Sunday, May 26, 2013

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto (San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan)



Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
OVERVIEW
The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is a famous religious and ecological tourist destination and attraction in Graceville, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan. It is a replica of the Lourdes Grotto in France. The Grotto features a Calvary Hill with life-size statues representing the 14 Stations of the Cross, and a Rosary Hill with 155 huge concrete beads. It also features a small spring whose water, running beneath the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, is claimed to be miraculous.

A privately-owned property, the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes was inaugurated on February 11, 1965. It was built by the Guanzon family as an act of thanksgiving after Anita Guidote-Guanzon, wife of Horacio Guanzon, was miraculously cured from cancer when she came back home from a pilgrimage in Lourdes, France in 1961. The Grotto is a prominent Holy Week destination for pilgrims and Catholic devotees, attracting big numbers of people during the Lenten season.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE GROTTO OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is a bit far from the civilization especially if you are coming from the South. From Cabuyao City, Laguna via Pulo exit, travel time via a car is approximately between 3 – 4 hours. You will know that you are already near the Grotto when you passed by SeaOil Gasoline Station, located at the right side of the road.  From here to Grotto is estimated between 15 – 20 minutes, permitting the traffic. Prior the gas station, you’ll pass by National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, another popular destination for Catholic devotees located in a rocky hilltop in Marilao, Bulacan.

The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes has wide vicinity. While it has a nice facade, its structure is not similar to those typical Spanish churches that we often see. The church actually looks like a tower with wide flyover at the upper part. The replica of the Grotto is located at the back part of the church as well as the Calvary Hill and the Rosary Hill. 

There are also a number of souvenir stores and food stalls at the left corner of the church.
There are claims that the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is not recognized by the Catholic Church. It’s excommunicated due to ownership reasons.  According to stories, the Diocese of Malolos wanted that the affairs regarding the Grotto be run by them and that the whole property be donated to them as well but the owners, the Guanzon family, did not allow this to happen, denying such request from the Church.

Holy mass is held at 0700 on weekdays, 0700 and 0900 during Saturdays, and every other hour, from 0600 to 1100 and 1300 to 1600 on Sundays. But the priest who solemnizes the celebration is not a Catholic but an Aglipayan, according to stories. The late James Cardinal Sin, on one hand, had celebrated a mass at the Grotto twice.

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto Photos
The main entrance of the church
Nice view from the upper part of the church

The blogger buying some pasalubongs
DIRECTIONS
A. Via a private vehicle from Cubao, from North Luzon Expressway take San Jose Del Monte City exit.  At the intersection turn left.  You will pass by the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, and then SeaOil Gasoline Station, both located at the right side of the road.  The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is between 15 – 20 minutes away from the gas station.

B. If you are coming from Quezon City, the route via Lagro is a little faster. From SM Lagro turn right going to San Jose Del Monte. Then at San Jose Del Monte intersection turn left. 

C.  If you are commuting, ride a bus at EDSA going to Grotto. Inform the driver to drop you off at Tungko. The Grotto is a walking distance from Tungko. You can also ride a jeep or a bus to Sta. Maria town. From there, ride a jeep to San Jose Del Monte. Furthermore, there are jeeps and even buses along SM Lagro bound to San Jose Del Monte.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info. I will go there today

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  2. Sayang di dinonate ng mga guanzon sa Catholic kaya aglipay ang nagmamass dyan at nde catholic

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  3. Dapat maginvite cla ng Catholic priest mula sa pinaka malapit na parokya dyan sa tungko para magmisa dyan

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    1. I think it is the directive of the Diocese. Kaya nga hindi nagmimisa diyan ang Catholic priests. And siguro iniinform ng Diyosesis ng Malolos ang naaassign na pari about the issue with this parish.
      -Taga Malolos

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  4. Dapat maginvite cla ng Catholic priest mula sa pinaka malapit na parokya dyan sa tungko para magmisa dyan

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  5. Open po ba Grotto church ngayong mahal na araw? Mag-aalay lakad po kase kme mmya? Salamat

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  6. Hi just wanna ask how to get here from caypompo sta maria bulacan. Thanks btw

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  7. Hindi na catholic mass yan. Aglipay church na. How sad. Sana ang ginawa na lang hindi 20hectares. Kahit portion lang ang kinonvert na simbahan para hindi sila nanghihinayang sa pagdonate ng simbahan sa mga priest. Nawalan tuloy ng saysay pagpapagawa nila ng grotto at simbahan kc privitized din nmn pala.

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