By Glen S. Ramos
BATANGAS City – Today (08 Sept. 2021) marked the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Christians around the world celebrate this day with utmost piety. Some visited her shrine to offer their prayers even amid the pandemic and threat of typhoons Jolina and Kiko.
But did you know that the tallest Virgin Mary statue in the world can be found in the Philippines?
The Mother of All Asia in Batangas known as the Monte Maria Shrine is a colossal religious destination located Pagkalinawan, Batangas, consisting of a monument, sculpture, and shrine devoted to the Virgin Mary “as a symbol of unification and peace in Asia and the entire world.”
While the building was designed primarily as a place of worship, it has since drawn not just the faithful, but also tourists who want to see the remarkable structure and architecture.
It is a pilgrimage center dedicated to the Virgin Mary and designed to attract devotees and pilgrims. It can be also considered as a tourism or retirement village.
The statue overlooks the Verde Island Passage and is visible to all domestic and international seafaring vessels entering Batangas bay.
It has a height of 98.15 meters or 322 feet measured from the ground up to the tip of the cross on top of her crown of the equivalent to a 33-storey building.
It also ranks no. 9 among the world’s tallest statues and stands at a floor area of 12,000 square meters or 1.2 hectares, more or less.
The crown has 12 stars that represent the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. The monument has 12 foundations that represent the 12 tribes of Israel.
A person has to climb a total of 420 steps from the ground level to reach the crown but for those who want to get a shortcut, there are 3 elevators inside to choose from that will take you up in an instant.
Construction began in 2013 and was completed this year (2021) just in time for the celebration of the 500th year of Christianization and globalization of the Philippines.
The Name “Mother Of All Asia” was adapted from Pope Benedict XVI’s May 27, 2017 Prayer To Our Lady Of Sheshan, Mother Of The Church in China and all Asia. (ai/mtvn)