Christians in the Philippines have started construction of a huge statue which will rise a 100 feet above a new church building.
The statue is of the popular Catholic saint Padre Pio. When it is finished it will be the centrepiece of a sanctuary complex overlooking the city of Cebu.
Speaking at the start of building work, Most Rev Jose Palma, Archbishop of Cebu, outlined his hopes for the sanctuary and giant statue.
"May Padre Pio inspire every Filipino to protect every family and to raise every child according to the teachings of the Gospel” he said.
Christianity first came to the Philippines in 1521 after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived on the islands.
Joey Cagasero, a Padre Pio devotee from Cebu, told the Union of Catholic Asian news that the location of the Padre Pio statue is significant.
"It is symbolic that the sanctuary is the highest church located on the island that welcomed the early missionaries 500 years ago.
He added: "There would be healing Masses and confessions here. That’s our goal. We hope that millions if not thousands of devotees of Padre Pio would visit this place”
The Italian Capuchin friar, who died in 1968, is venerated by people who believe he exhibited the stigmata - the appearance of bodily wounds echoing the wounds of Jesus Christ on the cross. He was named as a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002.