Archdiocese of Cebu launches book on Capelinha de Fatima Cebu to highlight the “Fatima experience”
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Filipinos are known for their strong religious faith and their unwavering passion to exercise their faith every single day.
Devotees from many parts of the country travel to different regions to pray and express their own beliefs.
Cebu is especially recognized as the cradle of Christianity in the Philippines. It was here that the Catholicization of ancient Filipinos began which then accounted for a big part of the nation’s history.
And now it is in Cebu that the 1st replica in Asia and 4th in the whole world of Capelinha de Fatima was constructed.
The Capelinha de Fatima in Portugal is labeled as the “Capela Mundi” or the Chapel of the World. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the world visited by around 6 million pilgrims every year.
And with the goal to strengthen the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, it was decided to build a relic in Asia, specifically in the Philippines.
The plan to build the Capelinha de Fatima Cebu dates back to 2014 after Bro. Reynald Andales attended the International Board of Trustees Meeting of the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF).
But why Cebu? According to Jose Palma, Archbishop of Cebu, Manila lobbied to have the Capelinha built there. But someone from another country suggested that if a Capelinha will be built in the Philippines, it should be in Cebu.
And so the mission to find a suitable place for this immediately began.
Davao City, Compostela, and Dalaguete were among the proposed sites. The search went on for four years. Until the Balili-Ruiz Family offered a 3-hectare lot in the Municipality of San Remegio which was ultimately decided as the best choice.
The Chapel of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima broke ground on February 20, 2020.
The purpose of this chapel is to be the hub and center of the promotion of the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. The goal is to promote the authentic Message of Fatima as approved by the Church and to create a community where devotees gather to celebrate their faith.
Center of pilgrimage in Cebu
Ruben Labajo, Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu, expressed his hope that this Capelinha will now become the center for pilgrimage in Cebu because of the fact that it is new.
The Chapel in San Remigio is now open to the public but there are future plans to add more features to make it more similar to the Capelinha in Portugal.
According to Labajo, they are now moving to improve the condition of the grounds of the Capelinha by this month as part of the second phase of the development. He also said that the local government of San Remigio has offered to help in improving the roads leading to the chapel.
Coffee table book
In order to spread the information about this remarkable feat, a coffee table book on Capelinha de Fatima Cebu was published by the Archdiocese of Cebu, together with the Tres Pastorinhos de Fatima Foundation.
The book was unveiled during the launching event led by Archbishop Palma at the Archbishop’s Residence in Cebu City on February 17, 2023.
In attendance were Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu, Ruben Labajo, Capelinha Coffee Table Book Editorial Team Head, Fr. Moenil Lapa, Bishop Antonio Rañola, and Municipality of San Remigio Vice Mayor, Mariano Martinez.
Labajo emphasized the reason why the book needed to materialize.
“The goal of the Capelinha Coffee Table Book is to memorialize or immortalize the once-in-lifetime event of the consecration carved with inspiring thoughts and words and colorful pictures page after page,” he said.
The book contains 120 pages in full color and information about everything there is to know about the Capelinha in Cebu as well as the goals of the community that it aims to create and nurture in the Philippines.
As head of the editorial team, Lapa said that the composition of the book took around 9-10 months.
According to him, they faced challenges along the way but it was due to the effort of the editorial team and their lay partners and collaborators that the book was finally completed.
The coffee table book is sold for P1,500 per copy and can be ordered online through the Capelinha Facebook Page and in person at the Souvenir Shop of the Capelinha in San Remigio.
Devotees who wish to say their prayers and foster a deeper devotion to Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, can now visit the Capelinha de Fatima Cebu in Barangay Tacup-Lambusan, San Remigio, Cebu. /rcg
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