Safehouse, Cultural Center and Final Resting Place for the poor. “The Santuario de San Vicente de Paúl strives to live the mission of Vincent de Paul by fostering the spirit of charity towards our marginalized and disenfranchised sisters, brothers and neighbors. Our socio-pastoral projects and programs aim to address the needs of the poor and the marginalized. Our goal in the future is to make Santuario a center not only for the poor but for individuals and groups that work in solidarity with the poor and marginalized.”
The Safehouse for the Poor.
During the Philippine Revolution against Spain, the Filipino rebels used to escape towards San Juan del Monte and oth er mountain areas via routes passing through the property of Tandang Sora (Melchora Aquino as she is known in our history) whose house and statue are only a few meters away from the Santuario. The poor revolutionaries had to rest and legend has it that they rested under some of the trees right within what is now the Santuario de San Vicente de Paul. With the construction of the Sanctuary of the Poor in honor of St. Vincent de Paul, the poor will not only have the trees for their refuge and safe haven but a beautiful place dedicated to our loved ones and to give everlasting honor to the Lord. The churches of the medieval ages were sanctuaries that people ran to in order to escape persecution;, the Santuario will also be a center for justice and peace.
Cultural Center of the Poor.
The poor always listen in rapt attention to the effusive descriptions of the Cultural Center in Manila, the skyscrapers of Makati and tales of the glorious beauty of Rome or New York. But they never have thought it possible to go to distant places to behold the beauty of the wonders of the world especially the cathedrals and churches built in praise of the Lord. The Santuario de SanVicente de Paul is envisioned to be a rendering of the fundamental spirit that brought about the creation of such wonders of human achievement. It will itself be a poor man’s cultural center where the poor and the marginalized will have a chance to perform and enjoy some cultural presentations. In the past two years or so, the Santuario has staged the performance of marvels of culture, notably in the performing arts. Just a year ago, Luke 418 drew a huge crowd not only because the quality of the music offered by the priests and the seminarians was excellent but also because so many of the other performers came from among the people in the surrounding area. When the Santuario is finished, it will be a central magnet and attraction for the best in the visual and performing arts.
In a desire to feel the loving presence of loved ones who have gone ahead of us, people want a safe and beautiful place where they will be fittingly remembered. Right below the huge Santuario is a columbary which can hold as many as 9,000 niches (each niche can accommodate 3 urns) when ready. Awarded the National Product Quality Excellence Awards “BEST COLUMBARY 2005,” the columbary of the Santuario was described in a flyer thus:” The Columbary is located at the basement of the shrine. Alongside is the fountain, which reminds us that as the water continues to flow, Christ, the fountain of evelasting life endlessly pours His graces and blessings to all. Marking the entry court are the two stone niches where candles can be lighted. The niches are clustered and are arranged properly. Each cluster is dedicated and named after a Vincentian saint, while some are circular in form signifying a sense of continuity and eternity. .. .. Outside, the landscaped gardens provide the visitors an outdoor setting for hospitality and invite them to take a moment to rest and utter prayers for their beloved dead.”
Fr. Rolando S. DelaGoza, CM