We went to the Grotto of Lourdes in San Jose del Monte. This shrine is an exact replica of the Lourdes Grotto in France. It also features a mock hill Calvary where life-sized statues depict the passion and death of Jesus Christ. Behind the fascinating architecture inspired by the famous Lourdes Grotto in France is a story of faith and miracle.
In 1961, Anita Guidote Guanzon was severely suffering a cancer in the uterus, an incurable disease that has scattered as far as her lungs. She could barely walk and was already given few months to live by her doctor. But unlike many who immediately succumb to the situation, the Guanzon family held on to their strong faith in the Lord.
The older sister of Mrs. Guanzon, who happens to be a nun from St. Paul had advised them to fly to Lourdes of France who was believed to have performed wonders for its devotees. The family flew to France. And for 20 days, the family routinely wakes up early to attend the morning mass, and then proceed to the spring at the Grotto to bathe. Then afterwards, attend prayer vigil and procession at the Grotto for the blessing of the sick.
Then one morning in France, Mrs. Guanzon surprised her loved ones when she was suddenly walking, singing and washing their clothes. The family could not believe or explain this sudden change.
And before the family returned to the Philippines, they visited Fr. Pio of Pietrelcina, proclaimed a saint last 16 June 2002, who was known for his stigmata. No girls were allowed in the convent. Only Mr. Guanzon was able to get in and see Father Pio. He simply kept quiet when it was his turn to receive Padre Pio's blessing, and was stunned when told by Padre Pio: "She will be healed."
In Philippines, the doctors were pleasantly shocked when the results showed that Mrs. Guanzon was fine and there was no sign of cancer. Her lungs were in perfect condition and she was completely cured. Not even science can explain but faith in the patroness of Lourdes, France was undoubtedly attributed as the source of this miracle.
After two years, the Guanzon family decided to build a cave that will be home to the spring and the 6 feet tall replica of Our Lady of Lourdes made of marble. This is a form of thanksgiving for the grace and miracle that they have experienced. At this same time, the family thought of sharing this work of faith to Catholic devotees as part of their mission.Mrs. Guanzon died in March 31, 1990, almost 30 years after the miracle.
The Church was on front page of the Philippine Star news paper last April 18, 2011.
An Image Statue of St. Bernadette and Mama Mary.
You may also want to visit: The Grotto Vista Resort Blog
How to get there?
Directions for commuters:
From Cubao/EDSA – Take the bus going to Fairview-Tungko-Sapang Palay. Get off at Tungko San Jose Del Monte Market (with Jollibee) and ride tricycle going to the Grotto.
From SM Fairview or Lagro – Ride a jeepney or bus going to Tungko or Sapang Palay. Get off at Tungko San Jose Del Monte Market (with Jollibee) and ride tricycle going to the Grotto.
Directions for those with own cars:
From SM Fairview or Lagro, drive all the way along Quirino Highway to Tungko Market, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. Turn left at the intersection (where you see Jollibee) going to Sta. Maria-Tungkong Mangga Road. Drive along this road until you see the Grotto on the right side.
You may also want to visit the official website of the Lourdes, France Shrine: