It is the second largest temple in Guayaquil, following the Cathedral San Pedro Apostol; it has a capacity for 2.300 people.
According to the official website, its history goes back to 2007, when an altar to the Divine Mercy was unveiled inside the Cathedral San Pedro Apostol, which was witnessed by a massive crowd and evidenced the large amount of devotees of the city. Therefore, the archbishop of Guayaquil, Monsignor Antonio Arregui, asked the Association of the Divine Mercy to build a sanctuary in our city.
On September 6, 2009, the first stone was placed; architect Eduardo Romero built the project in phases. On June 26, 2011, the first part was inaugurated, which comprised the first dome and the altar. On May of 2012, the second dome was completed during the second phase. Finally, on July of 2013, the third phase was finished.
The work, funded by businessmen and faithful people of the city, has an area of 110.000 square meters that comprises a retreat house, recreational areas, and a house for the priests, rooms for catechesis and evangelization, an area for 2000 graves and a parking lot for 120 vehicles. The sanctuary is 29 meters high and has a capacity for 2.200 seated people in 248 benches.
While the sanctuary was being built, the priests celebrated mass within the premises in a small cabin. At first approximately 20 people attended the service given by priest Alfredo Garcia, but in time the attendance increased to 600.
The large vegetation that surrounds the sanctuary and a lake that provides a natural beauty to the place, which stands out for its imposing architectonic structure. At the entrance there is a pointed arch that covers the central nave (1.790 m2) and also the sacristy and the crypt (118 m2).
Besides, the sanctuary has a marble altar and a one-piece stained glass window made by Ecuadorian artist Jorge Luis Narea, which measures 288 m2 and has the image of the Lord of the Divine Mercy decorated with vivid colors. There is also a grotto devoted to the Virgin of Medjugorje.
The sanctuary carries out a procession in honor of the Lord of the Divine Mercy on April 27 in which approximately 3000 faithful participate. The people carry the image on their shoulders along the tour that starts in the northern part of the city, in the road that leads to the coast. The pilgrimage departures from the toll station and continue to the Sanctuary, which is located at the Km 24 of that road.
The Divine Mercy is a Christian devotion focused, as the word points out, on mercy; the message is aimed to the forgiveness of others, based on God’s forgiveness to all our sins, when the penitents confess them.
The devotion was disseminated to the world through a diary written by Polish nun Saint Faustina Kowalska, known as “Apostle of Mercy”, in which she narrates the mystic conversations she had with Jesus Christ. Her confessor, the Blessed Miguel Spocko requested her to tell about them through her diary. The devotion was spread because of the displacements of the polish population caused by the Second World War.
In Guayaquil, this devotion congregates thousands of devotees, which have contributed to the construction of the sanctuary.