Over 10,000 devotees witnessed the inexplicable solar phenomenon — truly, a Divine, and Supernatural Manifestation that occurred in El Salvador city, Philippines during Feast Day of the Divine Mercy (Mercy Sunday).
The clouds broke, and from behind the mountains, the sun came out as an opaque disc in the sky. The sun danced, changed colours, spun like a pinwheel, and made a most sensational demonstration.
Many miraculous conversions and healings happened—most importantly, the healing of the human heart.
DIVINE MERCY HILL IN EL SALVADOR, PHILIPPINES IS HOLY GROUND
"It was in the year 2000, The Golden Jubilee Year - when a group of Divine Mercy devotees started to receive visions, messages and instructions from Jesus to start to build the Church of His Mercy." The testimony is told in a pamphlet -- published by the non-profit group Divine Mercy Foundation of Mindanao -- and explains the mystery behind the Divine Mercy Hills shrine.
However the response was not an immediate yes.
"For three straight years the group ignored the Lord's request to build His Church out of fear and worry."
They only had P2,000 pesos (USD $50) in the bank.
"It was an enormous task that the Lord was asking them. They had mixed feelings of doubts and uncertainties how this project, which will be funded from solicitations and donations, will materialize. Their fears and worries even became bigger with with the catastrophic disaster of the Twin Towers in New York USA in 2001."
The narrative continues, "However, God's ways are not man's ways and the Lord rebuked them for their lack of faith with this message, "Why do you doubt? The fact that you have doubts indicate that you do not know your God, as you should. If your prayer life is infiltrated with doubts, you have denied yourself the greatest single avenue of power that your God has made available to you. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Obedience to my commands always bring fulfillment. When I give you instructions, obey immediately and watch My perfect plan unfold in your life."
God won out. "Armed only with deep faith in the Mercy and providence of the Lord and convinced of the urgency of the message" the group, comprised of homemakers and ordinary townsfolk, frantically followed up with years of activity and outreach letting divine intervention miraculously clear the path that was once obscured by doubt and incredulity.
Today, the 50-foot statue of the Divine Mercy Image stands on the hills overlooking the town of El Salvador, now a city, in Misamis Oriental in Mindanao and Macajalar Bay to the east. The red and pale rays in the image are made of stairs that lead up to an inner chamber within the heart of the image where a tabernacle awaits the pilgrim. The image stands like a lighthouse for ships at sea.
The symbolism is intentional. According to the testimony, "It serves as a beacon of hope for weary souls and a fountain of respite for all people."
The little town of El Salvador in Mindanao where the Divine Mercy Hills Shrine is ensconced above a valley has become a magnet for pilgrims and travelers from all over the Philippines and many parts of the world eager to see the wonders of mercy that the Lord has wrought in this remote part of the world. Among them are the faithful who carry out the deeds prayers and words asked in the "Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul" by Sister Faustina which reads, "I desire that the whole world know my infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy." (Diary 687)
"The site would be in this century what Fatima was in its own century according to the Lord," explained Paquita Adaza, the spokesperson for the Divine Mercy Foundation of Mindanao, Inc. and one of the members of the charismatic prayer group that was inspired to carry out the enormous undertaking.
She explained it took their prayer group three years to act but in the end, the numerous signs, encouragement and inspiration from the Lord won out over what seemed insurmountable obstacles of fear, apprehension, lack of money and procrastination to build a shrine in an obscure town in Mindanao.
"True to His words, when the group submitted to God's Holy Will, an endless account of miracles took place, from the discovery of the land, negotiations with lot owners, and finding funds for the purchase of the lots, up to the outpouring of donations for its initial developments and the construction of the P25M-plus, 50-foot statue in only three years."
The Blessed Virgin Mary: Miracle of the Sun
Divine Mercy Hills
Catholics Come Home
Catechism of The Catholic Church
Promises for Spreading the Devotion