Gua Maria, Mojosongo, Jebres, Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia
Though little-known outside its
area, the Grotto of Mary north of Surakarta attracts a good number of
pilgrims every week, considering that Central Java is an overwhelmingly
Muslim region, less than 1 percent Catholic.
Perhaps the Grotto’s viability owes something to the value placed on public
prayer in a culture where it remains an important personal and social
activity. The shrine started out as a simple place of prayer where Catholics
would go to say the rosary. In 1975, a shelter was added ― welcome in an
area that gets over five feet of rain annually. In
1980, the parish of Maria Regina in nearby Purbowardyan began holding masses
at the shrine, along with shadow-puppet plays on Christian themes. The
parish priest raised money to build the Grotto, which Cardinal Julius
Darmaatmadja, Bishop of Semarang, blessed at its inauguration on December
25, 1983. It hosts youth gatherings on Thursday nights and a public rosary
on first Fridays at 8:00 pm, followed by confessions and mass.
(Information from Henny Alit, Life Magazine, 9 February 2003, in “Gua
Maria Mojosongo,” Marriage Encounter Indonesia, www.me-indonesia.org.
Picture from "Gua Maria Mojosongo," www.guamaria.com.)
Also commemorated this date:
|Christmas, Birth of Jesus, Western churches|
|Virgen de Andacollo, Famatina, La Rioja, Argentina.
|Notre-Dame de Conception, Mons, Hainaut, Wallonia, Belgium. Pilgrimage to
Nimy village chapel, vigil, night mass.|
|Panagia Iamatiki, Arakapas, Cyprus.
Icon began weeping,