Sendangsono Catholic Pilgrimage Site: The Lourdes of Java, Yogyakarya, Indonesia

Sendangsono is located at Banjaroyo village, Kalibawang, Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta Indonesia. It is a site where pilgrimage visit Marry gave that is managed by St Marry Lourdes Parish in Promasan, northwest of Yogyakarta.

Sendangsono can be accessed 15 minutes from highway from Jalan Raya Wates by passing a narrow road heading west. Though the read is relatively narrow and winding, but it is in good condition.

Entering the pilgrimage site covering 1 hectare, pilgrims will pass a big cross that started from church situated at the lower part of Sendangsono. This cross route is about 1 km to the last stop located on a sendang (spring). This place has been visited by pilgrims from all over Indonesia, and the peak season in on May and October. Pilgrims took water from the sendang that is believed to have healing virtue.

According to a source, Sendangsono is the last stop or resting place of pedestrian from Borobudur, Magelang to Boro (Kulon Progo) or the opposite. It said that this place is visited by people because of the spring  that appears from between sono trees orAngsana or sonokembang (Pterocarpus indicus). The tranquil and quietness of the location is used by Buddhist to purify and meditate. According to legend, Sendangsono is occupied by Dewi Lantamsari and her one and only son, Den Baguse Samija. It can be concluded that the spiritualistic of the place has been formed since before the catholic rome church established.

Sendangsono existence is cohorent to the role of Father Van Lith SJ, a Dutch clergy lived in Java Island. In December 1904, Father Van Lith baptized 171 locals with water from the spring including Father Barnabas as the first  catechumens. Twenty five years later on December 8th 1929, Sendangsono was officially opened as pilgrimage site by Father JB Prennthaler SJ. Marry statue was given by queen of Spain moved by people together from down Sentolo village. In 1945, Indonesia Young Catholic pilgrimaged to Lourdes, and they carried the stone where Marry showed to be placed under the statue of Marry at Sendangsono as a relics that Sendangsono is called as Gua Maria Lourdes Sendangsono.

It was built gradually since 1974, only by relying on the donation of congregation. Humanist and Clergy, YB Mangunwijaya gave the architectural touchs. The construction concept of Sendangsono complex has Javanese nuance and environmentally friendly. The material utilized derived from nature. In 1991, the complex was awarded as the best architecture from Indonesia Architect Association, for special building category.