Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Visita Iglesia in Manila 2014

When I was a kid I really don’t know what Visit Iglesia is. I thought it’s just the name of a church. My neighbors are always asking me if I want to join with them to visit churches every Holy Week. That time, I already have the idea it’s an activity which related to Roman Catholic religion. I always join them without knowing the real meaning of this Filipino tradition.

Manila Cathedral

Visita Iglesia (Spanish for "Visit of the Churches") also known as Seven Churches Visitation is a Holy Thursday tradition of Philippine Roman Catholics by attempting to visit seven churches to contemplate on the passion and suffering of Jesus Christ. Some people visit 14 churches to symbolize the 14 stations of the cross.This activity is may practice during any day of the Holy Week.

San Agustin Church
In Manila, there are many old and historic churches that you might want to visit on Maundy Thursday. You can start first the Visita Iglesia in the historic walled city of Intramuros. You can find there the famous Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral) and UNESCO' World Heritage Site, under the collective title Baroque Churches of the Philippines, Shrine of Our Lady of Correa / Immaculate Conception Parish (San Agustin Church).

The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene / St. John the Baptist Parish (Quiapo Church) is a must-visit church before going to other Roman Catholic churches. The basilica is home for the shrine of the Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ many faithfully claim to be miraculous. Millions of devotees of the Black Nazarene (Tagalog: Poóng Itím na Nazareno) of Quiapo church are going here to celebrate to join on the annual celebration, Feast of the Black Nazarene.  

You can also go to Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish) which is located in Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo. The church is a few minutes-walk form Quiapo Church. It is the home of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint venerated in the Roman Catholic Church.

Quiapo Church
If you’re near the University Belt, you can include on your list the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian (Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine). It is just a few steps from Malacanang and adjacent to San Sebastian College. The basilica is the only all-steel church or basilica in asia and, claimed as the only prefabricated steel church in the world.

In the town of Tondo, you can find a lot churches such as Sto. Niño De Tondo Parish, Sta. Monica Parish , St. Joseph Parish, St. John Bosco Parish, San Rafael Parish, San Pablo Apostol Parish, San Jose Manggagawa Parish and Immaculate Conception Parish.

Outside the Metro, you can visit some of the famous churches in the Philippines that you can include on your itinerary for the Visita Iglesia like San Pascual De Baylon Church in Obando, Bulacan, Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag in Manaog , Pangasinan, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu in Cebu, Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-oa, Iloilo, Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Sta Maria, Ilocos Sur, Shrine of Saint Anthony de Padua Pila and Immaculate Conception Church Santa Cruz in Laguna, Church of Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse in Lucban, Quezon among others.

When doing the Visita Iglesia, you need to make you're not doing this activity just because you want to be with your family and friends. Always remember the true meaning of this tradition. This activity is for us to remember Christ sacrificed his life to take away the sins of many.

Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for us on the throne of the Cross. Christ’s Cross embraced with love never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved and of doing a little of what he did on the day of his death.” --Pope Franci

1 comment:

  1. Leo Kevin MendiolaApril 25, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Great post on what to visit here in Manila! Here's my Visita Iglesia coverage for this year! :)



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