Lay foundation approves Divine Mercy statue design

THE construction of the 130-foot-tall Divine Mercy icon is set to begin in a mountain village in the northern Cebu town of Consolacion following the approval of its masterplan and structural design by the Shrine of the Divine Mercy de Cebu Foundation Inc. (SDMCFI).

The notice to proceed with the construction on a 6.3-hectare lot in Barangay Garing was also issued by the SDMCFI.

A lay foundation, the SDMCFI is the proponent of the statue’s construction, and it is a non-stock and not-for-profit organization.

The firm of renowned architect Felino A. Palafox Jr. will design the statue, and Palafox promised that the public could see a development in the site and the 21-foot cross by March 2021, a month before the celebration of the 500th year of Christianity in the country.

Raising funds

When asked about the project’s cost, not a single member of the SDMCFI technical working committee (TWC) present during the press conference on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, gave any figure.

No specific date for the statue’s construction was mentioned.

The Gungob family donated the lot in Garing, and the foundation also received a P5 million donation.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said he has faith in the generosity of Cebuanos, and with their help the project would be completed.

Palma described the proposed statue as a “project of faith not bounded by deadline.”

Biblical events

Engineer Rey Ralota, a TWC member, said the initial design of the shrine was influenced by biblical events, including the great flood that Noah’s Ark survived and the story of the captive Jesus Christ on His way to crucifixion in Calvary.

A 21-foot-tall cross, he said, will rise near the Divine Mercy statue.

Ralota said a team of architects have considered to base the statue’s design and colors on the diary entries of St. Mary Faustina Kowalska—a Polish Roman Catholic nun whose experiences of Jesus Christ’s apparitions inspired the devotion to the Divine Mercy, eventually earning her the title of “Secretary of Divine Mercy.”

The other Divine Mercy shrines are in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental in Mindanao and Marilao, Bulacan in Luzon. (WBS)