up. Instead, they decided to build a temporary house to stay in. It was made of bamboo tress and coconut leaves. Struggles were real during those days, they were striving for food and they were having living difficulty. They faced lots of challenges aside from their everyday living. They experienced being criticized and belittled by locals. Their presence made the people uncomfortable and sometimes would throw coins at them as they passed by.
Through their unending faith with the Virgin Mary they always pray and hope to help them with their situation. With their full effot, they planted trees in the area even so unsure what would be the result. A week later, they were shocked with the result. The monks could hardly believe that the trees were actually growing.
After a month of productivity, El Niño came and that made the plants grew weakly and thinly and sadly, it was followed by Dengue Malady. Several children were infected and others died. The villagers could not afford to bring their children to hospital so they decided to keep them home.
Frater Martin and the monks believed that with their faith and sacrifices bestowed by their forefathers would drive the evil spirit away present in the place. So they started the penitentiary walk with a small number of people joining the procession. On the very third evening, after they did the procession, they smelled scents of fresh flowers which sprawled all over the village. Suddenly, the area was free of dengue and mosquitoes and the children suffering were healed. By the next morning they’ve witnessed the blooming of fresh flowers covering the entire hill. People from different places started to gather after hearing the miraculous event. The place became “The white lady of Sanctuary” of “The Virgin Mary”.
The development in the area is still on going and lots of visitors around the globe visits the the monastery to see its beauty and appeal.
Statues of guardian angels are located at the compound gate. At the very entrance there is a huge replica of Blessed Virgin Mary. That replica was made to honor Mary by those miracles she completed- said by locals.
The monastery was designed uphill for people to walk penitently before entering the holy place. There is also a wishing bell perfect for those who want to make wishes. One must throw a coin and make sure that it will bounce to the bell’s side for your wish to come true.
Parts and Divisions
The monastery is divided into five parts. The first part is the testimony hall area where you can see lots of letters and items donated by those who believed that they were healed by the miraculous Virgin Mary.
The second part is the station where you can write letters as prayers, wishes and thank you letters. Beside to that is a station where you can pray in front of Mary’s replica- according to the locals and devotees, long time ago during the birthday of Mary, that replica shed tears. Main reason why that replica is placed inside the glass box to preserve it.
The third part is the monastery of Mary’s replicas are being preserved with different histories and origins. And that includes the altars, saints, angels as well as the clothes she wore when she cried.
The fourth part is the souvenir store inside. They sell different replicas of Mary, of saints, of angels as well as rosaries, crucifix, prayer guides and bibles.
And lastly is the area dedicated for praying with varieties of candles. Here the color of the candles and their meaning.
Gold – healing
Green – prosperity
Blue – perseverance
Violet – achievement
Red – love
Yellow – peace
White – purity
Orange – reconciliation
Pink – thanksgiving/happiness/Joy Black – vocation
Gray – deliverance
Cream – conversion
People believe that a simple visit, prayer and travel would leave a superb pacing and stunning grasp of emotion to experience flood line of morning light. Not just to explore the powerful, emotional relationship between people and nature but to experience nature and faith makes people believe that healing is possible.
If you want to visit Simala Church, You can inquire and book with us @ cebu and bohol tour