The Medium of God's Blessing
Desa Gayamharjo, Prambanan, Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Updated on 10/18/2016
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The Sub-district of Prambanan that by far is famous for temple tourism objects that are full of Hindu-Budha nuance turns to have other tourism object with Christian nuance. Sendang Sriningsih is one of them, a pilgrimage place in the form of eternal water spring and Maria Cave that is located in Gayamharjo, in between Bukit Ijo and Mintorogo. It is reachable by motorcycle or car. Going eastwards from Prambanan temple, you will have to turn right upon arriving at the third T-junction.
The history of Sendang Sriningsih began in 1934, when a Jesuit priest named D Hardjosuwondo SJ who was assigned in Jali village visited the place that used to be called Sendang Duren. Enchanted by the spiritual aura of the place, he then constructed the location around the water spring to become a pilgrimage place and he then named it Sendang Sriningsih, meaning the medium of God's blessing to His people.
Once you arrive the place, you can directly begin celebration process by tracking the sacrification path. The route is designed in the form of ascending stairs as long as 900 meters. Like any other sacrification path route, there are relief along the path telling the journey of Jesus shouldering the wooden cross. You may say your prayer while tracking the route.
Sacrification path ends when you come to small T-junction, turn right and see a big cross with Jesus effigy nailed on the cross. The location of cross is named precisely the same with the hill where Jesus was crucified, namely Golgotha. You can light candles beneath the cross and say your prayer. Quite many people pray in this place when YogYES visited.
If you want to see the spring and Maria Cave, you turn left from the small T-junction. According to the story, Sendang Sriningsih has become a lake beneath the earth and the bank of it is cemented and the upper part is covered with plate to keep the water clean. To take the water, you can open the tap at the right side of the spring. There is belief that the water can cure illnesses.
As high as four meters Mary Cave where pilgrims execute devotion is located to the right of the spring. The place is quite vast and cool to pray under big trees. By Christmas time, when YogYES visited, there are many pilgrims praying in this Mary Cave. Usually, people come in groups or with familiy or school colleagues.
Walking leftwards from the cave to go upwards, you will see big Cross with the writing at the back reading tertier millenium, symbolizing millenium change. If you look straight ahead, you will see the green hill scenery and housing around the area. When you get tired, you can take a rest in the shelter while enjoying the breeze.
Celebrations are done nine times in one year every Fridays night at certain Javanese calendar time called Jumat Kliwon as a sacred day for Javanese people. Afterwards, holy mass is celebrated with as many as 3,000 pilgrims involved. Such holy ritual shows harmony of Javanese culture and Catholic culture in the area.
One of other attractive factor of this place is the water of the spring that is believed to be able to give safety and deliver people from illness.
Text YUNANTO WIJI UTOMO Photography DANIEL ANTONIUS KRISTANTO
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