Philippines to construct 100-foot Padre Pio statue

Cebu Archdiocese in the Philippines has started construction of a 100-foot-tall statue of Padre Pio in a sanctuary dedicated to the popular Italian saint.

Sep 30, 2022

The proposed sanctuary of Padre Pio in Cebu in the central Visayas region of the Philippines. (UCA News Photo/CBCP News)


By Joseph Peter Calleja
Cebu Archdiocese in the Philippines has started construction of a 100-foot-tall statue of Padre Pio in a sanctuary dedicated to the popular Italian saint.

Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu led the ground-breaking ceremony for the sanctuary with the contemplative community of Padre Pio, a lay Catholic consecrated group in Cebu, on Sept 17.

Titled the Santuario di Padre Pio in Pulangbato village, the sanctuary is being built on a hill overlooking the entire city of Cebu, says a report on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website.

The contemplative group, which promotes devotion to the saint in the country, said that the location choice was symbolic.

“It is symbolic that the sanctuary is the highest church located on the island that welcomed the early missionaries 500 years ago,” said Joey Cagasero, a Padre Pio devotee from Cebu.

Christianity in the Philippines arrived in 1521 when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his companions landed on the island in the Central Visayas region. The natives of Cebu are believed to be the first group to be baptised.

Magellan planted a cross and gave an image of the Child Jesus (more popularly known as the Santo Nino) to Hara Amihan, the wife of the chieftain of the island.

Both the cross and the image of the Child Jesus are preserved on the island attracting more than a million devotees per year.

The archdiocese said construction of the sanctuary would end next year with the aim to make it a centre for healing, not just in the region but in the whole country.

Cebu Archbishop, Jose Palma, said it was his dream for the sanctuary to unite families, especially since devotion to Padre Pio should bring every family closer to Christ.

“The world around us is in crisis, and many forces are working to destroy the Christian family. There are those who are working to redefine marriage, and in so doing redefine the family, according to their whims and desires … I hope the centre will bring peace to every family,” Archbishop Palma said during the ground-breaking ceremony, referring to a divorce bill submitted in the Philippine parliament

“May Padre Pio inspire every Filipino to protect every family and to raise every child according to the teachings of the Gospel” the prelate added. --ucanews.com

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