Simala Shrine, popularly known as The Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, is situated in Barangay Lindogon, Sibonga, Cebu. It is among the most visited religious places in the Philippines.
The monastery is built and owned by the Marian Monks of Eucharistic Adoration (MMEA) who serve as the guardians of the place. It was around 1997 when the church became popular and was often crowded with people who want to offer prayers and wishes to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
At the center outside the church is a landscape where grass forms the words "We Love Mama Mary". Once inside the monastery, you will be greeted by a magnificent view of the site's interior. It is a wide-ranging structure that is full of terraces and columns surrounding the area. There are also letters displayed on a board which is from locals who claim their illnesses were healed by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The church altar has some images of different saints surrounding the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary placed in the topmost middle part. The ceilings have paintings that somewhat look like the ones at Sistine Chapel in Rome.
One part of the church is a place where people can write letters to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Beside it is a prayer room where the replica of the Virgin Mary is preserved. The image is said to be the one who had shed tears, and since then, believed to be miraculous. In addition to that, a museum that holds the various forms of the Virgin Mary can be located inside. It also houses the clothes of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the one she was wearing by the time she shed tears.
Travelers can also shop in the souvenir store inside the church. The items sold in the shop are images of the Virgin Mary, saints and angels, crucifix, bibles, rosaries, and prayer guides. There is also a dedicated part where visitors can light candles and say their prayers/wishes. The candles sold here vary in colors that correspond to a specific need.
Simala Church is situated in Cebu province's southern area. To reach there, take a van or a bus from Cebu City's South Bus Terminal. After that, take a tricycle to Simala Shrine.
The best time to visit the shrine is during their opening hours, from 8 AM to 6 PM.