Lucban shrine set to welcome a million devotees this Holy Week

Lucban shrine set to welcome a million devotees this Holy Week

Renowned healer, Fr. Joey Faller said more than a million devotees are expected to visit the Kamay ni Hesus shrine this Holy Week.

Located at the foot of mystical Mount Banahaw in Lucban, Quezon, the shrine welcomes pilgrims including politicians and high government officials.

Faller built the shrine in 2002 on a hilly part of Tinamnan village, 2 kilometers from the town. Pilgrims usually start to arrive in the afternoon of Holy Thursday. On Good Friday, Faller will read the Seven Last Words to the pilgrims.

Pilgrims start lining up as early as 2 a.m. for the physically challenging but spiritually sanctifying climb on the 300-step “Stairway to Heaven” to reach the 50-foot statue of the resurrected Christ on  top of the hill.

On Oct. 10, 2010, a new chapel has been built at the bow of “Noah’s Ark,” for guests who may not want to go to the main church. Inside the “Noah’s Ark House of Prayer and Spirituality,” is a two-story building with 25 air-conditioned single, double and dormitory-type rooms, and a refectory and seminar room for families, corporate clients and Christian groups holding retreats, seminars and other spiritual activities. The ark will also serve as a retirement house for aging priests of the diocese of Lucena, which runs the vast complex.

Faller said officials from the local government, police and military, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, and members of the shrine staff met last month to plan peace and order measures for this week’s pilgrimage.

Traffic on the national highway in front of the shrine complex is heavy during Holy Week, particularly on Good Friday. Early on Good Friday, both sides of the 24-km stretch highway from Lucena City to Lucban teem with hikers.