The National Shrine of Divine Mercy is located in Marilao, Bulacan. It has been one of the popular destinations for pilgrims since its completion in 1994. Aside from the modern church, the compound includes the Guadalupe Chapel, the Grotto of Resurrection, the Little Poland Museum, a large covered area where masses are held temporarily, and eco-friendly pews outside the chapel.
I attended their Sunday mass, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Some of the songs are different and more upbeat than the ones I usually hear in the church I attend. Their mass is a little more interactive and livelier.
The façade of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Marilao, Bulacan
Inside the Divine Mercy Shrine
The main altar of the Divine Mercy Shrine. It is a replica of the Divine Mercy interpretation of Robert Skemp
Part of the ceiling of the Divine Mercy Shrine. I like looking at the artwork on the ceiling of churches.
Found in the church basement is this stone from a place where Virgin Mary had an apparition.
Also located in the church basement is an image of Our Lady. The water flows from the image to the area near the main door. Devotees believe that the water can heal any ailment. I apologize for the blurry photo, there were a lot of people in the queue and we had to constantly move to prevent build-up of people at the entrance.
This image is found towards the end of the church basement. It is one of the popular places among the visitors.
To the left of the shrine is the Little Poland Museum. For a minimal fee of P10 (US $0.22), one can have a peek into the lives of three Polish saints.
This golden image of Saint John Paul the Great welcomes visitors at the entrance of the Little Poland Museum.
The Little Poland Museum shows parts of the house and basement where Pope John Paul II grew up. The photos show Pope John Paul II as a kid and as a pope in two and three dimensions.
Additional personal photos of Pope John Paul II are found in the basement of the museum. The museum is narrow but is filled with interesting memorabilia. I like the wall; it looks rugged and shows a lot of personality.
A closer look at Pope John Paul II’s memorabilia. Pope John Paul II’s nickname was Lolek, and he as at the top of his class as a child. I like the three-dimensional representations of particular moments in Lolek’s life.
The coats of arms of the pontiffs
The “basement” of Pope John Paul II’s house is adjacent to the “chapel” where St. Faustina had a vision of the Divine Mercy. St. Faustina was a Polish nun who had visions of Jesus. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000.
This was hanging on the wall of the chapel
Attached to the chapel is the representation of the prison cell of another Polish saint, Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe. He was a Franciscan friar who volunteered to take the place of a stranger in Auschwitz. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1982.
The exterior of the Little Poland Museum
On a personal note, I can hardly wait for the arrival of Pope Francis in Metro Manila. According to reports, church bells will ring at 545pm to signal that the pope has stepped on Philippine soil. The pealing of the bells will last for 15 minutes. I live in front of a Catholic church (it is 20 meters away from where I am typing this), and I am too excited to hear the simultaneous tintinnabulation of bells across 7,107 islands!!! 2 hours and 40 minutes to go. 🙂