Sunday, February 19, 2006

Langob Shrine - Guadalupe Cave (Cebu City, Philippines)

A friend of mine kept telling me about the miraculous cave at Guadalupe in Cebu City. I had been only to the Guadalupe Church but never knew about a cave. Even my friends from cebu city have never been there. She also mentioned that its a long walk from the church to the cave.

I guess we were lucky and God has been too kind that on the day we visited, a road has already been built (although muddy and rocky) which takes you straight to where the miraculous cave of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

When we arrived late afternoon from Carcar, a mass was ongoing.

There were two images on the altar, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Christ crucified.

"In this cave was found the image of Our Lady, a replica of Our Lady of Guadalupe enshrined in Merida, Estramadura, Spain. This image was brought by the first spanish missionaries in the 1th century. (The novena pamphlet mentions that the image is believed to be brought by Magellan to the Philippines with the Sto. Nino and the Holy Face).
Hispano-Filipino conflicts forced the natives to hide the image in this cave. A native of Kalunasan, Berto Minoza, a trapper of wild chicken found the image accidentally. The image was brought to San Nicolas church which was the parish where the Banawan, now known as Barangay Guadalupe belonged. (Cannot read the exact number of years) Several years after, the image was placed in a chapel situated in the site where the present Guadalupe church is now located."
I was not able to capture the last paragraph unfortunately but based on the letter from Cardinal Vidal posted at the entrance of the cave, it mentions that in 1902, a plague struck the city of Cebu. The archbishop ordered that the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe be carried in procession on July 16, 1902 in order to pray for Mary's intercession.
"The plague ceased the very day of the procession manifesting the efficacy of Mary's intercessory power".

At the center of the cave is the statue of Our Lady with a yellow mantle on the alter. People line up after mass to be able to take their turn and cover their head with this mantle for a brief prayer moment.

Dhangs turn to cover her head with Our Lady's mantle as she prays for special intentions.

Water dripping from the side of the cave near the image of Our lady. Believed to be holy as it comes from inside the miraculous cave.

Tess and Dhang writes their petitions after our prayers inside the cave.

Copy of the Decree signed by Cardinal Vidal, Declaring 2002 as The Year of Grace for Our Lady Guadalupe Church and Cave in honor of its 100th anniversary.

image of Our Lady of Guadalupe covering Juan Diego's head with her miraculous mantle.

and that was the end of our one day pilgrimage to three marian shrines in cebu. It was made possible and convenient because a good friend Wilson Ng lent us his van.