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Photo: Dan Valenti
Cecilia and Tony Munoz of Elizabeth, N.J., have been making pilgrimages to Eden Hill for five years. They cherish "the peace that comes from knowing that God loves us so much," a peace they find at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.
For five years, Cecilia and Tony Munoz have been making pilgrimages to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass., but their devotion to Divine Mercy is a year-round affair. Interviewed at the National Shrine this summer, Cecilia and Tony freely shared the importance of God's mercy in their lives.
"Every time we come here, we feel closer to God," Cecilia says. "Tony and I talk about it each time in the car when we drive home after a visit [home is in Elizabeth, N.J.]. It's a combination of the beautiful setting, the serenity, and the peace of mercy that comes from knowing that God loves us so much."
Husband Tony nods his head at the points his wife makes and adds that his devotion to Divine Mercy has matured over the years.
"The first time you hear about the promises Jesus made to St. Faustina, you think, 'Can this be true?' Then when you let His mercy enter your heart, you find out it is true." Tony says he and his wife belong to a church in Elizabeth, in the Diocese of Newark, that has a growing interest in Divine Mercy.
The Munoz's trips to Eden Hill re-energize them spiritually.
"I love it when we first drive up the hill, and we see the large statue of The Divine Mercy," Cecilia says. "It's Jesus, welcoming us into His heart. That's how I see it, as a personal invitation. Then, at Mass, we find out how true this is at [Holy] Communion."
"For me, I love the beauty of the National Shrine," Tony says. "The level of workmanship [inside the chapel] is stunning. I think it has to be one of the most beautiful chapels in the world. I can't even describe the effect it has to enter into such a beautiful place. You feel the peace and the love, a calming, instantly."
The Munozes also enjoy the newest addition to Eden Hill: The Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine (MOMOS), which they visited for the first time on June 28 this year when they came to Stockbridge for the Marians' annual Filipino Day.
"They've done a wonderful job," Cecilia says. "We can worship God anywhere, and it's never about the building or the place but about your heart. But to see how much care went into this for us [the pilgrims], it touches my heart.
"It's the Marians' generosity," Tony says with a smile.
MOMOS needs your generosity. With the finishing touches still to be added, including the Shrine of the Holy Innocents downstairs, the bills for the construction have come due. The Marians humbly ask for your help, both your prayers and financial support.
If you are interested in making a donation to help with the MOMOS bills or to build the Shrine of the Holy Innocents, many memorial and special gift opportunities are available. You can visit our memorials online or call toll-free 1-800-671-2020.