Philippines: Padre Pio Church in Libis, Quezon City
I guess each one one us has his/her own sanctuary — a place you go to when you just want to keep still and be quiet. Having to live in a city, I sometimes find it hard to even hear myself think! Even the gazillion Starbucks spread across Metro Manila does not provide a breathing space since they are usually crowded with students and professionals alike. And no, I am not a homebody, so my room does not count as a sanctuary for me. I like the idea of driving towards a certain place that is not home, but feels like home to me. I was looking for a place where I can stay for as long as I want until I am finally able to sort myself out. Believe it or not, I finally found my sanctuary…and surprise, surprise — it’s not a spa, it’s a church! :)
For some reason, my hubby and I are always drawn to stop by the Padre Pio Church in Libis, Quezon City. Actually, it is officially called as the St. Pio Chapel…but I am stubborn and prefer to call it a church. Hihihi! Why? Because I think it is too grand to be called a chapel. When I first went there, I immediately appreciated its clean and simple facade, which was some sort of a replica of the church where Padre Pio has carried out his mission for many years — the Church of Our Lady of Grace in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. Here, take a look at how similar they look:
When I entered the church, I was awed at how beautiful the interiors are. You can really see that every nook and cranny of the place was well thought of. In fact, it is the only church I’ve been to that has thoughtfully created a glass-enclosed room for families with small children. They call this special room as the Calandra Room. The glass was put there to minimize the racket that small children unintentionally make while inside the church. Isn’t that nice?
Right on top of the Calandra Room is the Bishop Jesus Sison Memorial Hall. I think this is some sort of an audio-visual room; but on Sundays, since the church is really packed, they also allow churchgoers to go up there and participate in the Holy Eucharist by watching the celebration through a big white screen. Just like the church, this place is also air-conditioned.
There’s also a small outdoor area just behind the church, which is again thoughtfully equipped with wall fans, air coolers, tables, and chairs. There, you can also light candles on designated areas. You wouldn’t miss this part of the church, which they call as the Rev. Fr. Alessio Parente Patio, because you have to pass through this place on your way to the comfort room. And, to my delight, there are alcohol pumps right outside the toilets so that everyone can disinfect their hands after doing their thing. I am so happy with the people who thought of putting a disinfecting station in the church because even the biggest malls in Manila don’t give out alcohol for free! Oh, there’s a vendo machine there, too! Amazing!
Right next to the vendo machine is a glass door that leads you to the little store that sells anything and everything Padre Pio — from rosaries, to prayer books, to statues, to stickers, to magnets, etc. I just want to share with you that among all the things I bought there (there are quite a lot already), my favorite is a collection of Padre Pio books written by Fr. Marcellino Iasenzaniro. It has three volumes and basically the books talk about the personal experiences of people with Padre Pio and the answered prayers / miracles that they obtained through his intercession. It is such a blessing to read these books:
Lastly, they also have a special place for the church’s collection of angel figurines and live birds. They call this place the Garden Angel Aviary, and it is located at the right side of the church.
Truly, it is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been to in my entire life. I suggest that you take the time to go there while there’s no Mass going on so you can read all the testimonials of Padre Pio devotees that are framed and hanged on the church walls. You can also write Padre Pio a letter and drop in one of their special boxes. I have personally obtained an answered prayer days (yes, days!) after I wrote to Padre Pio, my greatest intercessor. You can read about it here.
Now that we are based here in Paris, France…I find myself always missing my little sanctuary in the Philippines. I dare say that the Padre Pio Church in Libis is not just a place of worship, but a place where one can commune with his soul and with his God.
For the schedule of masses and novenas in this church, please click here.
For directions going to this church, please click here.
Comment from monette
Time: December 21, 2013, 10:07 pm
Thank you for taking the time to alert me that someone has indeed copied my post verbatim. It’s so sad. I already put in a request for her to take down the copied post as a courtesy to a fellow blogger like me.
Happy holidays to you, Aileen!