Cebu's Simala Church
a major Mother Mary Shrine
our visit on Valentine's Day 2015
Our Lady of Lourdes,  whom my wife is named-after
Pilgrims crowd to pray to the "miraculous" statue of "Mary as Queen of Heaven",
which began to 'cry bloody tears' a decade or so ago, and has been credited
with thousands of healings, wish-grantings and other miracles since then -- the
lobby is filled with written testamonials, discarded medical equipment & etc.
The history of this church is told in a series of ten paintings -- humble beginnings as an impoverished
convent caring for the poorest;  a pious old man makes a prediction of holy visitations;  the apparitions
of Mother Mary and her miracles begin;  a million people visit and donate cash;  construction is ongoing....
The left side of the complex is a huge museum of replicas of all the world's
traditional Mother Mary icon-statues, hundreds of them, with historical
and doctrinal explanations -- fascinating for a student of global religions!